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

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
ttac news round up india bans big diesels fed raises rates and australian judge

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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]

Join the conversation
4 of 15 comments
  • Hummer Hummer on Dec 17, 2015

    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.

    • Brettc Brettc on Dec 17, 2015

      Hey, they're trying to clean things up. Everyone knows that brand new diesel SUVs with 2.1L and larger engines is the root of all their problems.

  • RHD RHD on Dec 18, 2015

    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?

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Dec 19, 2015

      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.

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.