Tag: Government

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 23, 2016

new jersey

A looming bump in New Jersey’s gas tax would mean fewer drivers from neighboring states crossing the Hudson and Delaware Rivers to take advantage of the state’s famously low pump prices.

The state’s transportation fund is almost empty, roads and bridges need repairs, and Democrat lawmakers and select Republicans are putting pressure on Governor Chris Christie to send the gas tax skyward, according to the New York Times.

How much higher? Try 23 cents/gallon more. (Read More…)

By on June 15, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Exterior Front 3/4. Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Two years after it issued, and then cancelled, a request for government assistance, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finally received some cash to help pay for its Windsor Assembly Plant upgrade.

The province of Ontario handed FCA $85.8 million ($66.5 million U.S.) today to help cover some of the cost of retooling the facility to handle production of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Some of the cash went to the research and development facility FCA operates jointly with the University of Windsor. (Read More…)

By on June 13, 2016

Money (Frankleleon/Flickr)

When a police cruiser lights up behind you, a driver usually fears two things: a costly speeding ticket, or a roadside breathalyzer test.

The driver probably isn’t worrying about having the contents of his or her bank account seized, followed by a long and possibly fruitless journey to recoup their lost cash, but that’s the power local law enforcement has over its citizens.

And technology is now making it easier to use that power more and more often. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2016

Takata Driver Airbag

Defective airbags linked to at least 10 U.S. deaths are still rolling off dealer lots, despite a massive safety recall.

Four automakers admit to selling new vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, but it’s all legal as long as those cars are fixed within two years. The companies were revealed in a report tabled today by U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Democrats. (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

Marijuana weed pot joint

Impairment tests used by authorities in U.S. states where marijuana use is legal in some form have no basis in science, and their results essentially mean nothing, a recent study concludes.

Commissioned by the American Automobile Association’s safety foundation, the study found that no blood test for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can accurately determine a driver’s level of impairment, the Associated Press reports.

The finding blows law enforcement’s main method of convicting high drivers into the weeds. (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2016

Porsche cayenne diesel

After agonizing over a fix for its 2.0-liter diesel models, Volkswagen is close to finalizing a plan for vehicles powered by the 3.0-liter TDI V6.

The first fix forced Volkswagen into a wildly expensive buyback-and-fix program for the nearly half million 2.0-liter TDIs sidelined by the diesel emissions scandal, but that won’t be needed for the bigger engines, sources close to the issue tell Bloomberg. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2016

lawsuit

Hoping to access and remotely take charge of a vehicle’s operating system via your laptop? Expect to shower with strange men in a place where the Wi-Fi sucks.

Life behind bars is the penalty proposed by two Michigan senators seeking to regulate the state’s connected and autonomous vehicle industry, Automotive News reports.

The bills introduced yesterday make it a super-duper felony to intentionally access a vehicle’s electronic system for the purpose of damaging it or gaining control of the vehicle. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2016

roof rack (keone/Flickr)

Yeah, yeah, one day you’re going to put skis up there.

Automakers go to great lengths to make vehicles aerodynamic, adding grille shutters and painstakingly shaving off excess weight, but drivers are just blowing away the hard work with their roof racks, a new study reports (via CNET). (Read More…)

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