TTAC News Round-up: Ford Soothes Investors, Dodge Gets Its DiCaprio Moment, and Kentucky Aims for Volkswagen's Center Mass

Ford is doing so well, you’d be a damn fool to ever think of not investing in Ford, says Ford.

That, hiring a crop of cranky old people paid off for Dodge, Kentucky joins the let’s-sue-Volkswagen party, Honda gets a Hoosier boost, and ethanol continues to suck … after the break!

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TTAC News Round-up: Daimler Sets GPS to Poland, Porsche Execs Get Off, and Self-Driving Rules Coming

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler is getting cold feet about opening a factory in Russia, and thinks it might just skip a little bit west.

That, two Porsche executives avoid the Big House, the NHTSA wants autonomous rules post-haste, Volkswagen seeks a quick way out of trouble, and Aston Martin wants an F1-inspired moonshot … after the break!

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Volkswagen Prepares Its Pollution Penance

After its excessively dirty diesels polluted the nation’s air for years, Volkswagen is on the verge of making environmental reparations in the U.S. and state of California, Bloomberg reports.

The automaker is reportedly in talks with U.S authorities to create two remediation funds aimed at offsetting some of the environmental (and possibly legal) damage resulting from the diesel emissions scandal.

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No Fixed Abode: Time For Volkswagen To Say Goodbye

The way my life has been going lately, I’m seriously considering selecting a random TTAC reader to be the executor of my modest estate and then taking a shot at BASE-jumping off the Petronas Towers. If that reader happens to be you, then I need you to do at least this one thing. Have Wal-Mart or whomever the lowest bidder happens to be engrave the following on my headstone: “He saw passive aggression and, wherever possible, met it with actual aggression.”

I’m old enough to remember when women were passive-aggressive and men were just plain mean, instead of the other way ’round. I liked it better. The other night I was at dinner and my date asked for coffee and the swishy waiter pouted, “We can do it, if you want to wait fifteen minutes.” I’d rather he said, “Go to hell. We don’t serve coffee here.” I could respect that.

Even in 2016, however, it’s rare for an entire company to be passive-aggressive. But that’s exactly what Volkswagen is doing: threatening to abandon the mass market in the United States, presumably because its current exposure to lawsuits and government penalties is too high and its showroom traffic isn’t exactly at Beetles-in-the-Summer-Of-Love levels. I don’t know what it thinks such a move would accomplish, but I do know what the proper response is to a girlfriend, or colleague, who tries that approach: You hold the door open for them and let it hit them in the ass on the way out.

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Volkswagen Investors Want an Expensive Pound of Flesh

The numbers are big — 278 investors seeking $3.61 billion — but the latest lawsuit leveled at Volkswagen is merely another drop in the penalty bucket for the embattled automaker.

As has been expected for some time, a group of institutional investors from numerous countries is seeking compensation for financial damage caused by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, Reuters is reporting.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in a Lower Saxony court — the same jurisdiction as Volkswagen’s headquarters — and alleges the automaker breached its duty under capital markets law between the time the “defeat device” was first installed in diesel models and when the scandal went public last September.

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Former Volkswagen Employee Claims Unlawful Firing Over Data Deletions

A former employee, who was fired after news of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal broke, is claiming in a lawsuit that he was let go from the automaker after noticing data related to the scandal was being deleted, several German language outlets are reporting (via Automotive News).

The lawsuit, filed by a former employee of Volkswagen Group of America, is the first possible evidence made public so far of a good, old fashioned cover up on this side of the Atlantic.

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U.S. Volkswagen Dealers Are Poised to Revolt

Volkswagen has been on the ropes for months as regulators, governments and the buying public rain blows in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal, but its newest foe might come from the inside — its U.S. dealer network.

American dealers are feeling abandoned by their distracted German parent and could be on the verge of open revolt, Automotive News reports.

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Volkswagen to Slash Office Jobs by Next Year, Says Report

Like ripples in a pool of sulphur-rich oil, the impact from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal keeps spreading.

In a cost-cutting measure designed to mitigate the growing financial damage caused by the scandal, Volkswagen is planning to cut 3,000 administration jobs in Germany, according to Reuters.

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Apparently Volkswagen USA's Fall From Grace Hasn't Reached Its Sales Nadir Yet

The good news? Volkswagen of America sold more new vehicles in February 2016 than the company managed to sell in January 2016.

The bad news? Improving upon January’s results was a given. February volume was significantly stronger across the industry, just as it always is. Even as industry-wide sales grew 17 percent compared with January, Volkswagen sales grew 11 percent. And while the industry surged to its best February results since 2001, Volkswagen brand sales still fell to the lowest February total in five years.

