Uh Oh, the U.S. Found One more Emissions-cheating Device in Audi Autos

exhaust

A U.S. regulator has come across another emissions-cheating device on a Volkswagen Group product. This is not much more of the exact same — rather, it is an entirely different apparatus used on autos until effectively after the company’s diesel emissions scandal became public expertise.

This is not a wonderful time for Volkswagen to be caught with its pants down for not disclosing anything they had been already in huge trouble for. With the company trying to wrap issues up with the Department of Justice, the new report from German outlet Bild am Sonntag could sour things.

According to the paper, the California Air Sources Board found the new emissions-cheating application four months ago. Sonntag claims the computer software was installed in vehicles with certain automatic transmissions, and sensed whether a car’s steering wheel was being turned. A stationary wheel is indicative of a stationary platform, like these employed for testing purposes.

During these circumstances the car ran a different shifting system, a single that reduced carbon dioxide emissions and all round fuel consumption. Turning the wheel 15 degrees in any direction canceled the program entirely, returning the car to its typical mode for road use.

The paper states that the device had been implemented in several hundred thousand Audi cars equipped with automatic transmissions, like the Q5, A6, and A8. The usage of the device was discontinued in May of 2016, which is a complete eight months after Volkswagen’s emissions scandal became public expertise.

Nether CARB or Audi have been available for comment on this morning’s report.

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A lot more and A lot more Customers Paying Huge Bucks For Smaller Trucks

2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab blue

U.S. sales of midsize pickup trucks jumped 54 percent in September 2016 to almost 40,000 units.

While massive year-more than-year increases in pickup truck sales can typically be attributed to commensurate increases in incentives, as seen with the Ram P/U’s victory more than the Chevrolet Silverado in September, midsize pickup truck buyers are prepared to spend huge bucks.

Average transaction rates in the Toyota Tacoma-controlled midsize pickup truck segment last month, according to Kelley Blue Book, rose six % compared with September 2015. That was by far the largest increase for any segment in average transaction rates.

These are hardly the sub-$ 20,000 antiquated Ford Rangers of 2010.

On typical, consumers were getting $ 32,350 midsize pickup trucks in September 2016.

Led by the surging Toyota Tacoma, each and every member of the five-truck category posted noteworthy year-over-year sales improvements, including the Honda Ridgeline’s astounding 165,800-percent uptick.*

As full-size pickup sales grew just 1 % in September, a modest 1,784-unit year-more than-year improvement, four automakers created 14,076 added midsize pickup sales.

The 39,969-unit September result marked the eighth consecutive month in which Americans registered more than 30,000 midsize pickups.

Soon after claiming just 12 percent of the overall pickup truck industry in September 2015 — and only 14 percent in calendar year 2015 — midsize pickup truck market place share soared to 17.three percent in September 2016 16.eight % so far this year.

Only in August, when midsize pickup truck share jumped to 17.9 %, has the sub-segment garnered a greater chunk of the overall pickup truck market this year.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

The sudden rise in midsize pickup share is all the much more impressive when 1 considers the dearth of obtainable nameplates. Accurate, a decade ago, for the duration of peak Ridgeline, modest/midsize pickup truck share was a loftier 21 percent. But a bundle of niche players, such as the Mitsubishi Raider, Mazda B-Series, and Isuzu i-Series, were at that time joined by the five nameplates that still exist and high-volume competitors from Dodge and Ford.

Dodge was regularly promoting substantially more than 100,000 Dakotas per year prior to 2006’s harsh decline.

Ford Motor Company, which had grown accustomed to selling 300,000 Rangers per year, was entering a phase in which the nameplate wouldn’t crack the 100,000-sales mark. But the Ranger, like the Dakota, remained a major player in the little/midsize pickup truck market in 2006.

Soon after letting the Ranger go — not in the sense of permitting it to run cost-free, but in the manner of not receiving a shower and changing out of pajama bottoms in the morning — Ford determined that remaining Ranger clients have been purely interested in a low-cost car. “It was often occasions only a obtain since it was an costly Ford product, not as a pickup,” a Ford spokesperson mentioned in 2010.

“We’re investing in F-Series simply because the modest truck segment has steadily shrunk from almost eight % of total sector sales in 1994 to 1.9 percent of business sales in 2012,” Ford’s Jackie DiMarco told Reddit in 2013, failing to point out that the automaker’s personal neglect of the segment played a part in the segment’s decline.

