TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen E-Stall, Jeep Debut Has a Latin Flavor, and GM Has a Good Day in Court

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ttac news round up volkswagen e stall jeep debut has a latin flavor and gm has a

If you didn’t think an electric car could stall, Volkswagen has a Golf-sized dose of reality for you.

That, Jeep’s Compass/Patriot successor wants to woo south of the Equator, General Motors gets some good legal news, there’s money in them there charging stations, and Volvo gets a PR boost … after the break!

e-Golf fades to black

With millions of its maligned diesel vehicles waiting to be recalled, the last thing Volkswagen needed was a recall on its electric Golf models.

The automaker is recalling the 5,600 e-Golfs sold in the U.S. since late 2014 to fix a stalling issue caused by battery software, Reuters reports:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday that the German automaker is recalling its 2015-2016 e-Golf electric vehicle because software in the “high-voltage battery management system may inadvertently classify a brief internal electrical current surge/peak as a critical battery condition,” which could cause the car to shut down.

The only thing greener than an electric car is one that isn’t running, but for Volkswagen the recall is just another headache (and PR hit) as it tries to recast itself as a leader in EV technology.

Jeep courts the boys from Brazil

The upcoming replacement for Jeep’s Compass and Patriot won’t get its coming out party in the United States, or anywhere else in North America for that matter.

According to CarAdvice, the Fiat-based vehicle designed to replace both aging models will have its world premiere in Brazil, where the first of the new C-segment SUVs will roll off the line:

Jeep already makes the Renegade (which in part serves as a slightly smaller Patriot replacement) in the state-of-the-art new plant it opened in Brazil last year.

“There’s no problem with it, we decided to launch new C SUV actually in Brazil, which we’re planning on at the moment, it will be the first plant the gets the global vehicle. No delays, it’s on track, we just thought it was more appropriate,” [Jeep brand head Mike] Manley insisted.

The yet-unnamed model will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2016, and is rumored to ride atop a stretched version of the platform underpinning the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X. The entry-level Compass and Patriot bowed in 2007, and despite their age, continue to be strong sellers.

Good news for GM

A fraud claim leveled at General Motors over the faulty ignition switch scandal was thrown out by a federal judge on March 28, improving the automaker’s outlook for settling the remaining cases, Bloomberg reports:

A federal judge in Manhattan on Monday dismissed the allegation, agreeing with GM that driver Dionne Spain hadn’t presented enough evidence to show that the company made false or misleading statements about the defect in its cars. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman didn’t issue a written opinion. The ruling follows Furman’s earlier rejection of other claims, including a demand for punitive damages.

Jurors in Manhattan federal court will still weigh whether Spain’s 2007 Saturn Sky had a defect and whether that defect led to a crash on a New Orleans bridge in 2014. GM rested its defense Monday and the case will go to the jury Tuesday.

Despite paying $2 billion to accident victims and the U.S. government in the wake of the scandal, GM is challenging cases it feels aren’t related to the ignition issue.

Mining for electrons

The market for electric vehicle charging stations is about to get hotter than a faulty cell phone.

Market research company MarketsandMarkets has issued a report that forecasts recharging infrastructure reaching a market value of $12.61 billion by 2022.

Between now and 2022, the company estimates the public recharging station market will reflect a 29.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), thanks to private and public investments in the fledgling network.

Although Tesla has both feet in the EV game with its Supercharger network, most manufacturers of recharging stations are mainly European companies you’ve never heard of.

Volvo scores safety car PR coup

A Volvo V60 Polestar will be leading the field at FIA World Touring Car Championship races starting in April, the Swedish automaker has announced.

The speedy wagon, outfitted to comply with track safety rules, is the centerpiece of a long-term agreement signed by WTCC and Volvo’s performance division.

“It was an easy decision to start a cooperation with the WTCC on the Official Safety Car,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar, in a news release.

“This allows us to close the circle from track to road by showcasing customers the take-home alternative of our racing car technology in the form of the Volvo V60 Polestar Safety Car, at the same time being part of the vital and extensive safety work of the championship,”

The agreement will mean a big visibility boost for Polestar, whose products were recently made available on all Volvo vehicles.

[Images: Light bulb, James Bow e/Flickr ( CC BY 2.0); Volvo V60 Polestar, Pawel Dwulit/Toronto Star]

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3 of 8 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 29, 2016

    Too bad about the e-Golf, which gets good reviews. It's only a compliance car (available in just a few states), so the PR damage is rather limited.

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Mar 29, 2016

      The E-Golf is not ready for prime time, I guess. But that's never stopped VW before...!

  • Rcx141 Rcx141 on Mar 29, 2016

    If anybody could make an electric car that could stall, it'd be Faultswagen !

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.