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Automotive News Digest; Week Ending September 22, 2018 Edited By Larry Nutson


AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - September 23, 2018; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Senior Editor and Chicago Car Guy along with fellow senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, give you The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, in easy to "catch up" with news nuggets. For More search the past 25 year's millions of (Indexed By Google) pages of automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, archived news residing in The Auto Channel Automotive News Library.

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The Auto Channel Automotive News Digest Week Ending September 15, 2018
Executive Editor Larry Nutson

* The European Commission opened an inquiry into possible collusion among BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen to prevent the development of clean emissions technology. The investigation adds to a series of problems for the German auto industry, the country’s biggest employer and exporter, which is grappling with the consequences of Volkswagen’s diesel deception, as well as a long-term shift toward electric vehicles and the threat of auto tariffs from the United States.

* A federal judge in New York approved a motion filed by prosecutors to dismiss a four-year-old case against General Motors. Reuters is reporting that the case was dismissed after GM fulfilled the terms of its settlement with the government over the ignition switch scandal, which led to an estimated 124 deaths and 275 injuries. The terms included payment of a $900 million fine and three years of monitoring by the federal government.

* We drove the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima this week. Despite popular thinking, sedans are very much in vogue with young buyers. The Altima will get all-wheel drive too. Check back for a full report with our driving impressions.

* J Mays, who retired from Ford as chief designer in 2013, has joined Whirlpool Corporation as VP and chief design officer of the appliance maker. Mays' predecessor in that job was Patrick Schiavone, who also was once at Ford design responsible for the F-150 until he left to join Whirlpool in 2010.

* Nissan recalled more than 215,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. due to a fire risk and is advising people to park the vehicles outdoors in rare cases. An anti-lock brake pump can leak brake fluid onto a circuit board, causing an electrical short and increasing the fire risk, according to the company. If drivers see the anti-lock brake warning lamp for more than 10 seconds after starting the engine, Nissan urges them not to drive the vehicles and park them outdoors. The recall covers certain 2015 to 2017 Nissan Murano, 2016 and 2017 Nissan Maxima, 2017 through 2018 Nissan Pathfinder and 2017 Infiniti QX60 vehicles.

* Volkswagen announced that the 2019 Bonneville Jetta recorded a track speed of 210.16 mph (338.15 kph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats, near Wendover, Nevada, at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s (USFRA) World of Speed event. In the course of the run, the car broke the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) Blown Gas Coupe (G/BGC) class record of 208.472 mph.

* NASCAR playoffs are underway. The 10-race post season kicked off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Appropriately, or not, heavy discussion within NASCAR is to allow legalized betting. On-track gambling is thought of as a way to boost dwindling attendance. Many drivers support the idea of legalizing what has been going on behind the scenes for years.

* It's 500 wins for Penske. Brad Keselowski raced to his third consecutive Cup series victory last Sunday, opening the playoffs by persevering through a wreck-filled afternoon and taking charge of overtime in the Las Vegas heat. He also secured the team owner Roger Penske’s 500th victory with his performance in a race featuring 12 cautions.

* Scott Dixon needed only an uneventful race last Sunday at Sonoma Raceway to win the IndyCar championship. He sealed it by finishing second to Ryan Hunter-Reay. The title, his fifth, moved him into second, two behind A.J. Foyt.

* In an attempt to level the playing field in the NHRA Factory Stock class, rules were changed to add more weight to the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and take out weight of the Chevrolet COPO Camaro and the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet. It seems the Challengers are making a lot of horsepower, as evidenced by wins at Indy with 1/4 mile times around 8 seconds flat. Ironically, in racing this weekend the Challengers have broken into the 7-second range, as has one COPO Camaro. Stay tuned as Factory Stock has now become more popular with the fans than Pro Stock.