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By on December 31, 2015

tdiengine

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating program closely follows a set of parameters that are very similar to those defined by the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), an engineer said this week.

The cheat exists in the ECU’s “main mode,” said Felix Domke, and triggers a normal dosage of urea and other exhaust controls to bring NOx emissions to within acceptable levels.

Domke presented his findings of an unpacked Volkswagen ECU to the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress in Germany.

His findings are mostly in line with what the automaker has already admitted: its 11 million cars worldwide cheated emissions tests by using two different modes for operation, and that its cars could pollute up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides when running normally.

But Domke, who said he owns a Volkswagen Sharan equipped with a 2-liter diesel engine, said his own observations showed a severe change in the ECU’s behavior when it exceeded the bounds of what it considered was an emissions test — more than what’s been reported so far.

(Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015

alcohol-bar-party-cocktail

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means I’m terrified of getting on the roads past 6 p.m. and many law enforcement agencies will be on the streets en masse to bust motorists who’ve had a tee many martoonies.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal traffic crashes involving alcohol spike in December around the holidays; on average, one person was killed in a fatal drunk driving crash every 57 minutes in 2014, according to the safety agency.

Which means, if you’re going to party, let’s find you a ride first. (Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015

Cannonball 1979 Start Briefing

A group of documentarians calling themselves RaceReporters/MotorReporters are attempting to piece together what happened during the Cannonball Runs between 1971 and 1979.

Started by Brock Yates, who temporarily found himself at TTAC for a few short weeks, and Steve Smith of Car & Driver, the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash was born in secrecy and kept away from the general public until the Hollywood film of the same name hit the silver screen.

After a “large stash of photography” taken by a Cannonball Run attendee was uncovered in Germany, the filmmakers are putting out a call to others who may have been present to witness what is now one of the most well-known underground “races” in history.

(Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015

high_macan_gts_2015_porsche_ag-6

Man, people are really pumped about the cool, expensive cars they just bought.

That nugget of wisdom, Russia’s perpetual Cash for Clunkers program, VW’s appeal to Colorado and Washington buyers and GM’s knows what way the wind is blowing now … after the break! (Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015

Courtesy of Murliee Martin

Remember that soul crushing LeMons K Car that ate engines, caused hospital visits, and almost froze Murliee Martin to death before he remembered he had an AMG wagon? You know, the “Worst Car in LeMons History?”

Well, the crew at NSF Racing is back, and the idea just get worse. (Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015

2009 Jaguar XF

Imagine if Lucas, Prince of Darkness were still supplying electrics to the British car industry. A Lucas navigation system would make Apple Maps look like a good choice. Lucas telematics would require a Whitworth wrench to access.

I kid because I love. I’ve spent more hours under the hood of British sports cars than just about anything else in my life, though not at all in the last decade or so. Even then, I still have MG shop manuals under my bathroom sink, ready for the restoration of the car I don’t yet own.

(Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015

 

2003 Dodge Durango. Image: FCA

Shandor writes:

I used to have an ’84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. When it died, I replaced it with a new ’99 Dodge Durango. It seemed to be a fairly solid, updated replacement for the Wagoneer. My mechanic, who was a master Jeep mechanic, said that Chrysler came up with the Durango to fill the gap in the market created after the Grand Wagoneer stopped production in 1991.

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

Mary-Barra-Chevrolet-Cruze

Leasehackr has a screaming deal on a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Limited (the old body style) 1LT Automatic if:

1) You can sell it for more than $13,000 after two years;
2) You’re were a Costco Auto member before Sept. 30;
3) You can get $1,800 off of MSRP, or thereabouts;
4) Max incentives;
5) You’re a current lessee of another automaker;
6) You don’t mind driving a Chevrolet Cruze Limited 1LT Automatic for two years.

If you ticked every one of those boxes, congratulations! You can lease a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze for $40 or less*** per month for 24 months.

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

A Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered that the city’s speed cameras have nabbed school bus drivers, police, public employees and city bus drivers more than 8,000 times over the past two years.

In most cases the tickets were passed on to the drivers, but in some cases — bus drivers and police driving unmarked cars who could justify speeding — those fines were either paid by the Chicago Transit Authority or waived altogether.

The Chicago Tribune’s fine, fine, fine reporting work uncovered 714 bus violations and more than 2,000 police tickets in two years. (Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (4 of 8)

Volkswagen in Canada rolled out the same “goodwill” package for Canadian customers that they did for U.S. customers last month, according to Green Car Reports (via Autoblog).

Diesel buyers north of the border — up to 100,000 of them — will get the same $500 Visa gift card, $500 dealer gift card and three years of roadside assistance that U.S. owners received in November.

Volkswagen diesel owners can register their cars via Volkswagen Canada’s diesel emissions site.

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

Winterkorn, sending the wrong signals. Picture courtesy focus.de

Where do you end up if you’re the former CEO of a company guilty of cheating diesel emissions tests, the fallout of which wipes out billions of dollars of value from said company? Business Insider’s “The 15 biggest career crashes of 2015” list, of course.

That, and Nissan prices the new Sentra, oil is still on a well-lubricated downhill slide, Jeep is now online in India, and more … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

PepBoysLogo_PressRelease
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before:

Billionaire investor, activist and horse racing enthusiast Carl Icahn bid to buy Pep Boys on Tuesday for just over $1 billion, outpricing Japanese tire giant Bridgestone for the franchise, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

Bridgestone’s refusal to tender a competing offer after its final bid of $947 million for the 800 Pep Boys stores seemingly means that Icahn is the winner — although we’ve been here before.

Icahn offered up to $18.50 per share of the company, of which he already owns 12 percent, which is slightly higher than the company’s stock during trading Wednesday.

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

Fifteen leaders of environmental and health groups signed off on a letter sent to environmental regulators Dec. 18 asking officials to fully punish Volkswagen in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others asking authorities to push for electric vehicles instead.

The letter, which was signed by the policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air and the director of the Sierra Club California, among others, calls for “vigorous enforcement of both criminal and civil laws” to deter actions like Volkswagen’s cheating of diesel emissions tests.

The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed in September that Volkswagen admitted to fitting nearly 500,000 cars in the U.S. with an illegal “defeat device” designed to cheat emissions tests. In November, the agencies said an additional 85,000 cars with 3-liter diesel engines were cheating too. (Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

As my personal GTI is powered by gasoline, you might think this will be the first Volkswagen story you have read in the past three months that doesn’t mention Dieselgate. You’d be wrong.

By on December 30, 2015

Classic Bronco Year Unknown Two

Ford is bringing back the Bronco. This is not a fantasy. It is not a request. And although our friends in Dearborn are not ready to talk about it, we do not need their official confirmation to see why a genuine Bronco will be back in showrooms in as few as 24 months.

The return of the Bronco starts with the incredible emphasis Ford places on its leadership in trucks, which secured the company’s survival through the great recessions and have enabled Ford’s return to profitability. The Bronco may not be a truck, but its return is inextricably linked with the parallel stories of the returning Ranger and the evolution in SUV buying patterns.

(Read More…)

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