Volkswagen’s US Chief “Stepping Down”

Volkswagen (VW) is a well-known car manufacturer, or more recently due to the revelation that their cars had a system in place to produce “lower emissions” if it was tested at the time. The latest in a string of events for the company, the head of the United States branch of the company, Michael Horn, is stepping down.

With the revelation that at least 30 people knew about the illegal practise of fixing text results and the result being that certain cars are having to be pulled from the market before a “fix” can be implemented, losing the head of a branch isn’t a good sign for the company.

It should be noted that Horn isn’t listed in any of the investigations being carried out regarding this matter, and VW is still saying that senior management didn’t know about the software update that would cause it to produce “better” results for emission tests.

Following on from the concept that they could “fix” the cars that were producing illegal amounts of nitrogen oxide (including removing the illegal software update), the chief of California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) stated that it “may not be possible” to actually fix these vehicles.

With more and more cars being pulled and banned from sale due to the illegal software, one can only imagine the impact these vehicles are having both on the company and the environment.

Beautiful New Photos of Bugatti Chiron Revealed

Bugatti has released a series of stunning photos of its new premier sportscar, the Chiron, ahead of its official unveiling at the Geneva International Motor Show, which begins this Wednesday. The Bugatti Chiron, which is priced at a whopping €2.4 million, is “electronically limited” to a top speed of 261mph, and can hit 125mph in 6.5 seconds, will be limited to only 500 models.

“The development brief for the Chiron can be summarised in one sentence and is probably the shortest in the history of the automobile: we want to make the best significantly better,” Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, which is owned by Volkswagen, said during the supercar’s unveiling last October. “The Chiron will set new standards in every respect. We will continue to produce the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car. This is the claim of Bugatti and our customers.”

“The feedback from our customers concerning the Chiron is outstanding,” Dürheimer added. “Our order book is steadily filling up. More than 100 customers have already ordered the Chiron despite the fact that they have had no opportunity so far to experience the fantastic driving properties of the Chiron.“

But enough chat. Enjoy the majesty of the Bugatti Chiron:

Elon Musk Wants VW Forced to Produce Zero-Emission Vehicles

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk – together with a group of 44 businesses and environmentalists – thinks that the punishment for Volkswagen’s lies regarding the exhaust emissions of its diesel cars should be to force the manufacturer to produce zero-emission vehicles, in lieu of fines and “impractical” recalls.

In an open letter to California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols, the group asks that they “cure the air, not the cars.” Instead of forcing a recall and repair of VW vehicles will emission-cheating software, the letter asks California to give VW the option of building zero-emission vehicles to allow it to make amends.

The letter proposes:

  1. Release VW from its obligation to fix diesel cars already on the road in California, which represent an insignificant portion of total vehicles emissions in the State, and which cars do not, individually, present any emissions-related risk to their owners or occupants
  2. Instead, direct VW to accelerate greatly its rollout of zero emission vehicles, which by their very nature, have zero emissions and thus present zero opportunities for cheating, and also do not require any enforcement dollars to verify
  3. Require that this acceleration of the rollout of zero emissions vehicles by VW result in a 10 for 1 or greater reduction in pollutant emissions as compared to the pollution associated with the diesel fleet cheating, and achieve this over the next 5 years
  4. Require that VW invest in new manufacturing plants and/or research and development, in the amounts that they otherwise would have been fined, and do so in California to the extent that California would have been allocated its share of the fines
  5. Allow VW some flexibility in the execution and timing of this plan by allowing it to be implemented via zero emission vehicle credits.

Image courtesy of International Business Times.

Video From Volkswagen Shows Emissions Cheating Fix

Today, a video from Volkswagen was released on Youtube, outlining their planned fixes their EA 189 1.6 and 2 litre diesel engines, which have been at the center of their recent emissions scandal.

There are two parts to the solution outlined in their video: The first is an update to the engine control software of the car, the second the installation of a flow transformer, a grated plastic tube that “stabilizes the air flow and allows for a more precise measurement of the incoming fresh air” and according to Andreas Krause, “the fuel can be metered more precisely and will improve emissions”. VW state that the fix will be quick for the vehicles, with the 1.6 litre engines taking less than an hour and 2 litre as little as 30 minutes.

Unfortunately for American owners of offending VW vehicles this fix is only for European vehicles, where the regulations in place regarding diesel emissions are less strict. And while VW claim that the fix to their 3-litre engines is only a software upgrade to the engine, no fixes that have been submitted by the German company have yet to be approved by US regulators. Until a solution is approved, the countless Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen cars that are fitted with an offending engine remain suspended from sale.

Despite this, Volkswagen assure consumers that the cars remain “technically safe and roadworthy until the respective technical measures can be implemented”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKN8danpIfE

US Compensation for VW Drivers to Increase by 50%

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you should know about the latest emissions scandal regarding the Diesel Volkswagen (VW) engined cars; our previous coverage can be found here and here. This has been met with huge uproar and the VW Group started to offer affected owners a $2,000 trade-in credit against the cars/ vans that had the emission cheating software installed.

