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EU failed to heed emissions warnings in 2013
The EU’s top environmental official alerted his colleagues that motor manufacturers were gaming European emissions tests more than two years before US authorities uncovered widespread cheating by Volkswagen, according to internal European Commission documents obtained by the Financial Times.
Despite the warning sounded by Janez Potocnik, the then EU environment commissioner, Brussels did not take swift action to crack down on the practice but instead left in place an earlier plan that allowed the emissions loopholes exploited by Volkswagen to remain through to 2017.
Toyota bets the future car will be fuelled by hydrogen
Toyota showed off a special version of its new Mirai saloon this week to celebrate Back to the Future day.
The Japanese carmaker’s take on the time-travelling DeLorean from the popular movie series has the trademark gull-wing doors and the same, bare-metal bodywork seen in the Hollywood film. But Toyota’s car is not fuelled by banana skins. This one runs on hydrogen.
Toyota dethrones Volkswagen as biggest car group by sales
Toyota Motor has regained its crown as the world’s biggest car company by sales, displacing Volkswagen as the embattled German manufacturer grapples with the fallout from its emissions cheating scandal. Volkswagen had overtaken Toyota in global sales for the first half of 2015, threatening to end the Japanese group’s three-year reign as the world’s top-selling carmaker.
Volkswagen under more pressure in US over emissions
Volkswagen is coming under scrutiny from another US regulator over its emissions scandal after the Federal Trade Commission said it was examining possible deceptive marketing by the carmaker. In a letter to a senior lawmaker on Capitol Hill, FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said her agency was working with the Environmental Protection Agency — which exposed Volkswagen’s cheating on emissions — and the Department of Justice.
Peugeot to retest cars in real world
PSA Peugeot Citroen has pledged to test its cars for emissions and fuel efficiency under real-world conditions and publish the results in an effort to restore consumer confidence in diesel following the Volkswagen scandal.
UK export orders shrink at fastest pace in 3 years
An industrial survey has confirmed worries over a slowdown in UK manufacturing, ahead of the much-awaited release of preliminary data on economic growth in the third quarter on Tuesday. The Industrial Trends Survey, compiled by the CBI, the employers’ organisation, showed that manufacturing production fell in the three months to October for the first time in two years. Export orders shrank at the fastest pace in three years, while domestic orders declined for the first time since 2013.
The Daily Telegraph
Devolution will not solve business rates burden groups warn Treasury
British business groups are joining forces to issue an unprecedented warning to the Government to not use devolution plans as an excuse to abandon an overhaul of business rates. In March, the Government made a commitment to initiate a radical review of the outdated business rates system. The tax this year brought in £23bn, outstripping council tax as the biggest generator of income for the Treasury.
However, the Chancellor stunned the industry at the start of this month with a surprise announcement that local councils would be handed full control of business rates.
Volkswagen loses sales top spot to Toyota after emissions scandal
Volkswagen has been knocked off the top spot for global car sales by Toyota after taking it from its rival earlier this year, and is likely to languish behind the Japanese firm for the foreseeable future as the emissions-rigging scandal takes full effect. Toyota said it sold 7.5m vehicles in the first nine months of the year, beating VW’s 7.43m reported earlier this month. Both companies had a 1.5% fall in sales, but Toyota outsold Volkswagen in each month of the third quarter. US company General Motors (GM) is in third position after selling 7.2m vehicles, down 1.9% on a year earlier.
David Cameron rejects plans for another EU referendum if public votes to leave
David Cameron has slapped down the plan favoured by Boris Johnson, one of the leading candidates to succeed him as Tory leader, for a second EU referendum in the event of the first one resulting in a vote to leave.
A senior Cameron aide said the PM is “clear that it is simply not going to happen. From the outset, he has been clear this will be a straightforward in-out choice and that’s exactly what it will be. Leave means leave.”
UK economic growth slows to 0.5% in third quarter
The UK economy grew by 0.5% between July and September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says, a slower pace than the previous quarter. The rate was also lower than the 0.6% growth predicted by many analysts. The economy had grown by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year. Part of the slowdown was due to the biggest fall in construction output in three years, a drop of 2.2%. The service sector, the biggest part of the economy, grew by 0.7%.
Whitehall knew about diesel emissions scam six years ago
The government was warned in 2009 that diesel cars were hugely exceeding harmful emissions targets but went on to give £1.7 billion in tax breaks to encourage consumers to buy millions of extra vehicles, an investigation by The Times can reveal. Research commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs six years ago revealed that diesel cars were producing significantly higher levels of pollution than was expected when driven on the road.
Cheating cars got official green light
Skoda and Seat cars fitted with devices to cheat air pollution tests were approved by an agency of the Department for Transport. The Vehicle Certification Agency failed to spot the devices, which were exposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency in an investigation into VW Group, which owns Skoda and Seat.
Driverless cars must choose who to kill
Self-driving cars will need to have the answers to difficult philosophical questions. Perhaps the hardest of all is: if I have to kill someone, who should it be? According to a study of human attitudes, when death is unavoidable on the road driverless cars should choose to sacrifice their passengers rather than passers-by.