Norway Files Lawsuit After Losing Lots of Kroner on Volkswagen

Norway is gearing up for a legal fight, and its sights are set on a troubled automaker from Germany.

The country’s sovereign wealth fund, built from oil and gas revenues and assorted investments, plans to file a class-action lawsuit targeting Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal, Reuters reports.

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You Can Take My Light-Duty Diesel Truck From My Cold, Dead Hands

You know the world is a bit upside-down when master wordsmith Jack Baruth spins a web so tight in favor of the EPA and CARB that even the Best and Brightest can’t see through it.

Jack makes a valid point today: light-duty trucks, especially those of the diesel variety, are often driven by people who don’t need the capability that those trucks provide. It’s those diesel pickups that spew tons of particulates and NOx into the atmosphere, both of which are harmful to human health. Goodbye, he says to the light-duty diesel truck, before we turn into Europe. Turbo-fed gasoline engines offer just as much torque as their diesel-powered brethren, he exclaims. There’s no need to buy an $80,000 phallus extender. What do you think of this twin-turbo V6 Raptor?

However, Mr. Baruth stopped just short of saying recreational use of light-duty diesel trucks should be outright banned, instead offering up a solution that’s analogous to gun control.

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Volkswagen Board Totally Cool With Management's Actions, Despite Ongoing Investigation

Investigators are still probing Volkswagen’s actions in the diesel emissions scandal, but the board that oversees the actions of the company’s top brass isn’t too concerned.

The supervisory board, made up of investor and labor interests, just cleared Volkswagen’s management of any breaches of duty in 2015 in preparation for their annual shareholders meeting, Bloomberg reports.

To say 2015 was an eventful year for Volkswagen is akin to saying Neil Armstrong had fun in the late ’60s. It was so eventful, its CEO took a permanent vacation. Many medicine cabinets in Wolfsburg were likely renovated to handle an influx of new prescriptions.

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Motor Mixtape: Drivers Aren't Shifting, so Ford Wants to Pump Up the (Engine) Volume

In the 1960s, automakers wanted to put a tiger in your tank, but now Ford Motor Company wants a howler monkey under your dash.

The automaker was concerned that drivers used to “shifting by ear” aren’t getting the gas mileage their efficient, small-displacement engines were designed for, so it patented an acoustic device that mimics a bigger powerplant, Autoblo g reports.

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BMW I Models Branch Out While Executives Take Off

BMW’s electric car sub-brand is growing, thanks to new and upgraded models, but its management ranks are shrinking as executives flee to a Chinese startup.

Three top names, including the program’s head, were lured to China’s Future Mobility Corp. this year, Automotive News Europe reports, while sales dropped by nearly a quarter in the first three months of 2016.

Call it a case of “i” gotta go.

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Volkswagen Shows Off Its New Gasoline-Powered Gas Engine That Runs on Gas

Diesel? What’s that?

Volkswagen is embracing a far less controversial type of fuel with its new 1.5-liter TSI engine, unveiled yesterday at the Vienna Motor Symposium.

The ultra-efficient four-cylinder uses variable turbine geometry (VTG) in its turbocharger to generate peak torque at a low 1,300 rpm, then maintain a flat torque curve until about 4,500 rpm. This leads to fuel economy gains and a better driving experience.

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Your Roof Rack Hates the Environment and Your Wallet

Yeah, yeah, one day you’re going to put skis up there.

Automakers go to great lengths to make vehicles aerodynamic, adding grille shutters and painstakingly shaving off excess weight, but drivers are just blowing away the hard work with their roof racks, a new study reports (via CNET).

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Volkswagen's Buyback Might Be Worse (Environmentally) Than the Crime

Update: I made a decimal flub. The math is corrected. Thanks to commenter ChemEng for pointing it out. We’ll post a new piece on Monday.

There’s no denying it: Volkswagen cheated. It confessed to the crime of emitting up to 40 times over the legal limit allowed for NOx. We learned yesterday (and the day before, to some degree), that Volkswagen will fix the vehicles that can be fixed, if owners so choose.

But what happens to all those diesel cars, which are perfectly good aside from emitting more NOx than they should, if owners decide to cut and run? And what happens to all those vehicles that can’t be fixed? Volkswagen has vowed to buy them back from customers — to which I ask, what then?

There are few options Volkswagen can employ to unload the massive windfall of cars coming its way, and none of them are particularly environmentally friendly.

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Volkswagen's Emissions Cheating Just Made It Tougher for Everyone
There’s a chance drivers may be in for an even tougher smog test next time around, all thanks to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. Like the kid who made a ruckus in school and caused the whole class to be sent to detention, VW’s “defeat device” shenanigans may cause drivers of all vehicle brands to be studied under a more glaring microscope at test time, Bloomberg reports.
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Volkswagen Poised to Offer a Mass Buyback Program

Dirty Volkswagen diesels equipped with illicit “defeat devices” could soon be flying off driveways and into oblivion.