USA midsize pickup truck market share

But the game in which a new Ford Ranger would play is conducted on a whole ‘nuther field. Even though CAFE needs pose a challenge for midsize trucks, Automotive News reported final year, the F-150’s move upmarket has opened a gap in Ford’s lineup for a much less pricey item.

“We believe we could sell a compact truck that’s far more like the size of the old Ranger, that gets six or eight a lot more miles per gallon than a full-size truck, is $ five,000 or $ 6,000 significantly less, and that we could build in the U.S. to steer clear of the tariff on imported trucks,” Ford’s Doug Scott told Automotive News last year.

To what degree that strategy has changed, with the average light-duty complete-size ATP up to about $ 38,000 and the midsize truck market swiftly transforming, will be made identified after Ford reveals its genuine plans for the Wayne, Michigan, factory.

Whether or not Ford can engineer a Ranger that much more effective than the F-150 remains to be observed. But existing evidence suggests Ford does not need to be concerned as well significantly about bringing the Ranger to market with affordability as its main promoting point. Midsize truck buyers do not want a complete-size truck, and the next Ford Ranger to land in North America will not be a complete-size truck.

That fact alone ought to be a lot more than adequate for Ford to discover tens of thousands of paying consumers.

* The Ridgeline wasn’t on sale at this time final year, in the course of the hiatus amongst the 1st and second-generation Honda pickups.

[Photos: Toyota, Honda, TTAC]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Vehicle Evaluations – The Truth About Cars

Ford Piles on the Tech, Squeezes Far more Mileage From the 2017 F-150

2017 Ford F-150

It’s not a revolution in fuel efficiency, but an evolution.

Ford added a wholesome dose of new technologies to the 2017 F-150’s 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 powertrain, but the significance of the newfound efficiency depends on who you ask. To the people at the Blue Oval, it’s a mileage enhance worthy of celebration. To would-be buyers, it is a minor perk, but inform me more about the torque.

We’ve already detailed the improvements made to the subsequent-generation three.5-liter Ecoboost. Making 375 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque, the revised mill makes several V8s envious. The added energy comes by way of a dual direct and port fuel-injection program that sends fuel to each the intake port and cylinder, turbochargers with lighter turbine wheels and electrically activated wastegates.

Adding to the efficiency, Ford paired the engine with its new 10-speed automatic transmission, a unit co-created by the automaker and General Motors.

What’s the payoff? A solitary mile per gallon. Ford prices rear-wheel-drive F-150 models equipped with the engine at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, or 21 mpg combined. That’s an enhance of 1 mpg in all three categories.

Four-wheel-drive models return 17 city/23 hwy/20 combined, or an overall achieve of two mpg.

Compared to the base V6 engines of its domestic competition, the rear-drive Ecoboost-powered F-150 matches the highway mileage of the 3.6-liter Ram 1500 (4×2 model), but beats its city mileage by 1 mpg. Ford matches the 4.3-liter Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4×2’s mileage in the city, but beats its highway figure by 1 mpg.

Modest gains if you’re only seeking at displacement, not output. That Ford could wring any mileage improvement out of the engine although delivering a important power enhance is admirable.

Within its own steady, the new powertrain’s combined mileage beats the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter F-150 by 1 mpg, and falls 1 mpg brief of the two.7-liter Ecoboost’s combined figure.

[Image: Ford Motor Business]

Auto Testimonials – The Truth About Vehicles

2017 Mini JCW Clubman: Far more Power and Grip to Lure the Crossover Set

MINI JCW Clubman

Obtaining been a player in the tiny vehicle category because its 2001 reboot, Mini now seeks to take on the burgeoning premium sporty compact segment with this, the new John Cooper Operates Clubman.

With sales of the Mini brand reaching only nine-tenths of its 2013 higher in the U.S. last year, will this model bait new consumers into the brand’s retina-searing showrooms?

Like most siblings, the newest offspring gets some hand-me-downs but enjoys some new toys not shared with its older brothers.

The JCW Clubman squeezes 228 horsepower out of its turbocharged two.-liter four-cylinder, along with a comparatively brawny 258 lb-ft when compared to its far more mundane brethren. This energy will be shuttled by means of a standard all-wheel-drive technique offered by Mini’s in-shop brand of ALL4. “Nyah-nyah”, says this Mini to its older Clubman brothers, who make do with 134 hp in Cooper trim or 189 hp in slightly more high-priced Cooper S trim.

