Hagens Berman Blog

Automotive News: Limits Of Tesla's Autopilot And Driver Error Cited In Fatal Model S Crash, Peugeot chiefs 'approved emissions cheat devices on 2m diesel vehicles', French probe alleges

by Hagens Berman

09/12/2017
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Limits Of Tesla's Autopilot And Driver Error Cited In Fatal Model S Crash

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board ruled today that the “operational design” of Tesla’s Autopilot played a key role in a 2016 fatal crash that left the owner of a Model S dead. The vehicle’s semi-autonomous system permitted the driver, Joshua Brown to use Autopilot in ways “inconsistent” with warnings from Tesla that “permitted his prolonged disengagements from the driving task” and ultimately contributed to his death.

The nearly three-hour hearing offered a wide-ranging discussion on the limitations of automated systems on the road today. The NTSB suggested to any maker of semi-autonomous vehicles to prevent the use of the technology on roads where the vehicles aren’t suited to travel without human control of the vehicle. read more »

Peugeot chiefs ‘approved emissions cheat devices on 2m diesel vehicles’

Three chief executives of PSA Peugeot Citroën approved a fraudulent strategy to defeat anti-pollution tests on almost two million vehicles sold in France, according to an official report.

The French carmaker faces a fine of up to €5 billion if found guilty of equipping cars with illegal software. After the “dieselgate” scandal that hit Volkswagen in the United States, an investigation was launched in France into allegations that manufacturers had cheated during pollution tests on their cars. read more »

French probe alleges 2 million PSA cars had engine cheats: Le Monde

The French investigation into alleged emissions cheating by PSA Group found that suspect software had been used on almost 2 million vehicles sold by the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, Le Monde reported on Friday.

Paris-based PSA denies any use of fraudulent engine software, a spokesman said in response to the newspaper report, which sent PSA shares sharply lower. The stock was down 4.4 percent at 17.78 euros as of 1019 GMT.

So-called “defeat devices” restrict exhaust output of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) under regulatory test conditions while letting emissions far exceed legal limits in real-world driving. read more »

China plots ban on petrol and diesel cars to cut emissions

Aggressive plans to cut automotive emissions announced in world’s biggest car market

China wants to ban the production and sale of pure petrol and diesel cars in an aggressive move designed to fight its growing air pollution problem.

The world’s largest car market is mulling the decision, with the Chinese minister for industry and information tech Xin Guobin telling China’s official news agency Xinhua "Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our car industry's development”.

The new legislation would come as a boost to plans designed to make electric and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars account for at least a fifth of new cars sold by 2025. read more »

Frankfurt Auto Show May Perform Last Rites For Diesel

While the Frankfurt Auto Show will hail the dawn of the electric car, again, conventional wisdom sees the death knell for diesels being sounded next week too.

But like electric cars in reverse, has the death of diesel been falsely heralded, as politics races ahead of economics in condemning this technology, which until recently was seen as the essential, core tool in Europe for meeting ever tighter rules on fuel consumption?

It wasn’t so long ago that diesel was seen as the way to improve fuel consumption as politicians grandstanded their love of the planet and opposition to global warming. Because a diesel engine could develop up to 30% more power than a gasoline engine, fuel could be saved and less carbon dioxide (CO2) would be emitted; result: planet saved. Across Europe, politicians offered tax breaks and other incentives to persuade voters to invest in diesel.

But now, a combination of dieselgate, where leading manufacturers led by Volkswagen, conspired to thwart clean air laws, and deepening fears about the poison diesels spew into the atmosphere in towns and cities, so-called oil-burners have become public enemy number 1. read more »

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