In the US, on top of that $2,000 trade-in credit, affected drivers are also going to be eligible for up to $1,000 in gift cards and dealership credit and additional complimentary 24hr Roadside Assistance for up to three (3) years. It’s not fully clear whether UK drivers will be receiving the same treatment, The Telegraph has reported owners seek professional legal advice.

This has negatively impacted the resale of the motors and owners are likely to see an increase in road TAX, fuel consumption and possibly even voided warranties if the update hasn’t been applied to the vehicle. However, VW representatives want to reassure its customers that the cars are safe to drive whether or not they have the new software applied or not. Want to know if your car has the cheating software installed? US readers can visit this website and UK/ EU readers can visit this website.

Even More Cars Pulled Amidst VW Emissions Scandal

Even a month after the news first broke, the extent of the emissions scandal surrounding a number of Volkswagen vehicles seems only to grow, with the EPA filing a violation of the Clean Air Act regarding Volkswagen’s 3-litre diesel engine.

In response to this claim, a number of Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi cars that are fitted with the engine from as far back as 2014 are being pulled from the US market. A number of the cars affected by this stop-sale include the Volkswagen Toureg, Porsche Cayenne and an array of Audis including the A6, A7, A8 and Q5 lines. Despite pulling the cars from sale, Volkswagen refuse to admit that the cars are cheating on their emissions and are contesting the EPA’s data on the matter.

With Volkswagen’s 2-litre diesel engine cars, such as the Golf, already off showroom floors, yet to obtain approval to return to sale by the EPA, VW claims that the new emission control system is not part of the emissions scam. With the new claims put against the 3-litre engines, it is possible the return of the 2-litre cars could yet be delayed as debate on the legality of the 3-litre emissions rages on.

Do you drive a VW, or any of the cars now accused of emissions scamming? And if so, has it made you regret your choice to buy a VW? Let us know in the comments.

Image source

EPA Finds Another Emissions Scam in Volkswagen Cars

Following revelations the Volkswagen was using software to fake its vehicle’s emission reading – a scam overseen by at least 30 high-ranking VW executives – the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has discovered a second emission-cheating program in the German car manufacturer’s diesel vehicles.

The software, designed to allow VW vehicles to fraudulently pass air pollution tests, has been found to be in use in 11 million individual cars so far, in models dating back to 2009. The new software, discovered by the EPA, was set to be used by VW in its EA 189 2.0-litre diesel engines for its 2016 range, but is thought to be included in earlier vehicles, too.

“We are investigating the nature and purpose of the additional [auxiliary emissions control device],” an EPA spokesperson said.

“VW did very recently provide EPA with very preliminary information on an auxiliary emissions control device that VW said was included in one or more model years,” the EPA’s Nick Conger said. Both the EPA and the state version in California “are investigating the nature and purpose of this recently identified device.”

In the wake of the scandal, VW has been hit by over 250 class action lawsuits and faces charges in Texas and West Virginia.

At Least 30 Managers Behind VW Emissions Scam

The Volkswagen emission saga continues, as German news company Spiegel reports that at least 30 VW managers are suspected to be involved with the VW emissions scandal, as a result of the ongoing internal investigation. Up until now, VW has proclaimed that only a small group of executives had overseen the installation of the software used to manipulate the emissions results of millions of engines worldwide. If true, that certainly isn’t the “small group” of managers it was once thought to be. However, a Volkswagen spokesman rejected the claim, saying “the number is without foundation”.

It is thought that the emission device responsible for this scam dates back to 2008 and can be found in over 11 million cars worldwide. Meanwhile, as the investigation progresses and uncovers more facts, VW lost yet another manager! The newly elected Skoda Chef Winfried Vahland left the Skoda division owned by VW over differences of opinions. Whatever way you cut it, this is not looking good for VW as the investigation progresses.

Despite VW losing a significant amount of its shares over the last month, alongside the risk of being fined billions for their fraudulent activities, do you think VW will be able to pull through? Let us know down in the  comments below.

Thank you Spiegel for providing us with this information.

You Can Now Use Your Hyundai Car Features From Your Apple Watch

Hyundai is keeping up with the times and trying to make your car interaction experiences more impressive than ever. Earlier this year, it launched the Android counterpart, allowing users to interact with their Hyundai cars from Android devices. Now the company has shifted its focus on the latest gadget on the market, namely the Apple Watch.

Hyundai launched the Blue Link car platform on the App Store, offering all features previously showcased in the Android version. Therefore, you can start and stop the engine with just a tap, remotely lock the car’s doors and even find your car on the map. The latter are just a few examples of what the Blue Link app allows you to do, but the best part of it is the Siri integration, where you are able to interact with your car through voice commands.

Hyundai’s Blue Link app for iOS is said to be compatible with all of its cars that have the Blue Link feature. However, the approach is not that uncommon. BMW has a similar app called BMW Remote App that lets you pretty much do the same things Hyundai’s app does, while Volkswagen and Porsche apps are also available for you to make the most out of your driving experience.

