Category: News Blog

By on October 8, 2015

Mitsubishi eX

Mitsubishi will show off a crossover-sized electric vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show this month that will preview what the automaker has planned for electric vehicles and, likely, elements of the next generation of its Outlander Sport.

The eX electric crossover is roughly the same size as the Outlander Sport currently on sale — the concept crossover is 167 inches long, compared to the Outlander Sport’s 169 inches.

According to the automaker, the EV has two electric motors with a combined output of 184 horsepower and a range of roughly 250 miles. Read More >

By on October 8, 2015

Michael Horn

In a prepared statement released ahead of congressional testimony Thursday, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn said the automaker knew of emissions issues last spring when West Virginia University researchers published findings that the automaker’s cars were illegally polluting. (Emphasis mine.)

In the spring of 2014 when the West Virginia University study was published, I was told that there was a possible emissions non-compliance that could be remedied. I was informed that EPA regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include “defeat device” testing or analysis. I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.

(Should have followed up a little more on that email, probably.)

Read More >

By on October 8, 2015


Toyota on Thursday released a preview of what to expect on its stand at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month and it’s all sorts of steampunk and futuristic weirdness, but more on that in a moment.

While the Scion FR-S isn’t flying off dealer lots here in North America, the Japanese seem to like their compact sports coupes. The S-FR, according to Toyota is ” a lightweight, sporty concept offering a fun, responsive driving experience” and slots below the Toyobaru twins and go head-to-head with the Honda S660 kei sports that America won’t get because of course we won’t.

Read More >

By on October 8, 2015

RX-8 in Cass, picture courtesy of Michael Karesh

TTAC Commentator NotAPreppie writes:

Hey Sajeev … or Sanjeev … I’m not feeling picky,

Am I insane for considering buying the same Mazda RX-8 twice? Alternate title: A car so nice I want to buy it twice. (Thanks for that – SM)

Backstory: Three years ago, I sold my daily driver and autocross car (2005 Mazda RX-8 Sport) to a car club buddy when living and going to school near downtown Chicago meant that it sat in a parking garage for months on end (physical chemistry was intense). I graduated and got a job a year ago and bought a new autocross toy: a 1995 Miata, now with 70k miles.

The Miata has turned out to be something of a mongrel. Anywhere fluids can leak, they have. Not having a garage to wrench on the car myself, it’s nickel-and-diming me to death. Also, I’ve discovered that while it’s a Great Car™ during the 60 seconds of an average autocross run, it’s pretty awful to live with day to day. Maybe if I didn’t live in a major metropolitan area, I’d see the appeal of a soft top. To add insult to injury, I think it aggravates my sciatica.

Read More >

By on October 8, 2015

UAW Bridging the Gap Banner Circa March 2015

On Wednesday night, as the deadline for strike action came closer and closer, the United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles National Bargaining Committee announced they had “secured significant gains” over the last proposed tentative agreement that was widely rejected by UAW membership.

Details on the new agreement were not published.

The new proposed agreement averts a strike — for now — and will be sent Friday to local union leaders that comprise the UAW National Chrysler Council for discussion and voting.

“We heard from our members, and went back to FCA to strengthen their contract,” said UAW President Dennis Williams early Thursday morning in a statement. “We’ve reached a proposed Tentative Agreement that I believe addresses our members’ principal concerns about their jobs and their futures. We have made real gains and I look forward to a full discussion of the terms with our membership.”

FCA acknowledged they reached a new proposed tentative agreement with the union, but declined to give specifics due to the pending vote by UAW members.

Read More >

By on October 7, 2015

Dundee FCA

Negotiators for the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are working to avoid a strike as a deadline looms Wednesday for 40,000 workers at the automaker’s plants.

Reuters reported (via Automotive News) that talks were ongoing to move forward or present a new four-year contract to workers after hourly employees roundly rejected the last proposed deal. The Detroit Free Press reported that employees voiced displeasure with the “alternative work schedules” in the contract that would keep workers on four, 10-hour shifts instead of five, 8-hour shifts, sometimes switching between late night and early morning shifts within days.

The last strike at Chrysler plants lasted for only 6.5 hours in 2007.

Read More >

By on October 7, 2015


Volkswagen lobbied hard in 2011 to receive the same — or higher — clean vehicle credits as electric cars, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

“They wanted a special deal for diesel cars that we now know weren’t even meeting the standard,” Margo Oge, a former director of the E.P.A. Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told the New York Times.

The LA Times reported that roughly $51 million in credits was paid by taxpayers in 2009 for diesel cars that lied about mileage and emissions — essentially a cheap bar trick.

Read More >

By on October 7, 2015

GM Oshawa Plant Closure

General Motors announced last week that it would develop a fleet of autonomous Volts for its Warren, Michigan campus by 2017, despite announcing earlier in the year that its struggling Oshawa, Ontario facility would be a hub for connected vehicles in April.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the Warren campus was the best fit for the self-driving Volts that will shuttle GM employees.

“We have several global engineering centers in the world and they all play a role in development,” he said. “There shouldn’t be anything read into the autonomous center being based in Warren. It’s the company’s main technical center.” Read More >

By on October 7, 2015


Volkswagen’s supervisory board confirmed its appointment of Hans Dieter Pötsch to its top seat during a scandal rocking the 78-year-old automaker, the company announced Wednesday.

Pötsch said he would continue the investigation as chairman:

I will do my utmost to uncover the full truth of what happened. I am firmly resolved to make my contribution so that Volkswagen can win back the trust of customers, the public, investors and business partners. And I believe my central task is to play my part in guiding Volkswagen towards a successful future.

Read More >

By on October 7, 2015

Toyota Hilux. Picture courtesy of Toyota

(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 >

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