Volvo Revives Subscription Scheme for California
Volvo Cars is reintroducing its subscription model in California, despite having previously gotten in trouble for violating the state's franchise laws. While the automotive industry has attempted to hype the premise for years, vehicle subscription services haven't gotten much love from consumers and tend to exist in a legal gray zone that makes regulators uneasy. We even bashed them years ago for being one of the most expensive ways to get into an automobile, with only a modicum of features to help rationalize the added expenditure.
California Officially Bans Pre-2010 Diesel Trucks, Buses
In 2008, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved legislation designed to curtail emissions from older trucks and buses operating within the state. Known as the “Heavy Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction” measure, the law originally called for long-haul truckers to install specialized tires and aerodynamic devices on their trailers that improved fuel economy. However, it’s gone through numerous updates over the years, eventually making it illegal to even operate certain vehicles equipped with the wrong kinds of engines. The latest update bans any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 14,000 pounds using an engine manufactured before 2010.
California Seeking to Fine Companies Over Gasoline Price Gouging
Despite the perpetual ebb and flow of fuel prices across the United States, you can reliably count on California having some of the highest per-gallon costs in the nation. While that’s not entirely the fault of energy companies – California’s high tax rate on just about everything is a major factor here – oil firms are indeed raking in unprecedented profits right now and the government would much rather you focus on that than any role it might have likewise played. To that effect, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced new financial penalties for corporations accused of price-gouging wherever fueling is concerned.
Junkyard Find: 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca
By the early 2000s, Fuji Heavy Industries was raking in fat piles of yen by selling slightly lifted Subaru Legacy wagons with plastic cladding, weather-band radios, and a general air of outdoorsiness. The real money, though, would come from selling SUVs in North America, and so the Legacy chassis got the growth-hormone treatment and a truck-inspired body. This was the Subaru B9 Tribeca, which made its debut as a 2006 model.
Will New Laws Prevent Catalytic Converter Thefts?
With catalytic converter theft having risen by 300 percent across the United States through the summer of 2021, regions of the country that have seen crime rates dwarfing the already brutal national average have started to introduce laws designed to prevent the issue from getting any worse.
California Introduces Strict New Laws for Auto Parts
On Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed new legislation designed to prevent catalytic-converter thefts. The auto part has become a preferred target for criminals, especially on the West Coast, due to its high content of precious metals and relative ease of removal. Last year, more than 18,000 units are believed to have been hacked off in California alone and the issue only seems to be getting worse.
Gas War: Pro-EV California Declares State of Emergency, Ask Residents to Use Less Electricity
Just days after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) finalized its plan to ban internal combustion engines by 2035, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency due to an overtaxed energy grid. Citizens are now being asked to ration their power usage while the government tries to figure out new protocols for dealing with the matter. This includes asking the owners of all-electric vehicles to hold off on charging them. However, people are starting to wonder what this ultimately means with respect to the proposed future where the state has effectively mandated all residents to drive EVs.
Gas War: California Finalizes Combustion Ban Plan
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is supposed to vote on stricter rules that will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035 later today. But we already know what the results will be because the organization is about as mentally homogeneous as a eusocial insect colony and is strongly supported by the state government. So let’s cut to the chase and hear what California has to look forward to before seeing what kind of combustion bans are taking place in other parts of the world.
California Cops Apparently Used to Settle Batmobile Business Dispute
This is a weird one. And a bit confusing. Stay with us as we try to explain.
ABC7 in the San Francisco area has quite the story.
It involves a Batmobile replica, law enforcement, and cross-country travel. Oh, and taxpayer dollars.
The Great Pacific Road Trip Part 3
As the reader may discern from the previous installments of this tale, a fair amount of planning and preparation had been undertaken to get to the point where your author could set forth on California’s roads in one slightly time-worn 1975 Ford LTD.
Junkyard Find: 2006 Toyota Camry With Manual Transmission
When I walk the rows of a big Ewe Pullet-style self-service car graveyard, I always take a look inside every 2000s Toyota Camry I see. I do this because I wish to document one of the most elusive of all junkyard inmates: One of the final Camrys sold in the United States with a factory-installed manual transmission. Prior to today's Junkyard Find, the newest discarded three-pedal Camry I'd found was a 2001 model in California. We're pushing the record another five years forward today because I've found this five-on-the-floor-equipped 2006 Camry in the very same yard.
It's Monterey, Jack: RM Sotheby's Hopes to Make Bank in California
Those of you who prefer wine and cheese over beer and burgers would probably find yourself at the Monterey Car Week 2022 & Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance rather than the Woodward Dream Cruise – both are held on the third weekend of August. While your author is firmly in the latter’s camp, he appreciates the bonkers amount of money being tossed around at the former.
As they often do, RM Sotheby’s will be using the occasion to hold a high-dollar auction. Lots include the likes of a 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider by Scaglietti allegedly raced by Fangio himself.
Digital License Plates Gaining Traction in U.S.
Michigan has opted to allow digital license plates, making it the third state – after California and Arizona – to give them legal backing. The state’s legislature passed the necessary laws in 2019, making it legal for vehicles registered in Michigan to utilize digital vehicle identification while traveling throughout the rest of the nation. But the company that produces them, Reviver, has only just recently found itself in a position to furnish them.
Junkyard Find: 1989 Mazda 626 DX
Gas War: Republican States Sue EPA Over Californian Standards
Last week, a group of Republican attorneys general decided to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to reinstate the waiver allowing California to set its own limitations on exhaust gasses and zero-emission vehicle mandates that would exceed federal standards.
The agency approved the waiver after it had been eliminated as part of the Trump administration’s fuel rollback on the grounds that it would create a schism within the industry by forcing automakers to produce vehicles that catered to the Californian market at the expense of products that might be appreciated in other parts of the country. However, Joe Biden’s EPA sees things differently and has aligned itself with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in giving the state more leeway to govern itself in regard to emissions policing.