The question here is, will you as a driver prefer to interact with your car from your watch or through voice commands, or do you prefer to just keep your keys in your pocket as usual?

Thank you TheVerge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of RushLane

Volkswagen Now Offering Apple Watch App

The Apple Watch has been available to consumers for a little while now and we’ve seen how resilient they are when faced with the likes of a blender and tattoos; not very well is the answer if you didn’t click the links. It was only a matter of time before we started seeing an influx of apps pop up from various sources, but the automotive sector was one I was least expecting.

Porsche and BMW have already created apps for the wrist hugger and it doesn’t involve vibrations every few seconds when you’ve done another mile. I’m still a little confused if this is to actually benefit consumers or if they want to ride the hipster fame wave.

Volkswagen’s offering is very similar to the Porsche app, it will allow the Car-Net to sync with the watch so you have key car information pop up on your arm.

“Need to remotely lock/unlock your doors? You can do it from your Apple Watch. Want to check the fuel level or charge status? You can do it from your wrist. Need to set up a speed or boundary alert? No need to pull the phone from your pocket or purse.”

You can already do all of this with the current iOS app, but now you don’t have to dig into your pocket to check the charge so you can avoid the high potential of dropping it; the expensive paperweight seems to be making itself useful. The Volkswagen Car-Net app will be available in the Watch app store if you want to download it.

Do you own or plan on owning an Apple Watch? Would you use an app like this to monitor your car? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to MotorAuthority for providing us with this information.

Volkswagens New XL1 Hybrid is Capable of 261 mpg

100 miles per gallon has long been the benchmark which automakers have been working to reach. Volkswagen created their Lupo 3L in 1999 which could hit 78.4 miles on one gallon of diesel, a great achievement. Now with ex Bentley and Bugatti engineer Ulrich Hackenberg on board, he was set a goal of breaking the 100mpg barrier. He came back to them with the XL1, which absolutely devastated that 100mpg target by being capable of running 261 miles on a single gallon on diesel!

The car was built from scratch to be efficient, this meant cutting weight, slimming the aerodynamics, adding carbon fiber components in place of steel ones and fitting it out with an 830cc, two-cylinder diesel engine, along side a 20kW electric motor. The car may only be able to max out at 99 miles per hour, but it will travel over 500 miles on a single 2.6 gallon tank of fuel.

This isn’t just a crazy prototype either, the company has every intention of selling 250 of these in Europe and the U.S. as a limited run. No word on price, but it’s not going to be cheap.

Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Popsci.

Volkswagon Eyes on The Road Ad Campaign Sends A Chilling Lesson to Cinema Goers

We all know of the short period in a cinema before a film starts where a number of adverts are displayed, but none of them has sent that much of a chilling message to its watchers compared to a new Volkswagen ad titled ‘Eyes On The Road’. Shown in the MCL Cinema in Hong Kong, the ad runs with a car driving down a quiet road, which doesn’t seem all that interesting; that is, however, until someone working behind the scenes sends a message to the phones of every person in the cinema, causing every single one of them to get their phones out and read the message. What happens next is where the realisation and the chilling message is given as the car crashes into a tree on the side of the road.

This simple ad clearly demonstrates what happens when you take your eyes off the road and look at your phone – you don’t know what is happening ahead. The video [as seen below] shows the silence as the message sinks in to every person in the cinema.

I don’t need to repeat myself when I say that this message says it all – looking at your phone whilst driving IS DANGEROUS and it CAN kill you and others around you. If it is an urgent call or message, pull over to the side of the road and then respond to it. Don’t put other people’s lives in danger for the sake of reading a message.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/JHixeIr_6BM[/youtube]

I hope for that sake of everyone that this advert is shown in more cinemas around the world – the way in which it demonstrates the dangers couldn’t be easier – the chilling feeling that you get from it should get the point across.

Source: Youtube

Volkswagen XL1 Hybrid Looks Awesome, Can do 313.9mpg

It looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie and the specifications sound like they’re pure fantasy, but Volkswagen’s new XL1 hybrid is no joke. The new XL1 Hybrid Auto tops out at just 99mph, which is more than enough for most people (it’s above 88mph, and we all know how good that is), but while it may not be a rocket ship of high-end performance, it clocks an impressive 313.9mpg!

With the price of fuel higher and higher each year, there has been a lot of pressure on car manufacturers to make their cars run more efficiently. The new car went on sale in the UK this month for a whopping £98,515, so while it does offer massive fuel saving, it could be a while before you see a return on investment.

313.9mpg is impressive, but so too is the tiny 21g of CO2 per kilometre that its diesel engine / 27bhp electric motor produces, its super light 795Kg weight, and its majority magnesium, ceramics and aluminium construction are certainly a big help in that respect.

Only 30 are available in the UK from the 250 that have been produced on its initial run. If the car proves successful it could see VW produce more models and hopefully some more wallet friendly editions that won’t set you back the best part of 100k.

Thank you T3 for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of T3.