TTAC News Round-up: Pumped About Porsche; GM's Going To Trial; And Diesel's Dead, Baby
Man, people are really pumped about the cool, expensive cars they just bought.
That nugget of wisdom, Russia’s perpetual Cash for Clunkers program, VW’s appeal to Colorado and Washington buyers and GM’s knows what way the wind is blowing now … after the break!
Volkswagen Canada's 'Goodwill' Program Started, Damn Exchange Rate
Volkswagen in Canada rolled out the same “goodwill” package for Canadian customers that they did for U.S. customers last month, according to Green Car Reports (via Autoblog).
Diesel buyers north of the border — up to 100,000 of them — will get the same $500 Visa gift card, $500 dealer gift card and three years of roadside assistance that U.S. owners received in November.
Volkswagen diesel owners can register their cars via Volkswagen Canada’s diesel emissions site.
TTAC News Round-up: Winterkorn Appears on BI Top 15 List, Oil Near 11-Year Low (Again), and Jeep Goes Online in India
Where do you end up if you’re the former CEO of a company guilty of cheating diesel emissions tests, the fallout of which wipes out billions of dollars of value from said company? Business Insider’s “The 15 biggest career crashes of 2015” list, of course.
That, and Nissan prices the new Sentra, oil is still on a well-lubricated downhill slide, Jeep is now online in India, and more … after the break!
Environmental Leaders Rebut Musk Letter to CARB
Fifteen leaders of environmental and health groups signed off on a letter sent to environmental regulators Dec. 18 asking officials to fully punish Volkswagen in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others asking authorities to push for electric vehicles instead.
The letter, which was signed by the policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air and the director of the Sierra Club California, among others, calls for “vigorous enforcement of both criminal and civil laws” to deter actions like Volkswagen’s cheating of diesel emissions tests.
The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed in September that Volkswagen admitted to fitting nearly 500,000 cars in the U.S. with an illegal “defeat device” designed to cheat emissions tests. In November, the agencies said an additional 85,000 cars with 3-liter diesel engines were cheating too.
TTAC News Round-Up: Mazda's Crossover Mania, Hyundai Lands a Lambo Man, Toyota is Just The Tops
Newly promoted, high-priced executives at Mazda seem to think there’s something to this crossover fad.
That, Hyundai’s landed a Benjamin Button to lead Genesis and I wish I would have known how cheap I could have purchased an F1 team … after the break.
Elon Musk, Others to CARB: Just Make VW Build EVs Faster
Tesla chief Elon Musk and more than 40 other executives called on the California Air Resources Board to release Volkswagen from its mandate to fix thousands of polluting cars in that state and instead invest that money in electric vehicles.
Musk, and other executives including Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said regulators would more effectively reduce emissions to “cure the air, not the cars,” according to the letter:
A satisfactory way to fix all the diesel cars does not likely exist, so this solution side steps the great injury and uncertainty that imposing an ineffective fix would place on individual diesel car owners. A drawn out and partial failure of the process will only exacerbate the public’s lack of trust in the industry and its regulators. By explicit design, this proposal would achieve, in contrast, a minimum of a 10 (times) reduction in pollutant emissions as compared to a complete fix.
Volkswagen Considers 'Term Limits' For Key Positions To Increase Oversight
Volkswagen executives may rotate in and out of key positions with the company to increase oversight and possibly reduce the chance for another massive cheating scandal that has engulfed the automaker, Reuters reported (via Welt am Sonntag).
Supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch told the German newspaper that the automaker would consider steps such as rotating engineers on a regular basis and developing key components with multiple layers of oversight would help change a corporate culture that pressured workers into cheating emissions standards.
“We need a culture throughout the Group, which not only tolerates different opinions, but permits errors. It is important that mistakes are made only once,” Pötsch told Welt am Sonntag.
California Air Resources Board Delays Review of Volkswagen's Diesel Fix
The California Air Resources Board told Volkswagen on Friday that it would take three more weeks to review the automaker’s proposed fix for its 2-liter diesel engines after the automaker added “significant” information to its plan, according to a letter sent by regulators.
