Episode 54 : Shedload of Torque - FCA Investigated, VW Civil Lawsuit, Aston Martin CEO to inspect DB11s, Fastest Street Legal EV, JD Power New Car Dependabilty Survey

As Britain melts, due to a second day of sunshine, the chaps start off the show with quite a bit of follow-up.

FCA INVESTIGATED

First of the FCA stories is that now the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission have joined the Department of Justice and are investigating their sales practices. These are said to include cash incentives to dealers to buy cars, then put them on their stock as demonstrators and the like. To read the article about the original investigation click here. To read the about the new investigations click here. For the other FCA article from Autoextremist click here.

FCA BUG BOUNTY NDA

In the second FCA follow-up item, Andrew discusses how they’ve messed up the bug bounty this show was so pleased to see they’d implemented. When submitting a bug the researcher must sign a NDA. Yes, really. By doing so FCA has removed the ability for them to be held accountable for bugs. The strides they’d made to transparency have been removed in one step. Additionally, researchers want the ability to get recognition for their work, which the NDA removes. To further read about this click here.

VW CIVIL ACTION

Our old friend #DieselGate is back. Just when Volkswagen thought the legal action would be subsiding up pops three US states which have originated civil lawsuits against VW for covering up evidence of the cheating. Individuals are also named, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn. To read more about this click here.

TRANSPORT COMMITTEE TALK TO VAUXHALL

Vauxhall has attended a Transport Committee hearing in Parliament to explain the fire issues with Zafira B, or Mark 2, models. The chaps aren’t fans of this committee, with some members grandstanding and taking cheap shots which also show a lack of understanding about transport. Vauxhall said they were aware of fires from 2009 but were unable to investigate until 2014 when they felt there may be a link. To read more please click here.

CALL TO BAN ALL DIESELS FROM LONDON

The final bit of follow-up is about the Mayor of London’s plan to add a new charge for ‘dirty cars’. The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) have called for diesel cars to be completely banned from London. Both Andrew and Alan get frustrated with this and other sledgehammer-style approaches to this problem. Again there is no mention of other initiatives that will be required to actually make a difference. To read more click here.

NEW TRANSPORT SECRETARY

Finally, Alan gets to move onto new news! He starts with letting us know that the new Secretary of State for Transport is Chris Grayling. No one knows what changes the new government will take to transport. To read more about the appointment click here.

AVERAGE MPG FAILURE FINES UPPED IN US

The NHTSA will be more than doubling their fines falling short of company-wide average fuel economy standard, in the US. This is being implemented quickly, which has caught the manufacturers out. To read more and see a list of the Top 5 for fines click here.

Alan is relieved that the show can now move on to less negative and depressing news!

CEO INSPECTS FIRST 1000 DB11s

Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, will personally inspect the first 1000 DB11s that come off the production line. To prove this has taken place he will sign an inspector’s plaque that will be mounted on the engine. To read more on this item click here.

DEFENDER REBIRTH FANTASY

Rumours emerged last week that the founder of Ineos, a chemical company, Ratcliffe wanted to bring back the Defender. Jaguar Land Rover have moved to squash these. They have made it clear that the Defender is part of their heritage and their future. Ratcliffe has reacted to that news by saying he’ll build something that looks quite like it. To read more click here.

2016 J.D. POWER NEW CAR VEHICLE DEPENDABILITY SURVEY

This week’s listical is the J D Power results for reliability. Congratulations to SKODA for coming out on top. Andrew is a little surprised at which cars are included in which categories. To read through the list click here.

FASTEST STREET LEGAL EV

Jonny Smith, who was on our screens with Fifth Gear until it’s untimely end, has been working on a project to create the world’s fastest street legal EV car. At the weekend he managed a 1/4 mile drag in 9.86 seconds. To read more on his new website and see a video of one of the runs click here.

CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE

Windsor Castle will be hosting the Concours of Elegance from 2-4 September, with 1000 cars expected to show up. Alan is disappointed that he won’t be able to attend as the Peugeot Oxia will be there. To read about this click here.

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