It looks like the Environmental Protection Agency’s rush to cement fuel economy targets before Inauguration Day wasn’t due to paranoia.
According to the New York Times, President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Pruitt, 48, is a top opponent of the Obama administration’s environmental regulations and climate change policy, going so far as to organize legal action against the federal government.
Pruitt’s nod is bad news for environmentalists, and good news for industry. Automakers could soon find themselves less burdened by green tape. (Read More…)
Nissan and Renault consummated their marriage in 1999, but some family members still aren’t happy living under the same roof.
In an effort to put a lid on infighting, Renault-Nissan has asked its head of powertrain engineering to take a walk, replacing him with a company veteran who — the company hopes — can bring both sides together.
The alliance needs a hug-filled happy ending in a hurry, as regulators are gunning for the automaker’s not-so-clean engines. (Read More…)
TTAC commenter MatadorX writes:
Sajeev, I wonder if you wouldn’t be able to offer some of your wisdom on the continuing saga of the van.
The new automatic went in and worked perfectly. The engine got fully rebuilt. New crate short block direct from Toyota, heads rebuilt-surfaced/valve job/adjusted/stem seals. Entire engine re-gasketed with Toyota FIPG/OEM gaskets. New pretty much everything else on the front of the car. Wires, plugs, all three O2 sensors (Denso), IAC, Coolant Temp sensor, MAF, resealed injectors, OEM fuel filter. Brand new main TWC catalytic converter. Converted both the exhaust manifolds to 1998 Sienna California emissions spec (integrated warm-up cats), so now the car has a total of THREE catalytic converters.
Broke in the entire setup for 1,000 miles the proper way with varying RPMs, letting off gas to allow rings to seat, and occasional three-quarter throttle bursts, special break in oil for the first 500, then over to Mobil1. Tons of power, smooth, quiet. At idle she is so smooth you can’t even tell the van is on. Checked the entirety of the engine for vacuum leaks — nothing. Compression is strong across the board. Zero blow by.
However, I live in California, and — you guessed it — the van still failed the smog check. (Read More…)
Volkswagen’s disastrous diesel debacle could nearly be over in the U.S.
Bloomberg has reported that sources close to the issue claim VW and U.S. regulators have agreed on a plan for the roughly 80,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating 3.0-liter engines. Those sources have also revealed how many vehicles will be bought back and scrapped, and how many will live to see another day. (Read More…)
Thanks to U.S. regulators and a new consumer advocacy lawsuit, Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal now includes gasoline-powered Audis!
That, Continental still believes in rubber, the NHTSA plans on staying the course after their captain leaves the ship, and Toyota takes a knee on Superbowl LI… after the break!
A U.S. regulator has come across another emissions-cheating device on a Volkswagen Group product. This isn’t more of the same — rather, it’s an entirely different apparatus used on vehicles until well after the company’s diesel emissions scandal became public knowledge.
This isn’t a great time for Volkswagen to be caught with its pants down for not disclosing something they were already in big trouble for. With the company trying to wrap things up with the Department of Justice, the new report from German outlet Bild am Sonntag could sour things.
A German newspaper claims that Audi will buy back 25,000 U.S. vehicles sold with a 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine.
According to a story published in Der Spiegel, the automaker has determined the vehicles cannot be fixed, Reuters reports. A total of 85,000 Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles contain the same emissions-cheating defeat device found in the automaker’s 2.0-liter TDI engines, which are already in the process of being bought back. (Read More…)
If you think engine displacements have become a little too European over here, you’d hate to see the motorcycle-worthy powerplants motivating econoboxes on the other side of the pond.
Paired with the magic of modern technology, inline threes and parallel twins can now make enough grunt to move respectably sized vehicles. However, those days could soon be over, all thanks to ambitious regulators and the downsized engines’ tendency to spew man-sized amounts of pollution.
And if you think this isn’t America’s problem, think again. (Read More…)
It has been a year since we learned that Volkswagen’s tranquil and oh-so-green “clean diesel” utopia was actually a carefully constructed facade hiding a scorched wasteland of pollution and lies. Apparently, that doesn’t mean the jokes need to stop.
The scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research has awarded the financially hurting automaker with a notorious prize that most recipients usually build a fun evening around. It’s extremely, no, absolutely likely that Volkswagen didn’t appreciate the humor. (Read More…)
Despite witnesses claiming Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was involved in the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the law firm investigating the company has reportedly found no evidence to support the claim.
According to company sources, U.S. law firm Jones Day found nothing that suggests the company chairman had any prior knowledge of the brand’s rigged diesel engines, Reuters reports. (Read More…)