The letter indicated that Volkswagen had submitted “additional significant information” to the board Dec. 14-16 regarding its proposed fixes for its illegally polluting cars and that the board would take until Jan. 14 to review that additional data. On Nov. 20, Volkswagen submitted its plan to CARB to fix more than 482,000 cars in the U.S., which could have been approved as early as Dec. 22.
It’s unclear from the letter what the additional information from Volkswagen may be. The automaker didn’t immediately comment on the letter.
TTAC News Round-up: Takata Can't Silo, Porsche's New Production Boss, Suppliers Love Each Other
Who would have known that one of the largest parts supply recalls in U.S. history could poison the well for the rest of your business?
That, and Jeep needs you to keep it dry for a minute, Porsche pulls another player from Volkswagen’s bench and how big does Magna International’s yacht need to be anyway, after the jump.
Volkswagen Hires High-profile Disaster Lawyer Feinberg To Handle Claims
Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who handled claims against General Motors for its faulty ignition switches that killed 124 people, will handle claims against Volkswagen stemming from its cheating diesel engines, the automaker announced Thursday.
“His extensive experience in handling such complex matters will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers,” Michael Horn, president of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement.
In addition to Feinberg’s experience with GM, his office also handled claims against BP for its Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Volkswagen Temporarily Shutters Showcase Phaeton Plant To Save Money
Volkswagen will suspend production at its small, flagship facility in Dresden that produces the Phaeton for at least a year, Reuters reported ( via Automotive News).
The small, boutique plant will be shuttered to help cut costs for the automaker, which announced it would scale back some projects to help it pay for its massive diesel scandal. According to the report, development of the Phaeton cost roughly $1.1 billion and the sedan hasn’t met sales targets since it was introduced 2002.
Reuters reported that the plant would be shuttered for about a year, beginning in March, and would be retooled to build an all-electric Phaeton by about 2019.
TTAC News Round-up: India Bans Big Diesels, Fed Raises Rates and Australian Judge Needs a Mechanic (or Google)
On Wednesday, Dehli, India banned the registration of diesel SUVs and luxury cars with larger (over 2,000 cc) engines.
That, and a judge in Australia is really confused about Volkswagen’s “defeat device,” the Federal Reserve interest rate hike and California not doing exactly what Google wants, after the jump.
Volkswagen's Woes Mount, Fraud Office Investigating Misuse of Money
The European Union’s anti-fraud office is investigating Volkswagen for misusing publicly funded loans to develop illegally cheating software in its cars, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Volkswagen was provided the low-interest loans by the European Investment Bank to develop engines that were more fuel-efficient and produce less carbon dioxide, according to the report. In September, the automaker admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide polluted more than advertised and used an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions tests.
The automaker’s woes compounded Wednesday: A European bank — partly funded by the U.S. — announced it would suspend a $327 million loan to Volkswagen that would have been used to build a $1.2 billion factory in Poland. That factory was slated to build commercial vehicles.
Volkswagen Given Go-ahead to Fix European Diesel Cars
German transportation authorities approved Wednesday Volkswagen’s fix for 8.5 million illegally polluting cars in Europe, according to the automaker.
Fixes for the automaker’s 1.2-, 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines include software updates and, for Volkswagen’s 1.6-liter models, a mesh air pipe that calms air ahead of its intake mass air sensor.
The fixes are approved for Europe only.
Last month, Volkswagen officials submitted its proposed fix for North American cars to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. Those fixes have not yet been approved by those agencies.
Supplier Bosch Under Investigation for Role in VW Cheating Scandal
Auto supply giant Bosch is being investigated for its part in the widespread emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen, Bloomberg reported ( via Automotive News).
Prosecutors in Stuttgart say that they’ve contacted the company, which supplied Volkswagen with engine control modules that helped the cars illegally pass emissions tests, about their role in engineering the illegal devices.
A spokeswoman for Bosch said it would comply with requests from authorities.