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What Did Volkswagen's CEO Know?

The first rumblings of an approaching crisis reached the highest levels of Volkswagen management in May 2014, but how much knowledge then-CEO Martin Winterkorn had of the looming diesel emissions scandal is still debatable.

It’s debatable because Winterkorn should have known about the initial study that raised red flags with environmental regulators — he was presented with a memo detailing the situation — but to this day Volkswagen can’t say if he even read it.

Later, the matter was discussed in the vicinity of Winterkorn … but Volkswagen doesn’t know if his ears picked up the dialogue.

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TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Sees a Savior, Goodyear Dreams of Spheres, and Toyota Shakes It Up

An American man will soon enjoy the task of making people love his controversial company again.

That, Goodyear’s been watching I, Robot, Toyota shatters its corporate structure, sentiment grows for better braking, and the feds say the airbag recall has gone far enough … after the break!

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Mercedes-Benz Hasn't Escaped the Diesel Dragnet

After staying relatively clean in the ongoing diesel emissions scandal that’s keeping European automakers up at night, Mercedes-Benz now finds itself the potential target of an Environmental Protection Agency investigation, Automotive News Europe reports.

The EPA’s request for information targets the nitrous oxide emissions of the company’s Bluetec diesel engines, and comes less than two weeks after a class-action lawsuit was filed by law firm Hagens Berman (of General Motors ignition switch fame).

Yes, that sound you’re hearing is executives loosening their collars in Stuttgart.

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TTAC News Round-up: Clock Ticks at Volkswagen, CEO Switch and Volvo Sees a Chance

The Environmental Protection Agency is pointing at its watch and glaring at Volkswagen.

That, an opening for the Swedes, an electric propulsion prediction, a high-end guy gets a new job, and Tesla gets targeted in Hoosierville … after the break!

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EPA Asks Volkswagen to Build Electric Vehicles in US, But What Could It Build?

The Environmental Protection Agency has asked Volkswagen to build electric vehicles in the United States as part of an effort to make up for nearly 600,000 illegally polluting diesels, reported German newspaper Welt am Sonntag (via Automotive News).

The proposal, if accepted by both parties, could bring electric vehicle production to Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which currently produces gasoline and diesel versions of the Volkswagen Passat and is slated to build a three-row midsize SUV by the end of 2016.

But what electric vehicles could Volkswagen build in the United States?

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Volkswagen TDI Owners Being Stuck With $1,000+ AdBlue Heater Repairs, Still Not EPA Compliant

Owners of some Volkswagen TDI models are experiencing premature selective catalyst reduction (SCR) failures because of AdBlue heaters that, in some cases, aren’t lasting more than 50,000 miles.

According to a source who spoke to TTAC under the condition of anonymity, many Volkswagen TDI owners are arriving at dealerships after seeing check engine lights for failing AdBlue (diesel emissions fluid) heaters. Those heaters, explained the source, fail “based more on time than mileage” and cost over $1,000 to replace.

The cost of the parts and labor is a slap to the face for many TDI owners, as SCR systems in those cars are not scrubbing the required amount of NOx from diesel exhaust even when the AdBlue heaters are operating properly.

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  • Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.
  • Stodge I test drove the 200S and damn, its suspension was so firm, I was convinced it didn't actually include suspension at all. It hurt my spine and hip, it was that firm.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird If Mopar had only offered sport hatch versions of the 200 and or Dart they might have sold more of them for folks who wanted some more versatility without having to go for a small utility Compass Patriot or new at the time Renegade or Cherokee.
  • El scotto I started driving in the late 70's. The cars high school kids could afford and wanted were very very worn out muscle cars. Oh Lordy those V-8's bring back some happy memories. Oh there some outliers in my crowd, a VW Bug and a Dodge Scamp with slant six; neither car would die. In 10 years their will be young people wanting very used Teslas or Dodge's with hemis. B&B, I say that if someone is excited about their EV, Hybrid, or Hemi welcome them to the club of people who like cars.
  • El scotto Farley and Billy Ford need to put on some jeans, flannel shirts and PPE. They should (but never will) walk the factory floors and ask "what is wrong?", "what could we be doing better?"Let me caveat that. Let Jimmy and Billy explain that any constructive criticisms will be non-attributable. Oh they can use platitude like making the house level again or setting the ship on the right course.Sadly I suspect than many, many Power Points will die in vain in the executive suites in Dearborn. At least three if not four very expensive consulting teams will be hired to review Ford's QC problems. Four consulting teams will mean four different solutions. None them will be put in action. Ford will still have huge QC problems.