Seeking closer, the JCW Clubman reveals its parent’s capacity to recycle things employed by its older siblings. The identical two transmissions will be on supply — a standard six-speed manual and an optional eight-speed automatic — whilst the special barn-doored body is adorned with the common frippery associated with JCW editions. This indicates 18-inch wheels are along for the ride plus a more aggressive body kit that suggests much better engine and brake cooling. The new kid is hefty like his brothers too — around three,500 lbs. Nonetheless, with the newfound power on tap, it is expected to total the -60 mile per hour dash in about 6 seconds.

2017 MINI JCW Clubman

Subcompact crossover sales far more than doubled in 2015, stirring up the marketplace and giving automakers an entry point with younger buyers. A survey by Strategic Vision Inc. suggests the no-little ones/beneath-45 buyer set accounts for about a quarter of the sales in this segment (compared to much less than 20 percent for the business overall). Buyers also are surfacing from the other end of the spectrum, such as Boomers who no longer need to schlep youngsters around in a huge crossover or SUV. No doubt Mini desires a piece of that pie, as well.

Feel the term “subcompact crossover” and “Clubman” shouldn’t be combined in the identical sentence? You are right, of course, in terms of height: Buick’s Encore towers practically ten-inches above the Clubman. Nevertheless, this new JCW is within an inch of length and width (168.3 inches &amp 70.9 inches, respectively) when compared to the Encore, a model which, it must be noted, counts a lot of of its buyers as conquests from other brands. Mini’s own Countryman is about 5 inches taller than the Clubman, but is half a foot shorter in length.

The new model, then, provides Mini sales employees yet yet another all-wheel-drive selection to pitch at the swiftly growing chorus of buyers who want their traction with a dash of action.

The 2017 Mini John Cooper Functions Clubman is scheduled to go on sale this December.

[Photos: BMW of North America]

Vehicle Critiques – The Truth About Automobiles

Bosch Sought Legal Protection from Volkswagen More than ‘Defeat Device’ Use: Lawyers

Bosch

(Reuters) – Auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH concealed the use of Volkswagen AG’s secret “defeat device” software program that it helped style and demanded in 2008 that the German automaker offer legal protection in its use, lawyers for American owners alleged in a court filing.

The filing on Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco expands on claims plaintiffs lawyers produced in August, when they alleged Bosch was a “knowing and active participant” in Volkswagen’s decade-extended scheme to evade U.S. anti-pollution laws. Bosch lawyers stated last month those claims were “wild and unfounded.”

VW has admitted that it installed improper computer software that deactivated pollution controls on more than 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide and has agreed to devote as considerably as $ 16.five billion in the United States to address emissions concerns, which includes compensating owners of 475,000 2.-liter diesel cars.

The new filing delivers the most detailed list of claims against Bosch. Lawyers are also looking for redress for owners from Bosch.

The new court filing involves portions of the allegations that have been initially redacted in August by the plaintiffs below court rules and says Bosch “did not disclose its information of the illegal defeat device in any … communications with U.S. regulators.”

The filing said Bosch demanded in 2008 that Volkswagen indemnify it more than the use of the software developed by the German auto supplier, citing a June 2008 email from Bosch to VW.

The e mail demanded “Volkswagen indemnify Bosch for any legal exposure arising from operate on the defeat device,” the lawsuit said.

The lawyers stated VW apparently refused to agree to Bosch’s request but mentioned they are still investigating.

A U.S. Bosch spokeswoman and Volkswagen did not respond to a request for comment late Tuesday.

The filing also accuses Bosch Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner of realizing about the use of the defeat device. It alleges that in May 2014 Denner took part in a meeting with former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn that shows each “were aware of the illegal use of the defeat devices at least by Could 2014.”

Winterkorn resigned in September 2015.

Bosch makes an engine handle unit utilised by several leading automakers which includes VW. It supplied application and components to VW but has mentioned duty for how software is utilised to regulate exhaust emissions or fuel consumption lies with carmakers.

Bosch has not been charged with any wrongdoing. German prosecutors stated in December that they have been investigating no matter whether employees at the Stuttgart-primarily based organization have been involved in the rigging of emissions tests by VW.

Denner stated in January he had ordered an internal investigation and was cooperating with authorities. In April, Bosch said it had set aside 650 million euros for possible legal charges, including for a continuing investigation into the company’s role in Volkswagen’s emissions scandal.

In June, Deputy U.S. Lawyer Common Sally Yates said the VW investigation is looking at “multiple businesses and multiple people.” (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Car Testimonials – The Truth About Vehicles

A lot more Effective, Turbocharged Mazda6 Most likely, No Speed3

Driving Matters Mazda6 Times Square Mesh Board South, Image: Mazda USA

Our personal Timothy Cain was smitten after spending a week with the midsize Mazda6. It’s a tough car to hate. With its attractive, sculpted sheetmetal, it’s a single of these cars you turn back to look at soon after you park it.

