This Innovative Tow Truck Can Steal Your Car in Under a Minute

This is both awesome and scary.

As a car owner, seeing your ride get towed away is one of the worst things you can experience. It’s your fault for parking in the wrong place, but still. Anyway, here’s a tow truck that’s so fast you won’t actually see your car being towed in the first place.

It was filmed outside an airport in Turkey, taking away an illegally parked Renault Clio. The Iveco Eurocargo carrier pulls up next to the Clio and two pillar lifts descend down to the road. The forks slide out and clamp the wheels, then raise the car above the truck’s chassis. Finally, the lifts slide across to the other side the chassis and the truck is ready to drive off.

The whole process takes precisely 60 seconds. Which isn’t even enough time to realize it’s your car’s alarm you can hear wailing. Instead, the owner will have emerged to find their car isn’t where they left it. Which is actually worse than seeing it being taken away. But again, it’s their fault for leaving it in the wrong place.

It’s an awesome piece of engineering – I haven’t been able to ascertain the manufacturer – but quite scary, too. Partly just because it’s so effective, but also because there’s not much you could do to stop criminals using it to boost cars.

I’m not aware of these being used anywhere other than Turkey; have you seen one in operation?

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Volkswagen’s Dieselgate Settlement Will Cost A Whopping $15 Billion

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate settlement with American owners of its cheaty diesel cars will cost the company more than $15 billion, or five billion dollars more than was originally reported, according to Bloomberg. More than $10 billion of that is slated just to go to Volkswagen owners.

The reported settlement also leaves less than $3 billion left over in Volkswagen’s initial Dieselgate fund for pending legal actions and investigations in the rest of the entire world.

Here are the financial details of how it will work:

Car owners will get a total of $10.03 billion, which covers both the value of their vehicles before the scandal became public last September and compensation payments of as much as $10,000 apiece, two people familiar with the negotiations said. Those figures could rise if VW misses certain repair deadlines.

The compensation figure jumped over the past few days, these people said, as the parties changed their estimates on what it would take to get some 85 percent of owners to trade in their vehicles under the settlement.

The rest of the settlement includes $2.7 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, and an additional $2 billion for research into clean-emissions technology, Bloomberg reported.

There’s a further settlement with individual states as well, possibly to the tune of another $400 million. There’s also no exact timetable yet for when any of this will come to fruition, or how VW owners will be able to make a claim for their cars.

But as we said earlier today, this is definitely not the end. There are still multiple lawsuits pending in many different countries, along with pissed off shareholders and regulators. Not to mention any lingering depression in sales that can be attributed to the scandal.

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2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition

You didn’t think you’d heard the last from Ford about its stunning victory at Le Mans, did you? We’re not even talking about the 2016 running of the 24-hour endurance race. No, Ford throws it all the way back to 1966 for its new 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition. The black-and-silver livery recalls the GT40 Mark II driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon back in 1966. That year, the No. 2 car came in first place, followed by the No. 1 GT40 of Ken Miles and Denis Hulme and the No. 5 GT40 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson.

Each ’66 Heritage Edition will wear Shadow Black exterior paint – either matte or gloss finish – with silver stripes and Frozen White No. 2 graphics on the hood and doors. The 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are done up in a gold satin finish. Ebony leather covers the carbon fiber seats inside, with gold accents on the instrument panel, seat X-brace, and shift paddles. Blue seatbelts round out the homage to the 1966 racecar.

Ford says the ’66 Heritage Edition will be sold in 2017 only, which makes sense. We wouldn’t bet against similar special-edition offerings in 2018, ’19, and ’20 – 1966 kicked off four straight victories for Ford at Le Mans – but if you like this specific livery, you’d better get in line now. See for yourself in our high-res image gallery up top, and feel free to read more in the press release below.

All-New 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition Pays Homage toHistoric Livery on 1966 Le Mans Winner

– All-new Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition with unique black and silver-stripe livery celebrates 1966 Le Mans-winning GT40 Mark II race car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon

– Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition honoring historic No. 2 race car limited to 2017 model year only

– Limited-edition Ford GT features exclusive race-number graphics, and unique interior colors, materials and appointments

DEARBORN, Mich., June 27, 2016 – The all-new 2017 Ford GT will be available in a limited-edition Heritage theme honoring the GT40 Mark II driven to victory by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon at Le Mans in 1966 – part of the historic 1-2-3 Ford GT sweep. The car will feature unique interior and exterior color themes, and an exclusive wheel finish.

