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VW Believes it Can Repair 85k 3-liter Diesels

Move could help maker avoid second diesel vehicle buyback.

by on Jul.01, 2016

The Audi Q7 TDI is one of the numerous Audi, Porsche and VW models affected by the stop-sale.

Volkswagen believes it can fix the problem with about 85,000 vehicles using a faulty 3.0-liter diesel engine, the maker told a federal judge in San Francisco.

The revelation came shortly after VW and several federal agencies reached a $14.7 settlement on charges the maker had rigged a smaller diesel engine to pass U.S. emissions tests even though it grossly exceeded emissions rules in real world operations. That deal includes about $10 billion to buy back the 475,000 vehicles sold between the 2009 and 2015 model-years using a 2.0-liter turbodiesel.

Environmental News!

If it can convince the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, or CARB, that the proposed fix works, VW would be able to avoid a second costly buyback.


First Look: 2017 Audi A5

Midsize coupe makes splashy debut in Ingolstadt.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The 2017 Audi A5 makes its splashy debut at the automaker's headquarters in Ingolstadt.

Audi’s original A5 set a high benchmark, winning raves and drawing many buyers back to coupes. So, when Audi dimmed the lights at its Ingolstadt headquarters for the reveal of the new 2017 A5 remake, it was clearly going to have to clear some tough hurdles.

Based on initial reactions at the event, it seems the German maker may have pulled it off, the 2017 Audi A5’s exterior design marking the first time the luxury brand has translated the well-reviewed Prologue concept vehicle into a production model.

Product News!

The new coupe is “the perfect fusion of form and function,” declared CEO Rupert Stadler, during the flashy evening event at Audi HQ. While many coupes sacrifice practicality for styling, he stressed, the new A5’s design “doesn’t mean compromise.”


Automakers Continue to Install Defective Takata Airbags on New Vehicles

And 2.1 mil defective inflators have been installed as replacements in older vehicles.

by on Jun.01, 2016

A Takata airbag after a crash.

(This story has been revised to include comments by FCA and Toyota.)

Even as federal safety regulators expand the ongoing recall of defective Takata airbags, four major automakers continue to install some of the potentially deadly devices on their newest vehicles, according to a new Senate report.

A number of manufacturers also are using defective Takata inflators as replacements for older airbags in about 2.1 million recalled vehicles. Federal regulators have approved that move as a temporary measure due to a shortage of replacements parts using newer, safer designs.

In the Know!

The four manufacturers that acknowledge they are continuing to use defective Takata bags in new products are Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagen, according to the report released today by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee.


Audi Developed Diesel Cheat Software in 1999, Reports German Paper

“Defeat Device” went unused until adopted by parent VW.

by on Apr.20, 2016

VW officials have been apologizing profusely about the diesel scandal, but it appears it was Audi engineers that actually developed, but never used, the device.

The so-called “defeat device” used to help millions of Volkswagen diesel vehicles illegally pass emissions tests was first developed in 1999 by the maker’s luxury arm Audi, according to a report published today by the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The technology, which could detect when a vehicle is undergoing emissions tests and then modify certain engine functions to clean up the exhaust, was not put into use by Audi, however. It was instead adopted six years later by the Volkswagen brand when it was unable to meet toughened U.S. clean air standards.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

That decision came back to haunt the German giant. Last September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of rigging more than 400,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. – the maker subsequently confirming it used the illegal software on 11 million vehicles sold worldwide. It is now facing a raft of lawsuits in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world and may eventually pay billions of dollars in fines and legal settlements. (more…)

Audi Earns Top Marks for “Best Brand” Report Card

Consumer Reports methodology puts Audi ahead of Subaru and Lexus.

by on Apr.11, 2016

Despite the diesel problems, Audi took the top spot on Consumer Reports recent best brand report card.

Its around this time each year that school children of all ages find how they did in their last card marking: yup, it’s report card time!

The same happens for the automakers, if your Consumer Reports, which provides a Report Card for auto brands in the U.S. and the results, like those for some children, may be a bit of a surprise.

