July 14, 2024

Car manufacturer GM fined $146 million for mass emissions test failures

Greetings! It’s Thursday, July 4, 2024, and welcome to The Morning Shift, your daily digest of the latest automotive news from around the globe, all in one convenient place. Let’s delve into the key stories of the day.

1st Gear: Nearly 6 Million GM Vehicles Found to Exceed Emission Limits

Emission tests have revealed that almost every automaker is facing challenges. Following in the footsteps of Volkswagen’s notorious scandal in 2015, both Toyota and General Motors are now under scrutiny for emissions discrepancies. Following an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, GM is now facing a substantial fine after it was discovered that 5.9 million of its vehicles emitted higher levels of pollution than initially reported.

After a detailed examination by the EPA, GM has been ordered to pay $146 million in penalties and surrender emissions credits. According to a report by CBS News, the impacted vehicles include a significant number of full-size pickups and SUVs. The EPA found that these vehicles were emitting more carbon dioxide than claimed in GM’s compliance reports.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan stated, “Our investigation has achieved accountability and upholds an important program that’s reducing air pollution and protecting communities across the country.” GM, on the other hand, denied any wrongdoing and affirmed its commitment to reducing auto emissions and supporting the government’s electrification goals.

In addition to the fine, GM has forfeited greenhouse gas credits and gas mileage credits. This penalty follows a previous multimillion-dollar payment made by GM in 2023 for failing to meet targets set by NHTSA.

2nd Gear: Volvo Reports Increased Deliveries Due to Electric EX30 Sales

Several automakers have recently shared their sales figures, with Volvo now joining the ranks with positive sales for the latest quarter. The Swedish automaker saw a rise in deliveries, attributed to an eight percent increase fueled by demand for its electric models, particularly the new EX30 electric SUV.

Volvo Cars reported a 41% increase in sales of fully electric and plug-in hybrid models, accounting for almost half of its global car sales. Strong demand in Europe and Latin America contributed to the overall growth in sales.

Despite the positive sales figures, Volvo has encountered challenges, including software issues with the EX30 and delays in the production of the flagship EV, the EX90.

3rd Gear: California’s EV Ban Faces Legal Challenge

California’s ambitious plan to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035 is facing opposition and a legal challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court. A group of energy companies and industry associations have raised concerns about California’s autonomy in setting emissions rules and environmental targets.

The plaintiffs argue that California’s regulations exceed its jurisdiction and lack the necessary congressional authorization. They claim that California’s efforts to combat climate change are not extraordinary and should not require separate emissions standards.

The debate centers around whether California should be able to implement its own emissions targets or adhere to federal regulations.

4th Gear: Ineos Postpones First EV Launch Due to Weak Demand

As consumer demand for electric vehicles remains subdued, UK automaker Ineos has delayed the launch of its first electric vehicle. The anticipated release of the battery-powered Fusilier has been pushed back, with no new launch date announced as of yet.

Ineos Group cited consumer reluctance towards EVs and industry uncertainty as reasons for the delay. Clarity from policymakers is needed to meet long-term net zero targets, according to the company.

The decision comes amid political shifts in the UK, with potential changes in emissions targets depending on the outcome of the general election.

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