“Celebrating the anniversary of Ford’s historic victories at Le Mans has always been a part of the return of the Ford GT,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer. “The 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a stunning tribute to the car that kicked off Ford’s string of Le Mans victories in 1966.”

The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition features a Shadow Black exterior in either gloss or matte finish with silver stripes and exposed carbon fiber package. The car sports Frozen White #2 hood and door graphics, and 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels in a gold satin clearcoat with black lug nuts.

The interior of the limited edition model wraps the Ford GT carbon-fiber seats in Ebony leather, with pillowed inserts and plow-through stitching, and the seats’ head restraints and the steering wheel are debossed with the Ford GT logo. The instrument panel, pillars and headliner also features an Ebony-leather wrap, with gold appliqués on the instrument panel, the seat’s X-brace and shift paddles. Like the 1966 race car, the steering wheel is leather wrapped, with seat belts featuring a unique blue webbing.

Rounding out the modifications to the Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition are a unique serialized identification plate, the #2 interior door graphic, and exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods and center console.

Garen Nicoghosian, exterior design manager for the car, says the team set out to highlight where it all started with the Ford GT. “While the looks are distinctly based on the GT40 Mark II race car,” he says, “we’ve accentuated new styling cues to provide a modern interpretation.”

The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition can be viewed at using the configuration tool.

Limited quantities will be available for the 2017 model year only.

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12 tips for safer towing on your holiday trip

Bear in mind that everything takes longer when you’re towing, so give yourself more room.

Johannesburg – Anybody who’s ever tried to reverse a trailer knows that towing is not as simple as it looks.

Yet if you have a Class B driving licence you can legally tow anything up to 750kg without any relevant training or qualifications.

Nevertheless, towing even a little ‘Ventertjie’ will affect the acceleration, braking and maneuverability of your car, and will magnify the effect of any mistakes you do make.

So we asked Masterdrive boss Eugene Herbert – who at one time held the world land speed record for towing a caravan, so he should know what he’s talking about – for his advice, and here are his tips for towing:


If you’ve never towed before, get some training; at the very least take the trailer down to an empty car park and get a feel for how your car accelerates, brakes and steers with it attached.

Check that the trailer is roadworthy; if it’s been standing long enough for the tyres to get really flat, their sidewalls may have cracked, and just pumping them up will just make them more dangerous.

Check that the bearings are well greased, especially on boat trailers or if you live near the sea. Then get one of the kids to stand behind the trailer while you check the tail-lights and indicators.

Weight – and weight distribution – are most important, especially the gross and tow bar weights. Incorrect weighting can cause sway, so distribute it evenly, with heavier items in front of the axle.

On a caravan, empty the water tanks before you leave and refill them when you get there – which will also ensure that the water is fresh!

Secure the hitch with a pin or lock and cross the safety chains under the tow-hitch in an X shape. That way, if the trailer or caravan comes off the hitch while towing, it should drop onto the chains, giving you a chance to stop the bus before it goes its own way.


Bear in mind that everything takes longer when you’re towing: accelerating, slowing down and overtaking, so give yourself more room and be aware of faster vehicles.

Take corners later and sharper to avoid clipping the curb with the inside wheel of the trailer.

Higher speeds increase wind resistance, stressing the car and and the trailer – and burning extra fuel. Moderate speeds give better control and reduce sway, so allow for extra time on the road and take it easy.

If the trailer does start to sway, don’t try to steer out of it; gradually slow down until everything is back in line. Sudden turns can cause more sway, and slamming on the brakes can cause the trailer to jackknife.If it happens again, stop and check the cause; you may have to repack the caravan or trailer to redistribute the weight.

Every time you stop for a break, walk around the trailer or caravan for problems. And every time you stop for fuel, check the tyre pressures; they will be higher than when you left because the tyres get hot while running, but they should be the same on each side. If not, you may have a slow leak, which will require careful monitoring.

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City council passes bill targeting predatory towing practices

Bill 160682, spearheaded by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, requires towing companies to summon Philadelphia police or the Philadelphia Parking Authority to issue a ticket before hauling cars away.

