By on January 19, 2016

Volkswagen just tabbed a former FBI director to be the highest paid traffic cop in the universe.

That, Renault is only “improving” its emissions, GM’s big bet on ride sharing and the world’s biggest auto supplier says diesel isn’t dead … after the break!

Report: Volkswagen will tab former FBI director to help in US investigations

Volkswagen will ask former head of the FBI, Louis Freeh, to help it navigate the barrage of U.S. investigations into its cheating diesel emissions scandal, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported (via Automotive News).

The automaker faces a litany of lawsuits from federal and state authorities in addition to hundreds of individual lawsuits brought by owners.

In 2010, Freeh helped steer Daimler out of a bribery scandal that cost the automaker $185 million. At Daimler, Freeh worked with Christine Hohmann-Dennhard, who recently left Daimler to become Volkswagen’s legal chief.


Renault’s just ‘improving’ emissions of diesel cars, you guys

Renault will recall and reprogram up to 700,000 cars equipped with diesel engines to reduce their emissions, but if you thought this is comparable to Volkswagen’s massive diesel scandal you are dead wrong, somehow.

From Reuters:

“We agree that our position is not satisfactory,” Renault Chief Competitive Officer Thierry Bollore told reporters at the company’s headquarters west of Paris, while disputing many of the reported measurements. “We are the first ones to admit that we have room for improvement.”

From Automotive News Europe:

“We are not cheating, we are meeting the norms, and we are not trying to trick the consumer,” Bollore said.

(There’s no French idiom for “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” apparently. — Aaron)

The fix comes after German environmental groups and others have said that Renault’s diesel engines are particularly prolific polluters and after French authorities paid Renault a visit a couple of weeks ago.


Supplier Bosch still sees a future for diesel

Speaking to Automotive News, U.S. chairman of Bosch Werner Struth said that diesel powertrains can still comply with emissions regulations in the States and Europe.

Struth said urea-equipped exhausts systems can be particularly clean when, you know, the injectors are actually working.

Bosch is the supplier who provided Volkswagen with parts for more than 11 million illegally polluting cars around the world — including nearly 600,000 in the U.S. In leaked reports last year, Bosch engineers warned Volkswagen that testing software used for production would be illegal.


Auto dealers talk direct sales and autonomous cars in D.C.

Car dealers and manufacturers are holding a one-day workshop Tuesday to discuss regulations for car sales, including direct-sales by manufacturers.

The webcast is available here, and the good stuff heats up around 2:15 ET when direct sales and future autonomous cars come up for discussion.

Washington D.C. workshops are like watching C-SPAN, but only more boring. Don’t worry: We’ll report back if you decide to skip it.

General Motors Renaissance Center HQ

General Motors buys leftovers of Sidecar for $39M

General Motors will purchase the remnants of defunct ride-sharing company Sidecar for $39 million, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

The purchase follows GM’s investment of $500 million into Lyft, and signals the automaker’s expansion into ride-sharing services.

In the report, Bloomberg reported that GM trademarked the name “Maven” last November for a ride-sharing application.

[Image: GM]

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14 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Turns To Former FBI Chief, Renault Just ‘Improving’ Emissions, GM Buys Ridesharing Service...”

  • avatar

    A key additional detail from Automotive News:

    “Fixing the filters in the (Renault) Captur will take about half a day per engine. The faulty filters turned on between 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and 35 Celsius. European tests for engine emissions are run at temperatures of 20 C to 30 C. Average real-world temperatures in Paris are much lower, however. Daytime average highs there exceed 17 C only between May and September.”

    Apparently it’s just a coincidence that all the faulty filters work consistently only within the temperature range of the European emission tests, and are turned off otherwise. Only VW cheats, other companies just have faulty parts.

  • avatar

    This is a general question: when the term “Chief” is used in the context of a business or organization, what level of employee is that supposed to refer to? I can never tell if it refers to any number of the Chief ___ Officers or the CEO, or a very high level manager.

    What about the term “Boss”?

    TTAC uses both on a somewhat regular basis.

  • avatar

    This kind of stuff is baked deeply into GM’s DNA.

    (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit”)

    That said, the idea makes sense to me if you’re trying to make inroads with urban Millennials…some of whom might find themselves in the market for a car someday. Hopefully ancient history will not repeat itself.

    • 0 avatar

      $39 million on a company that had such a great business model that they went OUT of business in only 4 years? Huh? What is the General actually buying here? A database of users? Some technology patents that clearly aren’t as good as what Uber or Lyft have? Is GM so out of touch they needed to BUY this company to understand how ride share works? If so why did they buy a company that failed? Does GM think they can fix it? Maybe with a fleet of Volts and Bolts? Sorry but this purchase makes ZERO sense to me.

  • avatar

    Diesel cars and Trucks are still selling in increasing numbers outside NA. Autonomous Cars? Really ? Worse than EV’s

    • 0 avatar

      You’ve got old data mate. Top 5 countries in Europe have decreasing uptake of diesel new cars. New diesel car sales are falling flat in most other counties, especially if they have full emissions standards and make their citizen’s heath a top priority.

      And the VW scandal didn’t hit until mid/late 2015. New diesel car sales are expected to torpedo, outside of the US too, in the next decades.

      Gas cars have advanced in many ways, while diesel cars have lost too many past advantages.

      • 0 avatar

        Totally false, diesel is booming. EFI Gas engines are the next target, so which country has a lot of EFI Gas engines?
        The VW Scandal has barely made a hiccup in diesel sales. By the way Audi VW’s up market brand has just released a new Diesel sedan

        • 0 avatar

          Why do you do this to yourself? Just quit. At least BAFO has the dignity to scamper off, when wrong, caught telling false tales or raw BS.

          Show proof or links otherwise. That’s how it works. Just stating it means zero, especially from you.

          Everything you state has to be checked for BS and or twisted spin.

          You’ve got 2010 data or something. Different world then and diesel emissions were just getting started around the world, a couple years behind the US.

          The VW scandal went down late in 2015, but it’s not the only reason consumers around the world are moving away from diesel autos.

          Sure Audi sales are up, but what about *DIESEL* Audi sales vs gas Audis. Your article says nothing about diesel sales, just Audi sales.

          So where would a new Audi TDI sell well? The US? Mainland Africa? No doubt the project was greenlit years before the TDI scandal hit and world diesel, new car sales were still flat.

          • 0 avatar

            Are you an idiot as well as a troll?
            Everything is on the up.
            “Everything you state ” is BS.. Try. And post some facts, not opinions
            Next you will say midsize Pickups are not selling. Your BS never stops
            Are you an IT guy who is having a breakdown? That Audi is 2016

          • 0 avatar

            Here I give you and clear/obvious facts, straight forward **LINKS**, truth (as painful as it may be), and you call it opinion and lies?

            Did I mention the links??

            This while you come up with nothing, absolute zero to prove your diesel fairy tale?

            Why do I even bother?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            You bother maybe to troll?

          • 0 avatar

            Maybe you could help out your unfortunate mate with the facts, links or proof he’s lacking?

            He’s been spouting the same rhetoric for some time, “Diesels are selling in increasing numbers outside of NA”, or some crap like that.

            It seemed plausible, so I let it go… Now I looked it up. Took 5 second. The complete and total OPPOSITE is what’s true!

            What do you have to say about THAT??

          • 0 avatar

            Diesels are selling so fast, they cannot keep them on the lots. Pretty easy for a Troll, like you to get links. Well that is what you do.
            Why do you deny the obvious? So midsize Pickups are dying?

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