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Articles by Christian Stampfer

German Cities Consider Ban on Diesel Passenger Cars

German diesel owners may yet face another challenge much greater than Volkswagen’s Dieselgate: German cities are considering banning diesel-powered vehicles.
The ban would come about because many metropolitan areas cannot meet the requirement for nitrogen oxide, or NOx, emissions and the Deutscher Städtetag, the German Association of Cities, is sounding the alarm. As a result, drivers in cities including Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich may find a ban in place.
The news was …

2016 Audi A4 2.0 TDI Ultra – Review

Exactly one and a half years passed since I spent time with the previous generation of the Audi A4. The 2014 Audi A4 was a sophisticated and well-engineered mid-sized premium sedan. However, to compete against other premium competitors, such as the BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes C-Class, it lacked state of the art infotainment and safety features. In order to catch up, the all-new A4 generation received Audi’s latest …

Germany Marks 500 Years of “Reinheitsgebot” Beer Purity Law

Five hundred years ago, what is believed to be the first consumer protection law, the Reinheitsgebot – Germany’s Beer Purity Law – was enacted.
The Bavarian law, which went into effect on April 23, 1516, limited the ingredients that could be used to produce beer to water, barley, and hops. It also set the price of beer and threatened confiscation for any brewer violating the Reinheitsgebot. Wheat, which was later allowed, …

Report from Detroit – Highlights from the 2016 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT— The North American International Auto Show remains one of the most important auto shows of the automotive industry. Every year the show kicks off the international car show calendar and is followed by major events in Europe and Asia.
The show is held at the Cobo Center in Detroit and starts with two press days on January 11 and 12, followed by two industry preview days and a charity day.
The …

Buick Avista Concept Steals Detroit Auto Show Before It Opens

DETROIT—“When better cars are built, Buick will build them,” a slogan coined by William C. Durant, Buick’s general manager at the turn of the last century, was never more valid than on the eve of the opening of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as Buick showed off the Avista concept.
The elegant and sporty 2+2 Avista, a rear-wheel drive “contemporary grand tourer” with 400 horsepower, captivated the …

Volkswagen: ‘Chain of Mistakes and ‘Insufficient’ IT Infrastructure Led to Dieselgate

Volkswagen: ‘Chain of Mistakes and ‘Insufficient’ IT Infrastructure Led to Dieselgate

MUNICH—Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal was the result of a “chain of mistakes,” a “Fehlerkette” in German, which began in 2005 when the automaker saw an opportunity to develop a niche market in diesel-powered automobiles in the United States, Hans Dieter Pötsch, the company’s chairman, said Thursday.
Realizing that the company could not legally meet current U.S. emissions standards, Pötsch explained, its engineers developed software that would allow its vehicles to detect when …

Volkswagen: CO2 Emissions Not as Bad as Feared, ‘Almost All’ Matched Original Figures

Volkswagen: CO2 Emissions Not as Bad as Feared, ‘Almost All’ Matched Original Figures

MUNICH—Volkswagen said that its investigation of possible understatement of carbon dioxide emissions showed that it had the fuel consumption and with it CO2 levels on far fewer vehicles than thought.
“Following extensive internal investigations and measurement checks, it is now clear that almost all of these model variants do correspond to the CO2 figures originally determined,” the Wolfsburg-based automaker said in a statement.
The problem was found in nine model variants and …