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Scrapple, Your Guide To The “meh”-Worthy News! This Week: Safety For You, Because You Need It!


Scrapple, Your Guide To The “meh”-Worthy News! This Week: Safety For You, Because You Need It!

It’s been a riotous three days in western Kentucky as Holley’s LS Fest X rocked from sunup until well after sundown at Beech Bend Raceway and NCM Motorsports Park. But the tire smoke has dissipated, the tens of thousands of fans have gone home, and there’s little left to do but pick up the pieces of race engine that were scattered all over the dragstrip, mop up the petrochemicals that were sprayed out of cracked blocks, and take a breather before we get back to our usual routine here at BangShift Mid-West. So apologies if today’s Scrapple is a little bit late, but last week was filled with some rather interesting news bits that made for a worthy Scrapple. Enjoy!

1. “Antitrust” is a big word…

What had been a discussion between the U.S. Federal Government and the state of California has degraded into what might end up as a major court battle. The Justice Department has opened up an antitrust probe that will look into the agreement that California made with Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen earlier in the summer of 2019 that would’ve seen emissions and MPG standards set at a level less than the 54.5 MPG limit set during the Obama administration, but much higher than the 37 MPG limit that the Trump administration is pushing towards. The reasoning behind an antitrust probe? The pact that the manufacturers made is being investigated to see if violates federal competition laws.

2. Wait…didn’t you have Ghosn jailed for roughly the same thing?

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa will step down from his position on September 16, 2019 after an internal investigation revealed that he had received improper payments through Nissan’s stock appreciation rights program, to the tune of about $841,000. Saikawa admitted that he, as well as others, benefitted from the program, which has been in use since 2003. The investigation was launched after Greg Kelly, the other guy who went down the same time former CEO Carlos Ghosn became headline news, started talking about issues that had been going on during the same time period.

We’re sure there’s more to come from this raging dumpster fire.

3. **facepalm**.

“In every vehicle, every market, around the world”. If this is a worldwide phenomenon that needs to be addressed, then maybe I should just put in for a job as a drone driver when the autonomous cars take over. Moving on…

4. C’est la guerre.

The 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany might be kind of lively, but not in a positive method. Two different groups, “Rocks in the Gearbox” and “Sand in the Gearbox”, are planning on causing all sorts of mayhem, much as Rocks in the Gearbox did to a luxury car dealership in Wiesbaden. Their actions, which smacks of eco-terrorism similar to that of the Earth Liberation Front’s activities, are aimed at destroying any and everything associated with automobiles, which they look at as an “outmoded, climate and environment destroying transportation system”. Security checkpoints into the auto show will be tightening up in anticipation of the potential clashes.

5. The important thing is, at least you tried.

The car that brought Fiat back to the American market for the first time in over two decades appears to be done. The Fiat 500, the adorable little city car that tried to earn a place in North America when it appeared for the 2011 model year, is done. The 500L and 500X, larger vehicles, will remain as will the Mazda-sourced 124 Spider, but the original city car variation that led the charge will not be brought back for 2020. Not surprising for a brand that is struggling to move any kind of vehicle at all, though we are genuinely surprised that the 500L, a lump of a crossover, is still allowed to exist. By comparison, the standard 500 is simply a city car too small for America.


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13 thoughts on “Scrapple, Your Guide To The “meh”-Worthy News! This Week: Safety For You, Because You Need It!

  1. Paul

    I don’t understand the first story. Since when do the states negotiate with the auto mfgs about mileage standards? I thought that was a federal issue.

    Reply
  2. Mopar or No Car

    Beg to differ about the Fiat 500 being too small for America. I just traded in my 500C after putting 44,000 miles on it. Used to drive from Sacramento to Reno and back regularly as well as 400-mile round trips to the home office in Woodland hills. Okay, steep hills meant you had to punch the gas and rev it up to 5,500 so it sounded like it was going to explode if you wanted to stay at 65 but it never did explode. Was always well behaved, economical and never gave me a lick of trouble. RIP cinquecento.

    Reply
    1. Matt Cramer

      The usual complaints I hear about city cars is that, compared to a compact, they often don’t improve significantly on mileage while delivering worse highway stability. Instead, they seem more oriented to maneuvering through cramped city streets. I haven’t driven a Fiat 500, so, an honest question – how do those things do on the highway?

      Reply
      1. Mopar or No Car

        Fabulous mileage of course. Use your bangshifty right foot to get up to speed on the short ramps and have faith the engine will not blow up (redline 7,000 with auto trans). No handling issues except in heavy wind and even then not sketchy enough to write home about. Idiots in larger vehicles may try to intimidate you if you are preventing them from exercising their God-given right to drive 80mph regardless of the speed limit.

        Reply
  3. David Sanborn

    We *LOVE* our Fiat 500 Abarth, such a joy to hustle our tiny bulldog of a car through traffic. If America had been willing to cross shop them against Velosters, Fiesta ST’s and comparable small cars they would’ve sold like hotcakes. As it was, America passed judgement on its diminutive size and ignored them.

    I urge anyone looking for a city car to inexpensively haul ass in to check one out.

    Reply
    1. Mopar or No Car

      Truly inexpensive for the thrill factor of driving one. Carmax has one near me with 10K miles for $16K — black on black with red accents and auto trans. That’s a $300/mo. note. I’d think about it if I hadn’t just bought a Crossfire SRT6 with 16K miles for the same price. One foot longer, 800 lbs. heavier and twice the horsepower.

      Reply
  4. Patrick

    Crap cars, the Fiats, buddy got rear ended by a truck in one, lawsuits flying. Ill take my 40 mpg TDI (gasp) Passat over it any day. Unfortunately, anything Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, etc ends up on the least reliable do not buy list.

    Reply
  5. Happy Motoring

    Wow, all these replies and not one mention of the story about the insane anti-automobile, eco-terrorists vowing to try and destroy all automobiles. For the life of me I don’t understand why more people in the car hobby (whether it’s your livelihood or just your spare time pleasure) haven’t banded together to take back the narrative from these completely deranged morons. Kids are being fed these eco-lies early on in their schooling and gradually are getting more and more radical as they go through college. And now we have one whole political party (combined with a few lost causes from the other side) that want to completely do away with fossil fuels altogether! WTF!!!!! All of this to supposedly fix an imaginary problem that we humans actually have the power to change the climate in a significant way. Just a simple search of true, unbiased studies and articles prove pretty clearly this whole “green” movement is one giant load of bs. Yet so many auto enthusiasts don’t seem to want to get involved and try to correct all the misinformation being fed to the folks and more importantly their kids out there. It’s past time for us as lovers of old and new iron that run on “black gold, Texas tea” (tip of the hat there to Mr. Clampett) to stand up and fight for our rights. And then start setting the record straight on so many of these ridiculous, false stories about the climate and our supposed effect on it. Just a little common sense goes a long way but unfortunately it’s in very short supply nowadays in education, government, and news reporting….

    Reply

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