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Ex Volkswagen executive jailed in US amid diesel scandal
A former Volkswagen executive has been sentenced to seven years in prison and a $400,000 (£298,778) fine, after admitting he helped the firm evade clean-air laws. Oliver Schmidt, 48, is the second person to be imprisoned in the US over the diesel emissions scandal. Volkswagen first admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat US emissions tests. The scandal has cost it almost $30bn.
Theresa May under pressure to break Brexit talks impasse
Theresa May is under increasing pressure from all sides to break the impasse in the Brexit talks. The DUP says there is “work to be done” if it is to agree to plans for the future of the border with Ireland. Irish PM Leo Varadkar said he was willing to consider new proposals and suggested the UK might put something forward later. Ambassadors of the 27 EU member states are understood to be “waiting for something from London”.
Brexit ‘affecting London’s talent pool’
The UK’s ability to attract talent is already suffering, following the vote to leave the EU, according to the boss of the UK’s fifth-largest bank. Standard Chartered is “preparing for the worst” from Brexit, chief executive Bill Winters told the BBC. The UK-headquartered bank is in the process of turning its Frankfurt branch into a subsidiary requiring additional capital, licences and staff.
BMW electric car ad banned over misleading ‘clean car’ claims
The car company BMW has been censured by the UK’s advertising watchdog for claiming an electric car equipped with a small petrol engine was “clean” and “zero emissions”, in a ruling that could have a knock-on effect on other electric car advertising. The advertising was published in the form of a Facebook post that used testimonials from real customers to extol the virtues of the BMW i3. That model is unusual among electric vehicles, as in addition to the electric drive, it also has a small petrol engine. However, unlike “hybrid” cars, which have a petrol-driven engine that can take over from the electric system when it runs out of charge, on longer journeys or at higher speeds, the i3’s petrol engine is only used to maintain the charge on the electric drive. In the Facebook ad the car was described as “a clean car and helps to give back to the environment”. A complainant suggested that the presence of a petrol engine meant this statement was incorrect.
Diesel at a crossroads after Budget confusion
The huge slump in sales of new diesel cars is hardly a surprise given Philip Hammond’s ham-fisted handling of the issue in last month’s Budget. Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders this week showed a 30.6pc crash in diesel car sales in November, hot on the heels of a similar sized fall in September. The UK car industry has not suffered these kinds of decline for almost a decade – and that was at the height of the financial crisis. In the Budget the Chancellor trumpeted the introduction of a levy on the sale of new diesel cars. Proceeds from this charge – a one-time hit of between £20 and £300 – would be used to fund measures to improve air quality, Hammond said.
The councils that hit drivers hardest as they raked in £16MILLION in parking fines
Councils are gearing up for a Christmas parking fine ‘bonanza’ to top up their coffers after a lucrative summer.
An investigation for the Daily Mail has identified several local authorities which have become ‘fine traps’ for drivers. Figures released following a Freedom of Information Act request from the AA reveal that 50 councils hauled in more than £16 million in parking penalties over the summer. Almost 5,000 fines worth £177,000 were handed out every day on average between July and September.