Category: Government

By on July 20, 2016

Jetta TDI 2015

Volkswagen diesel owners will be able to spend many happy, polluting miles on the road, even after they request a fix instead of a buyback.

Buried in the automaker’s $15.3 billion U.S. settlement is the expectation that most of the recalled vehicles will still spew twice the allowable rate of emissions after being repaired, according to Bloomberg. A fix for the 475,000 2.0-liter diesels hasn’t been approved, but regulators fully expect any repair plan to fail — and they’re grudgingly okay with it. Read More >

By on July 19, 2016

Volkswagen Chattanooga Tower

The state of New York wants its pound of flesh from Volkswagen, as well as $450 million.

A lawsuit filed against the automaker by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges widespread knowledge of the emissions-cheating “defeat device” used in millions of diesel vehicles, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read More >

By on July 19, 2016

gas-pump-save-ftr

The federal agencies reviewing the country’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets are pleasantly surprised by the amount of fuel-saving technology in modern vehicles, and hint that the target they decided on back in 2011 is still doable.

Those agencies just released a technical assessment report (TAR) to guide the review process. In it, they figured that vehicles will average between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon by the target year of 2025 — if gas stays stable and consumers continue buying SUVs and trucks.

That’s not too far off the original target, and judging by the optimistic tone of the report, it’s likely the 54.5 mpg mandate will stay intact. Read More >

By on July 19, 2016

FCA - Auburn Hills

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is in hot water with federal authorities over the way it reports its sales.

Late yesterday, it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission both launched investigations into the automaker, following months of accusations of inflated sales figures. Read More >

By on July 16, 2016

fusion-hybrid-window-sticker

Business is about to get much more expensive for automakers with thirsty fleets.

The penalties leveled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration against automakers who miss their annual corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are about to go up in August. Way up. Read More >

By on July 14, 2016

Porsche cayenne diesel

California’s Air Resources Board wants nothing to do with Volkswagen’s proposed fix for its 3.0-liter VW, Audi and Porsche TDI models equipped with emissions-cheating defeat devices.

The regulator rejected the automaker’s plan yesterday, and later issued a release calling it “incomplete and deficient in a number of areas.” For Volkswagen, CARB’s rejection is a major setback to its goal of settling the rest of its diesel emissions scandal fallout without another expensive buyback program. Read More >

By on July 12, 2016

2012 Tesla Model S

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has no plans to remove the Autopilot feature from his vehicles, despite demands from safety and consumer groups.

Musk told the Wall Street Journal that lack of education is the problem, not the technology behind the semi-autonomous driving system. The executive’s comments come after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delivered a lengthy list of questions to Tesla as part of its investigation into the fatal May 7 crash of a Model S. Read More >

By on July 12, 2016

Tesla Model S In Hero Blue, Image: Tesla

Was the fatal May crash of a Tesla Model S driving in Autopilot mode significant enough for the automaker to inform its shareholders? The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to find out.

The federal agency recently opened an investigation into Tesla to determine if the automaker broke securities laws by not notifying investors of the crash, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read More >

By on July 11, 2016

pumping gas

The Garden State remains the cheapest place to fill up in the Northeast, and you can thank government indecision for it.

Lawmakers in New Jersey can’t decide on what to do about their state’s bone-dry transportation fund, and residents are equally divided on how to pay for future road projects. That means pump prices will stay low for the time being. Read More >

By on July 10, 2016

Volvo Autonomous Drive, Image: Volvo Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board plans to investigate the fatal May 7 Tesla crash to see if the trend of increased automation in driving functions has a dark side, Bloomberg reports.

Already, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the incident and the role the vehicle’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system played in the crash, but the NTSB has a broader scope in mind. As vehicles increasingly rely on electronic aids for safety, drivers could be letting down their guard. Read More >

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