The new law will seek to guarantee that vehicles being towed were parked illegally. But cars parked illegally at Philadelphia hospitals can be towed without police or PPA approval.

alleged towing scam south philly

Tow truck drivers told 6ABC that the bill is unfair and punishes the towing industry as a whole, instead of punishing a handful of operators engaging in predatory towing or bait-and-trap schemes.

“How could those who do parking lot and driveway enforcement be predatory, when it’s the property owner, or the management company, who is calling us to tow these vehicles,” Lew Blum of Lew Blum Towing told the news station. “They have us mixed up with another part of the industry.”

The big question that remains is how the city will enforce the new rule in 30 days. Truck drivers told NBC10 that they’re not sure how long it’ll take police to issue tickets or who even to call.

The city Department of Licenses & Inspection won’t be able to handle the volume on its own, which is why the city plans on contracting with a third party.

The bill’s passing comes months after numerous drivers said that they were victims of an alleged bait-and-trap towing scheme in South Philadelphia in August.

The story was similar for many – the drivers would park at a seemingly open spot on South Broad Street and Washington Avenue. But on their return, the car would be gone with a “no parking” sign from George Smith Towing suddenly in place where their vehicle had been parked.

Facebook videos posted by Chris Norman who lives above the allegedly targeted spot have documented a handful of incidents.

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Philadelphia city council approved a measure on Thursday aimed at cracking down down on ‘rogue’ tow truck drivers.

That legislation is designed to reign in an industry that, some say, steals cars off the street through various, unscrupulous tactics.

An Action News Investigation exposed a number of shady practices earlier this year.

The plan would make tow truck drivers wait until a vehicle has a parking ticket before they can remove it.

Earlier in the day, independent two truck drivers lined the streets outside City Hall with their vehicles, blocking a lane of traffic.

They were there to protest legislation that they consider to be unfair.

The bill’s backers say it is a measure to crack down on rogue drivers, or private companies that remove cars that are not parked illegally.

“It’s hard to legislate for bad actors and we know that and we’re committed to working with the industry and, as a city, doing our part to come up with a better system. But in the interim, we’ve got to stop what we’ve blatantly seen, which is some folks stealing cars,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

The measure passed 15-1 despite the concerted opposition from legitimate drivers and a key council member.

“I understand her good intentions, but the devil’s in the details, and these independent contractors who are tax paying, law abiding, non-predatory, are in business. As we try to fix something, they’re going to put them out of business,” said Councilman Curtis Jones.

“We do everything we need to do as far as paying L&I for our licenses, paying taxes, hiring people in the city of Philadelphia, and it’s pretty much going totally against us,” said Anthony Kitt of Kitt’s Towing. “We have no say and no option.”

Even high profile, long-established, big money tow truck operators were at City Hall to protest the towing industry reforms.

“How could those who do parking lot and driveway enforcement be predatory, when it’s the property owner, or the management company, who is calling us to tow these vehicles,” said Lew Blum of Lew Blum Towing. “They have us mixed-up with another part of the industry.”

The new regulations will be implemented fully in 30 days.

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Philadelphia cracking down on predatory towing

(House of Digital/Bigstock)
(House of Digital/Bigstock)
Philadelphia is cracking down on predatory towing.

Right now, truck drivers in Philadelphia only have to take a picture of an illegally parked car before hauling it off to an impound lot. But, thanks to a bill passed by City Council Thursday, they’ll soon have to wait for a police or parking authority officer to ticket the car first.

For years, city officials have received complaints from drivers who say their cars were towed from legal spots.

“There is grand auto theft happening in the city every day,” said Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez who sponsored the bill.

But towing company owners argued that having to wait for an officer will cut down on the volume of their businesses.

Anthony Kitt was one of several tow truck drivers from Philadelphia who showed up at City Hall asking council to delay the vote.

“You have a bill being passed that goes against everybody when they know who the bad guys are,” Kitt said. “The names have been blasted all over the news. They have video of what’s going on. And you affect the lives and lifestyles of a lot of people behind the bad doings of a few.”

Instead of putting off the vote, Quiñones-Sánchez agreed to delay enforcement of the new rule for 30 days once it’s signed by the mayor.

She said the city will create a hotline so tow truck drivers can call one of the nine law enforcement agencies authorized for ticketing illegally parked cars under the bill and get a faster response.

“But in the interim, the bad actors continue to steal cars, and this is about protecting consumers right now,” she said.

All of the agencies involved will meet on Tuesday to get down to work, Quiñones-Sánchez said.

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