TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Turns To Former FBI Chief, Renault Just 'Improving' Emissions, GM Buys Ridesharing Service

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.

ttac news round up volkswagen turns to former fbi chief renault just improving

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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12 of 14 comments
  • Budda-Boom Budda-Boom on Jan 19, 2016

    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.

    • See 1 previous
    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jan 20, 2016

      @JMII General Motors should merge with Yahoo! Two totally incompetent companies out-doing the Time-AOL Warner merger!

  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Jan 19, 2016

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

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    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Jan 20, 2016

      @Dimwit, 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? Hilarious

  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.
  • Lorenzo The other automakers are putting silly horsepower into the few RWD vehicles they have, just as Stellantis is about to kill off the most appropriate vehicles for that much horsepower. Somehow, I get the impression the OTHER Carlos, Tavares, not Ghosn, doesn't have a firm grasp of the American market.