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VW denies £2.5m London congestion charge billBack


VW denies £2.5m London congestion charge bill 

Car firm Volkswagen (VW) has said it will not pay the £2.5m the mayor of London claims it owes in missed congestion charge payments, following the 2015 emissions-rigging scandal. Sadiq Khan said 80,000 VW engines fitted with “defeat devices” were registered in London. The devices, which detected when an engine was being tested, changed performance to improve results. VW said the cars had “validly” qualified for a low emissions discount.


Takata scandal: Faulty airbags still used in refits 

Faulty Takata airbags, which have been linked to deaths around the world, are being replaced by new faulty airbags, Australian consumer group Choice says. The organisation said five carmakers had admitted swopping airbags for identical devices in Australia as a temporary fix. Toyota said the replacements would be safe for several years because faults only emerged as the airbags aged. But Choice said the policy left people “driving ticking time-bombs”.


IMF downgrades US and UK growth

The UK and US economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It said “weaker-than-expected activity” in the first three months of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7%, compared with an earlier 2% forecast. And the IMF revised down its US outlook from 2.3% to 2.1%. However, its overall global economic predictions – of 3.5% growth in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018 – remain unchanged.



The Financial Times


EU collusion probe threatens German carmakers’ ‘credibility’ 

A new EU competition investigation into Germany’s top carmakers threatens the credibility of the entire industry, a German minister has warned, after Brussels confirmed it was probing suspected collusion on technology. If proven, the allegations could plunge an industry already battered by Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal into a fresh crisis. Brigitte Zypries, German economics minister, said she took “very seriously” the allegations the allegations that Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler ” had for years run secret technology working groups.



The Times


Car insurance premiums up 20% in a year 

Car insurance premiums have risen nearly 20 per cent in the past year and now stand at a 23-year high, according to the AA. The burden has fallen hardest on young drivers, with 17 to 22-year-olds now paying an average of £1,770.92. The average of the five cheapest quotes found by the AA for comprehensive insurance as of June 30 stood at £690.35, compared with £577.22 a year earlier. The AA blamed the steep rise on a change made in February to the government formula used to calculate personal injury compensation, more than doubling payouts for life-changing injuries.



The Daily Telegraph


Theresa May faces Tory rebellion if plans to improve air quality hit diesel drivers 

Theresa May has been warned she will face a potential Tory rebellion if the Government “punishes” drivers of diesel vehicles when it publishes plans to improve air quality later this month. Any attempt to make drivers “bear the burden” of the cost of bringing down pollution would trigger a backlash from MPs who fear “white van Conservatives” would turn their backs on the party, having been encouraged to buy diesels by the last Labour government. Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has until the end of July to publish the Government’s long-awaited Air Quality Plan, which could include plans for a so-called “toxin tax” on diesel vehicles driving into cities.


Car hire scandal: How Europcar staff are handed £4 each time they spot ‘damage’ 

One of the world’s biggest car hire firms, Europcar, paid staff for cheating customers over “damaged” cars, a whistleblower has claimed. Europcar agents inspecting hire cars for damage are rewarded with £4 for each car they flag up as damaged, regardless of whether a repair is actually warranted, a manager at the firm told the Daily Telegraph. The alleged conflict of interest comes amid a large volume of customers reporting they have been charged huge fees for “barely there” or non-existent damages after renting a car.



City AM


Brits are still cool on the rise of driverless cars as liability question marks continue to hang over the industry 

 Despite the considerable push by both auto and tech firms to race ahead in progress on driverless cars, many people are still taking time to warm up to the idea. Some 39 per cent of Brits are ready to embrace the development, according to new data from Direct Line. Its research found that big question marks still loom over liabilities for the industry and uncertainty over who should be responsible should something go awry on the roads. Some 45 per cent of 3,000 people said they thought manufacturers of driverless technology should be liable in an accident.



The Daily Mail


BMW rejects media reports of emissions manipulations 

German carmaker BMW on Sunday rejected media reports that the emissions treatment systems in its vehicles did not work effectively and that it colluded with rivals on their design and prices. Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday that BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche may have colluded to fix the prices and designs of diesel emissions treatment systems and other vehicle parts. “Cars of the BMW Group are not being manipulated and are in line with the applicable legal requirements,” BMW said in a statement. The European Commission said on Saturday that EU antitrust regulators were investigating the allegations and German politicians have called for transparency and punishment in the event of wrongdoing.


Posted by Paul Carpenter on 24/07/2017