Category: Government

By on April 26, 2016

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Mitsubishi’s fuel economy scandal blew up yesterday after the automaker admitted it has issued misleading mileage data since C+C Music Factory was at the top of the charts.

The scandal that started with inflated mileage numbers on a single minicar one week ago now extends to all Japanese market Mitsubishi vehicles sold over the past quarter century. Reuters is reporting that the automaker compiled fuel economy data using U.S. standards, rather than the Japanese standards that factor in much more city driving. Read More >

By on April 23, 2016

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Like an unoccupied Dodge Charger stuck in “Drive,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ gear selector controversy was rapidly building momentum before yesterday’s announcement.

Responding to numerous instances of runaway vehicles and an expanding National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, FCA voluntarily recalled 811,586 vehicles in the U.S. and 52,144 in Canada, and a further 265,473 in Mexico and overseas. Read More >

By on April 22, 2016

Volkswagen Passats being crushed after testing, Image Source: BentParrot/YouTube

Update: I made a decimal flub. The math is corrected. Thanks to commenter ChemEng for pointing it out. We’ll post a new piece on Monday.

There’s no denying it: Volkswagen cheated. It confessed to the crime of emitting up to 40 times over the legal limit allowed for NOx. We learned yesterday (and the day before, to some degree), that Volkswagen will fix the vehicles that can be fixed, if owners so choose.

But what happens to all those diesel cars, which are perfectly good aside from emitting more NOx than they should, if owners decide to cut and run? And what happens to all those vehicles that can’t be fixed? Volkswagen has vowed to buy them back from customers — to which I ask, what then?

There are few options Volkswagen can employ to unload the massive windfall of cars coming its way, and none of them are particularly environmentally friendly.

Read More >

By on April 22, 2016

Mitsubishi-i-MiEV-image

A day after its head office was raided by Japanese Transport Ministry officials, the U.S. is going to put Mitsubishi’s mileage claims under scrutiny.

The scandal began when Mitsubishi admitted it overstated fuel economy numbers on its Japanese market eK mini wagons, but Reuters is now claiming the false data extends to U.S. market vehicles. Read More >

By on April 21, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (1 of 8)

Note: In light of today’s news regarding an agreement between Volkswagen and U.S. regulators, we believe it’s pertinent to rerun this piece considering Volkswagen still plans on fixing some of the affected 2.0-liter TDI vehicles. —MS

In all reality, Volkswagen probably won’t pay $37,500 for each car that cheated its way through U.S. emissions standards, but the German automaker will probably pay thousands for each car to fit a device that would clean up their acts.

The presumed fix would come by retrofitting a Selective Catalytic Reduction (Adblue or urea) system although that wouldn’t be the only fix necessary. Researchers discovered that the Passat TDI that they tested, fitted with the SCR system, was 5 to 20 times over the NO limit — less than the 10 to 40 times by the lean NO filter cars, but still illegal.

The long list of items needed to fit models of the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 doesn’t include the engineering needed to retrofit the cars and the costs to crash test the models after the significant modifications. That’ll add hundreds of millions to the bottom line.

Read More >

By on April 21, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Embattled automaker Volkswagen reached a long-awaited settlement deal in principle with regulators this morning in a California courtroom.

Before presiding judge Charles Breyer, Volkswagen agreed to buy back afflicted diesel models from U.S. buyers, while compensating their owners from a newly created fund. The automaker would accept early termination on leased models, and fix some vehicles if requested by owners. Read More >

By on April 20, 2016

Volkswagen Golf family

Dirty Volkswagen diesels equipped with illicit “defeat devices” could soon be flying off driveways and into oblivion.

Sources briefed on the matter told Reuters (via Automotive News) that the automaker will offer to buy back up to half a million 2.0-liter TDI models in the U.S. that emit illegal levels of smog-causing emissions.

They expect that Volkswagen will make the offer tomorrow before a federal judge. The company’s deadline for a U.S. fix is tomorrow, and a failure to act will result in a trial the automaker desperately wants to avoid. Read More >

By on April 20, 2016

Mitsubishi kei car

Mitsubishi Motors has some ‘splaining to do after fuel economy figures for its tiny overseas eK wagon were proven to be false.

The automaker overstated gas mileage by five to 10 percent over the last three model years, Bloomberg reports, allowing the minicars to be classified as greener than they actually were.

Powered by small-displacement three-cylinder engines, the vehicles are called “kei cars” in Japan (no, not K-cars). Read More >

By on April 19, 2016

Volkswagen Chattanooga Tower

Nope. Nuh-uh. Not gonna do it.

That was Volkswagen’s reaction to the idea of publishing its first-quarter results on time, according to Automotive News Europe, meaning the automaker’s current financial standing will be unknown until May 31.

The beleaguered company has bigger things to deal with in the near term — mainly, meeting the U.S. government’s April 21 deadline for a fix for vehicles caught up in the diesel emissions scandal. An April 21 deadline was issued last month by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, extending a missed deadline on a one-time-only basis. Read More >

By on April 19, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – Exterior

When you’re in conversation with a self-described urbanist, it’s usually impossible to avoid numerous references to Amsterdam, that progressive utopia of bikes, tulips, marijuana-smoking tourists, and more bikes.

Well, expect to hear about it even more, now that Dutch parliament has passed a Dutch Labor Party motion to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles in that country after 2025, according to Auto Express. The bill, which requires senate approval to become the law of the land, would see existing gas and diesel vehicles grandfathered, and the sale of new ones banned. Read More >

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