By on June 23, 2016

Passat TDI front

Owners of the 482,000 2.0-liter TDI models caught up in the diesel emissions scandal will get cash compensation tied to the age of their vehicle, anonymous sources said today.

Volkswagen won’t release details on its buyback/fix/remediation plan until Tuesday of next week, but sources briefed on the matter blabbed to the media despite a court-imposed gag order. The Associated Press puts the cost of settling the U.S. fallout at $10.2 billion, with some of that money going towards government penalties.

It’s already known that Volkswagen plans to buy back (or fix, at the owner’s request) 2.0-liter diesel models sold from 2009 on. What’s murky is whether the figures quoted by the sources relate to the vehicle buyback or the separate compensation expected to be handed to owners. (Read More…)

By on June 2, 2016

2017 IONIQ HEV

If you’re still holding on to that copy of Who Killed the Electric Car? you bought back in your university days, it might be time to toss it in the trash.

In just two years, there could be four 200-plus mile electric vehicles on the market, now that Hyundai plans to jump into the long-range EV game.

The South Korean automaker doesn’t want to be an also-ran in the emerging field, so it’s planning a 2018 introduction of an EV designed to battle the 215-mile Tesla Model 3. It’s an ambitious goal for a company whose green car chief once called EVs and hybrids “a headache.” (Read More…)

By on May 25, 2016

Volkswagen TDI

Owners of 2.0-liter Volkswagen diesels will have to wait a little longer before learning exactly when their rolling pariahs will leave their driveways.

The automaker is on track to meet a June 21 settlement deadline, a federal judge stated yesterday, but details on the wildly expensive U.S. buyback and compensation program won’t be made public just yet. (Read More…)

By on May 19, 2016

Opel-Zafira-Tourer

Volkswagen must be enjoying watching its rival squirm on the end of the same hook.

German regulators have singled out GM’s Opel division over carbon dioxide emissions from some of its vehicles, but the automaker says it isn’t in the wrong.

Facing accusations that it used a ‘defeat device’ to shut off emissions controls, Opel must now submit information to an investigating committee. During a meeting yesterday, Opel executives admitted that the popular Zafira model has software that shuts down exhaust treatment systems at high speeds and altitudes. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2016

2014_Nissan_Qashqai_Right_Side

It’s nowhere near the scale of the Volkswagen debacle, but Nissan is in hot water with the South Korean government over dodgy emissions from its diesel SUV.

That country’s environment ministry accuses Nissan of using a “defeat device” to disable the emissions controls on its UK-built Qashqai SUV, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2016

Norway

Norway is gearing up for a legal fight, and its sights are set on a troubled automaker from Germany.

The country’s sovereign wealth fund, built from oil and gas revenues and assorted investments, plans to file a class-action lawsuit targeting Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, Image: FCA

You know the world is a bit upside-down when master wordsmith Jack Baruth spins a web so tight in favor of the EPA and CARB that even the Best and Brightest can’t see through it.

Jack makes a valid point today: light-duty trucks, especially those of the diesel variety, are often driven by people who don’t need the capability that those trucks provide. It’s those diesel pickups that spew tons of particulates and NOx into the atmosphere, both of which are harmful to human health. Goodbye, he says to the light-duty diesel truck, before we turn into Europe. Turbo-fed gasoline engines offer just as much torque as their diesel-powered brethren, he exclaims. There’s no need to buy an $80,000 phallus extender. What do you think of this twin-turbo V6 Raptor?

However, Mr. Baruth stopped just short of saying recreational use of light-duty diesel trucks should be outright banned, instead offering up a solution that’s analogous to gun control.

(Read More…)

By on May 11, 2016

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI-011

Investigators are still probing Volkswagen’s actions in the diesel emissions scandal, but the board that oversees the actions of the company’s top brass isn’t too concerned.

The supervisory board, made up of investor and labor interests, just cleared Volkswagen’s management of any breaches of duty in 2015 in preparation for their annual shareholders meeting, Bloomberg reports.

To say 2015 was an eventful year for Volkswagen is akin to saying Neil Armstrong had fun in the late ’60s. It was so eventful, its CEO took a permanent vacation. Many medicine cabinets in Wolfsburg were likely renovated to handle an influx of new prescriptions. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2016

2014-Ford-Fiesta-Ecoboost-transmission

In the 1960s, automakers wanted to put a tiger in your tank, but now Ford Motor Company wants a howler monkey under your dash.

The automaker was concerned that drivers used to “shifting by ear” aren’t getting the gas mileage their efficient, small-displacement engines were designed for, so it patented an acoustic device that mimics a bigger powerplant, Autoblog reports. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

BMW i3 and i8

BMW’s electric car sub-brand is growing, thanks to new and upgraded models, but its management ranks are shrinking as executives flee to a Chinese startup.

Three top names, including the program’s head, were lured to China’s Future Mobility Corp. this year, Automotive News Europe reports, while sales dropped by nearly a quarter in the first three months of 2016.

Call it a case of “i” gotta go. (Read More…)

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