But the Mazda6, even with its prepared chassis and sporting demeanor, is nonetheless missing numerous ingredients, one of them energy. Call it the Miata Effect, or merely comprehend that Mazda does not have its own V6 to stuff below the Mazda6’s extended hood. Mazda’s midsize sedan isn’t nearly close to the most strong choice in the segment.

That may possibly alter though thanks to the Mazda CX-9 and its 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

According to CarAdvice, the new two.five-liter turbo powerplant, which pumps out 227 horsepower and 310 lbs-ft of torque, fits in models under the CX-9 thanks to clever packaging of the turbocharger and exhaust manifold.

“It fits in a lot of our vehicles, and exactly where we’re actually going to put it is another query,” David Coleman, Mazda North America’s car improvement engineer told the Australian outlet.

“It fits in the exact same package as the diesel fits in, and the identical package that the naturally aspirated 2.five-litre fits in. Generally, that large space we utilized for the bundle of snakes exhaust manifold, the turbo is in that space also. They’re all packaged to occupy the same space,” he said.

And even though the very same turbocharged engine fits in the Mazda3, do not get your hopes up.

“The efficiency autos of Mazda3 and other models, we don’t have plans at the moment,” stated Mazda international president and CEO Masamichi Kogai in October. “So we have to actually have one particular best model,” he stated in reference to a new rotary sports car.

Vehicle Testimonials – The Truth About Automobiles

Is Musk Biting Off More Than He Can Chew With SolarCity Proposal?

tesla-model-s-logo

It was a small terrifying watching the question-and-answer session near the finish of Tesla’s livestreamed annual shareholder’s meeting, and it wasn’t just the lady asking about goji berries.

All of the speakers — effectively, the majority of them — seemed to possess a stratospheric level of admiration for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Like religious (or political) disciples, the trust they placed in the man’s brilliance and selection-producing skills seemed limitless.

Properly, following this week’s announcement that Tesla is supplying to purchase SolarCity — a solar energy provider co-founded and chaired by Musk — cracks are forming in his circle of supporters, particularly in the financial realm.

The proposed share-for-share deal would be worth somewhere in the region of $ two.eight billion. Each and every business is embarking on its largest project to date: Tesla is readying its California assembly plant and battery-producing Gigafactory for subsequent year’s Model three, although SolarCity is attempting to get its enormous Buffalo, New York solar panel factory off the ground.

The prospective for a monetary cushion lifted SolarCity’s stock yesterday, but Tesla’s share rates made like Gerald Ford exiting an airplane.

When trading opened yesterday, Tesla shares have been all of a sudden twenty bucks decrease than they were at four p.m. the day prior to ($ 199.31, down from $ 219.61). At final read, values had eroded additional, to $ 194.32. Not a Volkswagen-level drop, but a negative reaction to the SolarCity proposal nonetheless.

These days, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, generally an enthusiastic believer in Tesla’s business abilities, lowered his recommendation of the stock, as effectively as his 12-month target price tag. No longer predicting a $ 333 per share worth, Jonas now sees the number $ 243.

Writing to consumers, he stated, “we believe numerous of the positive aspects could have been accomplished by way of arm’s length/strategic partnership and without the risks inherent in exposing Tesla shareholders to the monetary and capital markets risks faced by (SolarCity).”

Over at MarketWatch, investing columnist Philip Van Doorn warned investors not to expect to make much income in the near term. In his column, he quoted David Bechtel, a principal at Barrow Funds, who named a achievable merger between the two businesses “downright frightening.”

Financier Jim Chanos referred to as it a “shameful example of corporate governance at its worst,” adding that neither business is financially strong adequate to deal with a merger.

Some critics worry that a deal would result in Tesla to take its eye off the ball (which means the Model 3), risking the company’s fortunes and future. Musk claims the merger makes sense, as both companies are pursuing diverse ends of the exact same marketplace. He’s also said a merger wouldn’t impact Tesla’s money flow.

Regardless of some investor panic over Musk’s actions, not all Tesla shareholders are obtaining cold feet. Reuters quoted Joe Dennison, portfolio manager at Zevenbergen Capital Investments (a holder of 600,000 shares), who referred to as the strategy “a organic evolution of (Tesla’s) mission to transform transportation into a sustainable company.”

[Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Reuters, BBC]

Vehicle Critiques – The Truth About Cars

Ghost in the Machine: Man Sues More than Possessed Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X, Image: Tesla Motors

Negative PR from customers annoyed by their difficulty-plagued Tesla Model X SUVs continues to hammer the electric automaker.

