Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People?
There’s something terribly wrong with the auto industry today! And reading this week’s news is enough to notice it. Assuming you’re a sane person that is! While the folks over at Jalopnik uncovered how Goodyear hid evidence of a tire that caused at least nine deaths over nearly 20 years, other outlets are reporting how certain German carmakers paid scientists to gas monkeys and humans with toxic diesel fumes. Yeah, I know, it sounds like an overinflated conspiracy theory, but it’s all true, unfortunately.
Goodyear, one of the world’s most biggest tire manufacturers, is now under scrutiny for an issue that dates back to the early 2000s and is linked to more than 40 lawsuits and at least nine deaths. In short, the brand approved the G159, a tire designed in the mid-1990s for lower-speed delivery vehicles, for motorhome use. Motorhomes usually run at higher speeds than the said tire can handle, which resulted in numerous crashes and deaths. On top of that, it turns out that Goodyear managed to keep complaints and claim data sealed from auto safety regulators for all these years. It’s only now, in 2018, that a proper investigation was launched. Check out Jalopnik’s story for the full details.
Then we have all the big media outlets reporting about German scientists having gassed human volunteers with toxic diesel fumes in tests funded by big car manufacturers. Commissioned by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), these tests were backed by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. In the U.S., then monkeys were gassed with exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle in 2014 by the U.S.-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.
The EUGT was dissolved in 2016, and it remains unclear whether the carmakers were aware of monkeys and humans being gassed, or at least that’s what many reports claim. Be that as it may —, and I must say I have strong doubts that VW, BMW, and Daimler were unaware of what happened behind closed doors — it’s still a sick thing to do in the name of science. And the big problem is that the carmakers will get away with it.
Nope, the New Mercedes G-Class Isn’t Cool. It’s Just Stupid
I’m old enough to remember when the Mercedes G-Class was originally introduced back in 1979. It was heavily based on its military counterpart, it was heavy and underpowered, and it was far from luxurious. But it became an instant hit, and I loved it. And it remained one of my favorite SUVs for decades. The boxy hauler was significantly revised in 1990, and it remained largely unchanged since then, despite technology and drivetrain upgrades. Almost three decades later and Mercedes launched the third-generation G-Class. And the Germans almost ruined it.
Mercedes Let Us Down with the Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet
Now that we’ve seen Mercedes’ “latest” concept, I have to say that I’m not impressed in the least bit. When we first saw the teaser video back at the beginning of August,(art177208) I thought for sure we would get the “big surprise” that Chief Designer Gorgon Wagener promised us. This concept was supposed to be an “icon for the brand,” but all I see is a lazy concept that was thrown together just a few weeks before it was set to debut… Did you forget there was a concept lawn at Pebble Beach, Mr. Wagener? Now I’m wondering if that teaser video from within the bowels of the Advance Design Center was actually the very first meeting to discuss the new concept.
With that said, I will say that the Vision 6 looks good as a droptop, but it definitely falls short of what was promised. In the video, it was even mentioned that the front end would be “different.” Of course, they were talking about in comparison to the Concept IAA, but still. In the end, the Vision 6 Cabriolet is every bit the Vision 6 with a standalone windshield and no roof. Of course, they did change the interior a bit to account for a slightly revised dashboard with a set of HVAC vents in the center – that’s something the coupe doesn’t have. It is also a bit less futuristic in comparison but still far on the red side of my “never-gonna-see-production” meter. The car itself is attractive, and I even love the scheme of the interior, but when I saw the similarities in Merc’s second teaser video, I should have known. But, I don’t want to be all negative, so let’s move on from this rant and talk about something good that comes from this specific concept.
Pops’ Rants: The X-Class Sucks Because You’re a Snotty Elitist
Another day, another carrot. Oh wait, scratch that, the folks over at Warner Brothers may not like it. Just like I don’t like the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class. But hey, unlike Warner Brothers, I can’t sue the Germans for launching the most boring pickup truck ever. But you should know that already, because I posted a big rant on the matter yesterday. I simply hate the design. I think it’s uninspired and lacks everything a Mercedes should have, minus the subdued — and incredibly booooring — styling. Both inside and out. And the worst part is that the truck it is based on, the Nissan Navara, looks way better.
But leaving the X-Class’ design aside for a bit, there’s one more thing that’s been bugging me. It doesn’t have to do as much with the X-Class as with the Navara and with people complaining that Mercedes used a Nissan-Renault Alliance platform for its first pickup truck. I keep seeing this as an argument as to why the X-Class is a big disappointment and I find it ridiculous. And I’m gonna explain why.
Continue reading for the full story.