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While the rest of the world warms up to our Thanksgiving tradition of football and mountains of potatoes and gravy, we must admit that the world goes on without us some days.
Thankfully, the Internet never forgets. So here’s a roundup of the stories we missed in our Tryptophan-induced naps.
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A court ruled Nov. 12 that a lawsuit may continue against Ford for misstating its mileage estimates of its C-MAX and Fusion hyrbid cars.
Ford attempted to dismiss the lawsuit based on its claim that the mileage estimates provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, were in part, an estimate and that “actual results may vary.” Car owners suing the automaker pointed to Ford’s media blitz that included Ryan Seacrest in Times Square with a bunch of billboards and T-shirts with the number 47 on them and “47 Challenges, 47 Days” marketing push and Facebook posts that the cars would achieve a “EPA-certified 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway ratings for a 47-mpg combined rating” — among many other 47-branded things — when the cars didn’t come anywhere close.*
*Actual mileage did vary.
“Ford implicitly recognized that its advertising campaign was misleading,” U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas wrote in the ruling. Read More >
An investor and analyst argued in column that appears in the New Yorker that Volkswagen engineers may have rationalized illegal behavior by incrementally cheating up to the infamous levels uncovered by researchers last year.
Using the catastrophic failure of the space shuttle Challenger as an example, Paul Kedrosky wrote that “normalization of deviance” could have led Volkswagen engineers to systemically cheat on emissions in the same way engineers rationalized colder and colder launches for the space shuttle until it finally disintegrated in 1986 because of failed, cold o-rings.
It’s more likely that the scandal is the product of an engineering organization that evolved its technologies in a way that subtly and stealthily, even organically, subverted the rules.
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When you bring your halo-of-halo sports cars to a competition to sort out the “Best Driver’s Car”, you definitely want to give it a new set of brake pads, make sure all the electrical connections are seated properly, and maybe — just maybe — not send a car that was offed in a previous comparison test.
But that’s just what Chevrolet did for this year’s edition of Motor Trend’s “Best Driver’s Car”, and it came back to bite the General — hard.
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The Federal Trade Commission will join the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency in investigating claims that Volkswagen cheated consumers and regulators with bogus emissions claims of its diesel cars, Politico reported (via Bloomberg).
The FTC’s inquiry will focus on whether the German automaker lied to consumers about “clean diesel” claims in its advertisements when, in fact, the cars were engineered to deceive emissions tests.
The FTC, Justice Department and EPA’s investigations also joins an investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance committee on whether the automaker illegally obtained $50 million in federal subsidies through car buyers who purchased its cars and received the lean-burn technology motor vehicle credit. Read More >
The Texas Auto Writers Association said Tuesday that the new, diesel-powered Nissan Titan XD was the 2015 Texas Truck of the Year and the Ford F-Series won Truck Line of Texas, alongside 22 other awards in a bi-annual affair held on non-consecutive Sundays until an eventual winner is crowned after a round-robin, double-elimination playoff.
The award for the Titan XD is the first for the truck, which will go on sale in December. Texas auto writers awarded the Ram 2500 with best heavy-duty pickup, Ram 1500 Rebel as the best full-size pickup and the new Toyota Tacoma as the best mid-size pickup. Read More >
A study commissioned by Bloomberg, conducted by Stout Risius Ross, revealed that Volkswagen’s rate of injury or fatal crashes reported by the automaker was significantly lower than 11 other automakers and nine times less than the industry average.
“The data demonstrates that even on a fleet-adjusted basis, the number of reported incidents by Volkswagen is significantly below what one would expect based on those reported by other automakers,” Neil Steinkamp, a Stout Risius managing director, told Bloomberg. “They are also significantly below the reporting of automakers that have already been cited for non-compliance.”
The report calls into question whether Volkswagen has been accurately reporting crashes, as required by law. Volkswagen didn’t comment on the report. Read More >
A self-professed reformed BMW enthusiast says backlash against Tesla comes from car owners “stuck in the past” who consider grease under their fingernails as a “manliness” status symbol among “nostalgic car weenies.” Basically, military-grade trolling.
Mike Barnard, a writer at Slate.com, says that the time is coming for internal combustion engine fans to give up the ghost and get with Tesla because:
People who don’t like hybrid race cars and production supercars are saying that they don’t like better all-around performance—they just really only love things with cylinders and pistons, make of that what you will.
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(Probably because it’s the most popular truck.)
Automotive News reported that Toyota is cooperating with U.S. authorities in uncovering why members of the terrorist group ISIS seem to be so fond of Toyota Hiluxes and Land Cruisers, which consistently rank among the top 5 best-selling vehicles for many Middle Eastern countries, prompted by an investigation* by ABC News.
The automaker said the company forbids directly selling cars to paramilitary or terrorist organizations because of course it does. The company said it would be impossible to control indirect or illegal sales to terrorist organizations because of course it is.
ABC News hasn’t reached out to Ford to see how it controls sales of F-150 trucks to American drug cartels. Read More >
Speaking to Auto Express ahead of Tesla’s first European factory opening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said internal combustion engines have hit their physical limit for efficiency and that Volkswagen engineers may have resorted to lying out of necessity.
“There must have been lots of VW engineers under pressure — they’ve run into a physical wall of what might be possible so trickery was the only option,” he told the publication. Read More >