A lawsuit filed against Tesla by a California man is the most current bit of poor news (and press) for the firm. According to Barrett Lyon, the bizarre electrical gremlins operating loose in his Model X turned his automobile into a static driveway decoration.

It is no wonder Tesla CEO Elon Musk sleeps at the office and keeps his desk at the end of the production line.

The issues reported by Lyon and the initial delay in obtaining the Model X to customers are a big purpose why Musk wants to manufacture his own parts.

Lyon, who already owns a Tesla Roadster and a Model S, paid $ 162,000 for the automobile. Soon soon after, strange factors started to happen.

“The doors do some weird, wicked things,” Lyon told Courthouse News. “If you get in and slide sideways and accidentally tap the brake, the driver’s side door slams shut on your leg. That is not a quite good factor to have come about to you.”

The automatic doors also slammed shut on his wife, Lyon claimed, and opened unexpectedly, causing damage to the doors and products inside his garage. In parking lots, the doors open into other autos, he claimed.

The gripes outlined in the lawsuit do not finish there. According to Lyon, the autonomous Autopilot feature swerves the vehicle into other lanes for the duration of rainstorms, the self-parking feature doesn’t operate 90 % of the time, and the touchscreen freezes for no reason.

Allegedly, Tesla Motors was unable to fix the car, so Lyon filed suit to get his acquire quantity and registration fee back. He’s also seeking damages for breach of warranty and California Lemon Law violations.

The Model X now sits idle in his driveway.

“You acquire a vehicle like that, you expect it to perform,” Lyon said. “It’s grow to be clear to me that the automobile wasn’t ready for buyers. The service center is completely unprepared for the type of troubles they’re obtaining.”

In April, Tesla recalled 2,700 Model X vehicles to stop rear seatback failures. Other situations of issues with the model’s signature “falcon wing” doors have been reported, as effectively as complaints about loose weatherstripping and frayed carpets.

[Source: Courthouse News Service] [Image: Tesla Motors]

Auto Critiques – The Truth About Vehicles

BMW Facing Lawsuit More than i3 REx Power Loss

2015 BMW i3 Range Extender, Image: © 2015 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Owners of BMW i3s equipped with optional range extenders — read: two-cylinder engine that generates electrical energy — are suing the automaker for an problem that could leave these drivers going slow in the rapidly lane.

According to Green Automobile Reports, the BMW i3 REx will drop down to 45 miles per hour under specific circumstances, which some owners believe is a safety situation.

The class-action lawsuit alleges the modest range extender is not strong enough keep up with motivational demand at highway speeds when the battery is practically depleted. Engine and battery management software steps in and reduces the BMW i3’s speed to 45 mph so that battery charge can catch up with demand.

“The BMW i3 Variety Extender function is a dangerous instrumentality to the owners of the cars and to other motorists on the road,” mentioned Jonathan Michaels of MLG Automotive Law, the firm handling the class-action suit. “Having a sudden and unexpected loss of energy in a motor car can outcome in a catastrophic circumstance for all those on the road. These automobiles are dangerous and should not be driven.”

Green Vehicle Reports notes three of its editors have seasoned the issue in addition to its many owners.

The outlet spoke with electric-auto advocate Tom Moloughney, who is also a BMW i3 owner. He stated the issue mainly comes down to a lack of information of how the variety extender works, and refrained from blaming the i3 for a quirk that does not impact any other vehicle on sale these days.

“The largest issue is the lack of details on how the REx works at the dealership level. I consider if people understood how the variety-extender method works, then there would be fewer troubles,” Moloughney stated.

A representative for BMW said the business cannot comment on pending litigation.

The BMW i3 REx stickers, with no possibilities, for $ 47,245, including destination.

[Image: © 2015 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

Vehicle Testimonials – The Truth About Vehicles

Former Volkswagen Employee Claims Unlawful Firing More than Information Deletions

Data, Image: rh2ox/Flickr

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 connected to the scandal was getting deleted, several German language outlets are reporting (via Automotive News).

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

The employee, who worked at VWGoA’s information center in Michigan, started flagging information deletions created by a co-worker that started on September 18, 2015, the identical day the scandal broke, the suit claims. According to reports, the deletions happened right after a U.S. Department of Justice order to stop all “routine” information deletions at VWGoA.

The plaintiff is searching for damages in the suit. He’s protected from retaliation beneath Michigan’s whistleblower laws.

[Image: r2hox/Flickr (CC BY-SA two.)]


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