By on March 29, 2016

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf

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!

light bulb (James Bowe/Flickr)

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.

2014 Jeep Compass Limited Chrysler Photo

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.

GM

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.

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf DC Charging

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.

2015 Volvo V60 Polestar

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 Bowe/Flickr (CC BY 2.0); Volvo V60 Polestar, Pawel Dwulit/Toronto Star]

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8 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen e-Stall, Jeep Debut Has a Latin Flavor, and GM Has a Good Day in Court...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That Pole* blue is a very fetching color. I wish it were available on regular, comfortable models which were not too expensive.

    But that would dilute the special-ness, so I get it.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Not does it have a great color, but Polestar would make a great name for a daughter!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      One of my friends has a Volvo wagon in that shade of blue.

      He told me he had to choose European delivery to get it. He could be retired if he wanted to be, and travels globally for his job – so he enjoyed the trip and telling the story.

      I don’t remember any Polestar badges on it, but that blue is so striking that I could have missed them.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    That “… stretched version of the platform underpinning the Jeep Renegade…” would make a great base platform for that Renegade-based Commanche pickup with extended cab.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      +1

      I hope Jeep continues to sell the Patriot as a fleet vehicle for a year or two. The Patrot/Compass have been selling around 17k units a month.

      The renegade is selling well for its segment, but just to break even on volume once those two are phased out this vehicle is going to have to do pretty well.

      Let’s hope FCA put it on a diet too.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    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.

  • avatar
    rcx141

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

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