By on December 17, 2015

Porsche cayenne diesel

On Wednesday, Dehli, India banned the registration of diesel SUVs and luxury cars with larger (over 2,000 cc) engines.

That, and a judge in Australia is really confused about Volkswagen’s “defeat device,” the Federal Reserve interest rate hike and California not doing exactly what Google wants, after the jump.

Tata Nano India

India is having air quality issues and it’s banning diesels to fix it

Delhi, India has banned the registration of diesel SUVs and luxury cars with engines larger than 2,000 cc, The Times of India reported. The action is similar to those taken in China where air quality has become a rising concern.

India’s Supreme Court imposed the restriction Wednesday and it will stay in place until March 31. Trucks not bound for Delhi have been banned from National Highways 1 and 8, while those looking to get into the city will have to pay a stiff environment compensation charge between $21 and $40.

google-self-driving-car

In California, autonomous cars must have a steering wheel and driver

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has published draft regulations for autonomous cars — and Google isn’t particularly happy about it.

According to The Detroit News, autonomous cars in the state will need to be fitted with a steering wheel and must be accompanied by a licenced driver when operating on public roads.

However, the part of California’s framework that will likely have a larger impact is how those vehicles are certified for public use. Unlike self-certified conventional vehicles, autonomous cars will need to be certified as safe by a third party. If everything falls into place properly, autonomous cars could be in the hands of public lessees as soon as 2017.

Note to self: Don’t visit California after 2017.

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Ford, Honda fingered for not paying taxes in Australia

Tax collectors in Australia are pissed and have published a list of companies that have paid little or no tax in the country. Included in the list are tech giants Google and Apple, but also automakers Ford and Honda.

According to Reuters, Australia has been attempting to close loopholes in its tax code. The list itself doesn’t call out the companies for being tax dodgers, instead highlighting how those companies report taxable income.

Ford plans to stop manufacturing vehicles in Australia by October 2016.

1.6 TDI Motor ( EA 189 ):  Flow straightener Volkswagen

Australian judge presiding over Volkswagen lawsuit needs to have things explained to him

It’s been a common misconception in the general media that Volkswagen’s “defeat device” is a physical object or mechanism instead of software designed to cheat a test. It seems a judge in Australia has been reading the wrong reports and thinks the same thing, reports GoAuto Australia.

Even though it’s been widely reported that the “defeat device” is, in fact, a software program, Volkswagen referred to exhaust gas recirculation in a filing to the federal court, and the judge is really, really interested in how it works.

From GoAuto:

Justice Lindsay Foster ordered that Volkswagen Australia should brief him with a full explanation of EGR.

“I want to know what it is technically and how it works,” he said.

But the best part is how Volkswagen responded, also from GoAuto:

The barrister for Volkswagen Group, Ruth Higgins, told the court that the person best placed to provide the explanation to the court was out of the country and would not be returning to Australia until late February.

Hey, you two — here you go. You can send the cheque to Mark in Canada.

Marriner_S._Eccles_Federal_Reserve_Board_Building

The economy is completely and totally fixed now so the Federal Reserve has raised its interest rate a quarter of a percent

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised by a quarter point its benchmark target federal funds rate as the American economy continues to improve.

More people are working. More people are buying. More people are borrowing. The Federal Reserve wants to keep it that way — but they also don’t want to see a rapid increase in inflation and be behind the eight ball.

From Reuters:

The central bank made clear the rate hike was a tentative beginning to a “gradual” tightening cycle, and that in deciding its next move it would put a premium on monitoring inflation, which remains mired below target.

“The process is likely to proceed gradually,” Yellen said, a hint that further hikes will be slow in coming.

[Photo credit: By AgnosticPreachersKid (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

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15 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: India Bans Big Diesels, Fed Raises Rates and Australian Judge Needs a Mechanic (or Google)...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Unlike self-certified conventional vehicles, autonomous cars will need to be certified as safe by a third party.”

    Introducing new GM Goodwrench-Autono Certification LLC!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Unlike self-certified conventional vehicles, autonomous cars will need to be certified as safe by a third party.”

      Can a robot certify another robot ?

      Cue the slippery slope crowd!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Delhi, India has banned the registration of diesel SUVs and luxury cars with engines larger than 2,000 cc, The Times of India reported.”

    Because the 21 Q7 TDI’s and 35 Touaregs they ever sold there are the biggest problem causing India’s pollution.

    …Right. Not dumping raw sewage and chemicals into the street. Not the fertilizer chemical pollution killing and mutilating people since 1985. Not burning coal openly. Not those things.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Nor Trucks that only comply to Euro 3 pollution regs. Banning Diesel SUV’s makes India sound trendy and ” concerned”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s so ignorant. India’s government continually surprises me with how ineffective it is at everything. But you’re right, it will sound trendy and concerned to the wealthy light skinned people in the embassy district.

        They’re driving V10 Lambos anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      I’ve been to India a couple of times. I can probably count the number of diesel luxury vehicles I saw on one hand; on the *other* hand, I do vividly remember taking six hours to travel the 150km from Mumbai to Pune among a densely-packed wildebeest-migration-like cacophony of thousands of belching, shuddering, soot-spewing, 40-year-old trucks, all of which were moving at about 10mph (at best) along atrocious, broken, unpoliced roads.

      What’s interesting about India is that I’ve been forced to come to the conclusion that the privileged there are *literally* blind to what’s around them. I think they think India is just like Europe or the US; when speaking to one guy he explained to me his heartfelt frustration with people thinking that India has poor people in it. He just didn’t understand why the rest of the world was slandering his beloved country so!

      So maybe the issue isn’t that they’re actively avaricious; maybe they just literally have some kind of bizarre mental block that prevents them from seeing the sea of poisonous, ancient vehicles around them. I’d say it sounded crazy, but, well, I’ve been to India twice…

      • 0 avatar
        Duncan345

        Don’t forget the thousands upon thousands of 2-cycle auto-rickshaws running around the clock with absolutely zero emissions reducing equipment. At least their city buses run on propane.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    ” More people are buying. More people are borrowing.”
    Sort of.
    Household debt to disposable income 90 percent Q1, 89 percent Q2/3.
    Down from historic high of 133 percent 2007.
    Small increase in disposable income and of household debt.
    No eight ball to get behind.
    Poor things!

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Australian judge presiding over Volkswagen lawsuit needs to have things explained to him”

    On a silver platter……… Pch101 now has the ultimate Big Al rebuttal ;)

  • avatar
    Hummer

    So a 2.1L Diesel engine is now big? Talk about funny stuff, I thought they had to mean 10+L not motorcycle sized engines.

  • avatar
    RHD

    How will California deal with an intoxicated driver in an autonomous Googlecar? Are they drunk drivers or just passengers? This has the potential to kill the lucrative DUI enforcement industry.

    What if someone has a suspended license? Could they take a ride legally, or would they be violating the law?
    Would multiple offender drunk drivers have to blow in a Breathalyzer to start an autonomous car?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      For answers to all your questions, see a local California trial attorney. They paid good money to legislators to keep those questions unanswered in the law, so they can be settled at trial.

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