Auto News: Mercedes, Toyota07/02/2019
As Europe orders a recall, EPA’s inquiry into Mercedes emissions drags on
Three years after the Environmental Protection Agency began investigating alleged diesel emission cheating in Mercedes-Benz cars, vehicle owners and environmentalists say the Trump administration appears to be allowing the inquiry to stall.
Daimler AG, the German parent company for Mercedes, is among several automakers that have come under scrutiny since 2015 after Volkswagen admitted to equipping some of its diesel-powered cars with illegal software designed to hide excess emissions.
In 2016, federal and state regulators launched an investigation into whether Mercedes had used a similar cheat, enabling cars to pass emissions tests that they would have otherwise failed. German regulators also launched an inquiry.
In the intervening years, German regulators have found evidence of cheating by Daimler and hit the company with fines and forced recalls. However, in the United States there have been no repercussions as the investigation crosses the three-year mark. read more »
Toyota expands Prius recall, reveals up to 20,000 hybrid inverters failed
As many as 20,000 Toyota Prius owners have had electric power system failures after the company recalled their vehicles in 2014 and attempted to remedy a safety defect by modifying software.
Separately, Toyota last week notified its dealers across the U.S. that it is again expanding the scope of the electric power system recall to include Prius models made in 2018. The original recall covered about 800,000 Priuses in the U.S. from model years 2010 to 2014. Toyota issued a second recall last October, when the company acknowledged that the first recall still left owners unsafe.
For Toyota, the trial resurrects some of the same issues of transparency on safety issues that it confronted with its unintended acceleration problem, which emerged in 2009 with the quadruple fatal accident involving an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer and his family. After congressional hearings, investigations by federal regulators and court battles, Toyota pledged to be more responsive to safety complaints and provide more authority for its U.S.-based safety engineers. read more »