Sources briefed on the matter told Reuters (via Automotive News) that the automaker will offer to buy back up to half a million 2.0-liter TDI models in the U.S. that emit illegal levels of smog-causing emissions.

They expect that Volkswagen will make the offer tomorrow before a federal judge. The company’s deadline for a U.S. fix is tomorrow, and a failure to act will result in a trial the automaker desperately wants to avoid.

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Volkswagen Might Pay Every U.S. Diesel Owner $5,000 to Avoid a Trial

On the eve of a key U.S. deadline for a diesel emissions fix, Volkswagen has reportedly agreed to pay all American owners of afflicted TDI models $5,000 each.

The deal, reported by Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, would allow the automaker to avoid going to trial this summer, according to Automotive News.

Volkswagen was facing an April 21 deadline to outline a comprehensive fix for the 580,000 U.S. diesel models equipped with “ defeat devices” designed to sidestep emissions regulations. The deadline was set in March by a U.S. District Court judge.

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Volkswagen Won't Even Look at Its First-Quarter Earnings

Nope. Nuh-uh. Not gonna do it.

That was Volkswagen’s reaction to the idea of publishing its first-quarter results on time, according to Automotive News Europe, meaning the automaker’s current financial standing will be unknown until May 31.

The beleaguered company has bigger things to deal with in the near term — mainly, meeting the U.S. government’s April 21 deadline for a fix for vehicles caught up in the diesel emissions scandal. An April 21 deadline was issued last month by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, extending a missed deadline on a one-time-only basis.

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'Green Cars Only' Laws: Coming to a Debate Near You
When you’re in conversation with a self-described urbanist, it’s usually impossible to avoid numerous references to Amsterdam, that progressive utopia of bikes, tulips, marijuana-smoking tourists, and more bikes.Well, expect to hear about it even more, now that Dutch parliament has passed a Dutch Labor Party motion to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles in that country after 2025, according to Auto Express. The bill, which requires senate approval to become the law of the land, would see existing gas and diesel vehicles grandfathered, and the sale of new ones banned.
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Green Giant: Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Has Smoggy China in Its Sights

The Beijing Motor Show begins next week, but Buick couldn’t wait a minute longer.

At yesterday’s 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai (was there a parade?), the automaker rolled out its LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), a model tailor-made for the Chinese market.

China loves Buicks, and Buick loves them right back, so much so that the U.S. will get a Chinese-made model this fall. The LaCrosse HEV is part of General Motors’ plan to foist as many vehicles on China as possible.

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There's a (100-Mile) Ford in Your Future, But That's About It

Ford Motor Company is hitting the brakes in the electric vehicle range war.

While competitors like Tesla and General Motors are busy preparing EVs with ranges of 200 miles or more, Ford is staying put at the 100-mile line, Automotive News has reported.

Though it plays well in the plug-in hybrid game with models like the C-Max and Fusion Energi, the automaker’s only “pure” EV — the Focus Electric — has lingered near the back of the pack in terms of range since debuting in 2012.

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  • MaintenanceCosts This looks really surprisingly different from the Blazer EV. It's more boring, but it's also more Honda, and for that reason alone it will be taken a lot more seriously in US markets.
  • ToolGuy I found this interesting; you might too: https://youtu.be/asb4jLWWTbQ
  • SCE to AUX Q: "How do you fix automotive media?A: The same way you fix the auto show.That is to say: Don't live in the past, believing every story is original with you. Offer something insightful and useful to your audience that they can't get anywhere else.The auto show allows consumers to sit inside many vehicles under one roof, without sales pressure - something unavailable anywhere else. That's it. The media should accept that the auto show offers nothing new for them anymore, and the auto show should stop pretending that it does.Good examples:[list][*]I've flamed Posky many times, but his long background stories can be thought-provoking and informative. I may not always agree with some of the posturing, but at least they dig deeper than someone's press release.[/*][*]Alex on Autos has some of the best video reviews. He wastes absolutely no time getting to the substance, and his formula is reliable. He packs a lot into 25 minutes.[/*][*]Everyday Reviews: This likeable couple/family covers the daily life aspects of new cars they test - child car seats, user interface, fuel economy, and so on. No hype - just useful.[/*][/list]Bad examples:[list][*]DragTimes: In a 20-minute video, you get 1 minute of racing and 19 minutes of bromance talk. I keep hoping it will improve, but it doesn't.[/*][*]Road and Track's web page is heavily tilted toward unaffordable niche sports cars and racing, with a few feature articles on daily drivers. I visit, but it feels like I'm in a Porsche dealership.[/*][/list]
  • BSttac Honestly automotive journalism is all but dead. Its mostly bloggers with a left based agenda. Cnet and the Drive especially had some really horrible bloggers. Road and Track also has some terrible bloggers so it would not surprise me if they are next. Just look at most bloggers complain about going to an automotive show when they dont realize its not even for them. Very spoiled and out of touch individuals
  • Jkross22 I forgot to include Bring a Trailer. It's so enjoyable to revisit cars from different eras and to read what the most knowlegable have to say about those types of cars.