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The brands that earned top marks? Audi and Subaru. (more…)

Diesel Scandal Continues to Hammer VW

March sales plunge, but sibling Audi, Porsche brands largely unscathed.

by on Apr.01, 2016

VW's big incentives haven't been able to overcome the loss of its TDI models.

The ongoing crisis triggered by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal continued to take a toll on the automaker last month.

The VW brand reported a 10.6% sales slide last month, making it one of the few brands to see a dip at a time when the American car market is running red hot. The downturn came despite a sharp increase in VW incentives in recent months.

The Last Word!

The news wasn’t all bad, however. VW did see a strong upturn in demand for its newly updated Tiguan sport-utility vehicle, and sibling brands Audi and Porsche scored big sales gain in March, despite also being tainted by the diesel scandal.


Mazda Claims Double Win at World Car Awards

by on Mar.24, 2016

Mazda NA CEO Masahiro Moro and WCoTY organizer Peter Lyons with the MX-5 Miata.

For such a little car, the Mazda MX-5 Miata was the big winner at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday morning, collecting not only the trophy for World Car of the Year, but also being honored as the globe’s top automotive design.

The twin win came hours before the first formal unveiling of a special auto show unveiling of the Miata RF. The retractable fastback version of the two-seat roadster generated rave reviews when it was shown to a smaller group of journalists on Tuesday night.

Be a Winner!

“What a day for Mazda,” blurted out Masahiro Moro, who recently took over as CEO of Mazda’s North American operations. “This is a brand icon,” he declared, hoisting the hefty World Car of the Year trophy and inviting key members of the development team to join him on stage.


Audi Puts “Old Luxury on Notice” with New R8 Spyder

Ragtop can hit “nearly 200 mph,” even with the top down.

by on Mar.24, 2016

The Audi R8 Spyder rolls into the NY Auto Show.

There are plenty of folks who love the Audi R8, and that includes Scott Keogh, the brand’s U.S. CEO. Audi was little more than an asterisk on the sales charts. Today, it’s a force to be reckoned with, sales growing 250% since the launch of the sports car nearly a decade ago.

While it might target a small niche, “The R8 put Audi on the map,” says industry veteran Keogh, helping the brand “put old luxury on notice.”

Car Talk!

Audi has three versions of the R8 on its stand at the New York International Auto Show this week, including the daunting, 610-horsepower Audi R8 V10 Plus, as well as the R8 LMS race car. There’s also the brand-new member of the family, the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.


VW CEO Alerted, Failed to React to Diesel Crisis

German maker thought impact of scandal would be marginal; Audi earnings now take hit.

by on Mar.03, 2016

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn shown at the maker's 2015 annual meeting.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was advised of the maker’s cheating on diesel emissions tests at least 16 months ahead of when the scandal became public, the automaker confirmed.

Separately, VW has issued an advisory to its shareholders revealing it did not expect the subterfuge to erupt into what is arguably the biggest crisis in its post-War history. The company said it anticipated a quick resolution with U.S. authorities and that the cost of resolving the issue would likely be “not especially high.”

The Journal of Record!

With more than 500 lawsuits facing it, including one filed by the U.S. Justice Department, the costs appear to be mounting – as became clear Thursday when VW’s luxury subsidiary Audi reported a sharp, 6.1% decline in 2015 earnings. Audi shares several of the diesel engines involved in the emissions scandal.


Audi RS Q3 Performance Amps Up SUV Competition

Luxury performance SUV segment getting a new entrant.

by on Mar.02, 2016

The Audi RS Q3 Performance boasts a 367 horsepower five-cylinder engine and will do zero-to-62 in 4.4 seconds.

Audi is one of many automakers looking to up its game in the luxury performance SUV segment and the new RS Q3 Performance appears to be ready for the challenge.

Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, the new compact sport-ute is just another component in Audi’s plans to continue its current growth curve. Like it’s competition, it’s certainly nice on the inside and pleasing to the eye on the outside, but its what’s under the hood that is often the differentiator.

A Real Performer!

The German brand beefed up the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine by 27 hp so it now puts out 367 horsepower and 343 ft-lb of torque. With a top speed of 167.8 mph, it’ll sprint from stop to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds. The engine is tied to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic and gets 27.4 mpg combined. (more…)