VW has reached a tentative agreement with regulators regarding its 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines that provides for the recall of about 83,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles. If the agreement is approved by a San Francisco judge, VW will also pay $225 million to an environmental remediation trust, and $25 million to the California Air Resources Board. VW said if it is unable to bring the recalled vehicles into compliance with emission regulations, it will offer to buy back or terminate the leases of these vehicles. This is separate from an earlier agreement that covered 2.0-liter diesels. “We are committed to earning back the trust of all our stakeholders and thank our customers and dealers in the United States for their patience as the process moves forward,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
In an effort to bring supply more in line with demand, and to do some maintenance work, Ford will close its van and truck plant in Kansas City, Missouri for a week. The shutdown will occur in early January,
Light vehicle sales could set a record for all of 2016 and then cool slightly in the New Year, according to IHS Market. Consumers are “continuing to buy in an auto environment that’s still welcoming,” said Chris Hopson, manager of the company’s North American forecast. While the Federal Reserve has started to raise interest rates, he said, “We’re bumping up from historically low interest rates.”
Regulators are looking into reports that certain Ram trucks and Dodge Durango SUV’s rolled away after their owners parked them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration probe covers Ram 1500’s from model years 2013-16 and Durangos from 2014-16 and this could potentially affect 1-million vehicles. NHTSA said it has received 43 complaints from owners regarding the roll away problem along with 25 accident reports. Fiat Chrysler said it is fully cooperating with the investigation. If you own one of the affected vehicles, it would be a good idea to engage the parking brake when you have completed your drive, NHTSA advised.