AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
After a 13-year legal battle over access to manufacturer repair tools, 23 automakers and thousands of independent repair shops have signed a memorandum agreeing to a “Right to Repair.”
Living up to it it’s rogue reputation on vehicle emissions, California is once again locking horns with automakers regarding upcoming smog and fuel economy standards, specifically its Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) plan.
The Golden State’s plan, requires auto manufacturers to achieve significantly increased sales of electric or hybrid vehicles (up to 14 percent by 2025, from the current 1 percent of all cars and trucks sold in CA) or risk hefty fines; however the industry says that having differing regional standards simply complicates matters and would rather have California fall in line with a national proposal of fuel economy standards which, incidently automakers achieved with 2012-2016 targets.
“A single national program allows us all to devote our maximum efforts on focusing on carbon dioxide reductions rather than devoting efforts to the extra challenges of meeting a patchwork of state regulations,” declared Wade Newton a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
However legislators at the California Air Resources Board have said they are planning to stick with their original plan, even though it has been modified seven times since 1990.
“We need to get on a path where advanced technology vehicles dominate and we have no intention of backing away from ZEV,” stated CARB’s chief deputy executive officer Tom Cackette.
Further complicating matters are requests by auto manufacturers for a ‘graduated’ schedule of national fuel economy increases, instead of yearly increases as proposed by the Obama Administration. In addition, a lack of EV infrastructure in many cold weather states, would make the California targets, currently adopted by nine other US states including New York and Massachusetts (where cold, snowy winters are a way of life), very difficult to achieve.
Interestingly, all 10 states that follow the CARB ZEV plan, currently represent 30 percent of the entire US vehicle market, which means that hefty fines resulting from failure to meet the ultra stringent requirements will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of significantly higher vehicle prices, which could result in greatly reduced overall demand for new cars and trucks.
The Obama Administration has said that it wants to propose national fuel economy standards by September this year, around the same time CARB is planning to update its own. However, given the current state of bickering between automakers and legislators, it appears both sides still have a long way to go in order to reach a solid, worthwhile agreement.
[Source: Automotive News]
A trade group representing Detroit’s three automakers as well as Toyota is currently urging the Obama administration to say no to a proposal that could mandate a 62-mpg CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) industry standard by 2025.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, in a letter addressed to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, said, “fuel economy and greenhouse gas targets should not be arbitrary numbers, chosen before the necessary analyses are completed,” claiming that the proposed standard would ”circumvent the rulemaking process and undermine the ongoing collaborative effort to set sound standards.”
In April 18 senators led by Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Olympia Snowe, California and Maine respectively, urged the administration to consider a 62-mpg standard by 2025, which equates to a 6-percent annual increase from 2017 to then. Depending on how stringent the administration wants to make things, the increase could cost anywhere from $770 per vehicle built to $3,500.
The automakers believe that this requirement could reduce car sales by 14%, owing to the increase in cost per car to meet the requirements (that are then passed onto you, dear consumer). This could lead to an equal 14% reduction in jobs, or 250,000 people—automakers ”depend on reasonable regulations that provide clarity and certainty, without pricing our customers out of the market or preventing them from choosing vehicles that can meet their diverse needs,” cites the Alliance.
Currently there is a 35-mpg CAFE standard set in lace for 2016.
[Source: The Detroit News]
As quiet as ninjas, hybrid and electric cars can be just as deadly. But while ninjas sneak up on you quickly, hybrid and electric vehicles are most likely to get you at low, parking lot speeds.
According to a report that came out last fall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hybrids tend to be involved with a higher number of pedestrian incidents, thanks to how quietly the run. And because of this, there’s new legislation in the works that will put a bell around these cars’ collars in an attempt to let you know when one is about to pounce.
In support this new safety legislation, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind have already sent letters to Congress. The new safety requirements would add audible alerts to hybrid and electric vehicles, a benefit that would be extremely beneficial to visually impaired pedestrians, not to mention children and the elderly.
Producing no engine noise and running on battery power at low speeds, manufacturers have been investigating methods to increase these types of safety concerns regarding hybrids and electric cars.
This noise requirement could move through the House and Senate soon, and will most likely be added to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which happens to be in consideration by Congress at this time. Not only would this legislation require new safety standards in vehicles such as event data recorders and a brake override feature, it would also give the NHTSA more resources and power in ordering recalls. If the noise requirements go through, you’ll see – or hear – the audible alerts within three years.
[Source: Consumer Reports]