First 5 Minutes: Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka

Ah, haven’t we driven the Mokka before? We have. But that was a diesel. And with a different remit. This one is a short-term loan of a petrol 4×4 to review for a client: hello, then, 1.4T Mokka – your rear resplendent with 4×4 badge ‘n all!

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Woman ticketed for driving with Google Glasses

A Californian woman is thought to be the first ever motorist to receive a ticket for driving while wearing ‘Google Glass’ computer spectacles.

Cecilia Abadie was written up under a state law banning drivers from watching TV behind the wheel, which the officer in question believed Ms Abadie’s transgression fell under. But there’s a twist…

On Bing: see pictures of Google Glass

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Ms Abadie claims the augmented reality device – which displays information on a tiny screen in a smartphone-like hands-free format in front of the wearer’s eye – was actually switched off at the time. As a result, she is now considering whether to appeal the fine.

However, the ticket also stated that Ms Abadie was driving at 80mph in a 65mph limit on Interstate 15 near San Diego.

According to the officer’s write-up, she was “driving with monitor visible to driver (Google Glass)” and therefore in direct contravention of California Highway Patrol state vehicle code 27602.

Ms Abadie also says the patrolman that stopped her stated that wearing the Google Glass could obscure her view of the road ahead and therefore was a danger to road safety.

However, after revealing on the Google+ social network she had been fined for the offence, fellow members commented that she could have an appeal case due to a potential loophole in the law.

Code 27602 also makes provision for a driver to legally view a display if it shows maps or GPS navigation data, helping “enhance or supplement the driver’s view”.

Together with the claim that the device was not running at the time – meaning she actually had an uninterrupted view of the highway as the lens is otherwise clear – the contentious ruling could be overturned.

On Bing: see pictures of Google Glass

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Charles Morgan dismissal appeal rejected

Charles Morgan’s appeal against his dismissal from Morgan Motor Company has been rejected, after the firm’s board of directors chose to uphold the ruling last Friday, 25 October.

In a short statement posted on his personal blog, Charles Morgan outlined, “I have been informed that Morgan has rejected my appeal and, as a result, I have been removed from Morgan Technologies.”

On Bing: see pictures of Morgan cars

Find out how much a used Morgan costs on Auto Trader

The former strategy director of the Malvern-based British sports car manufacturer went on to say that “it is incredibly disappointing news.”

Morgan – whose grandfather H.F.S. Morgan founded the company in 1910 – stated, “I have been dismissed on what I believe are very contentious grounds.

“Over the last 12 months it was made increasingly clear that my philosophy to modernise Morgan did not fit with the philosophy of the current management.”

As MSN Cars reported ahead of the appeal, new documents came to light that alleged Mr Morgan had committed four counts of misconduct, citing the reasons for his dismissal.

These claimed acts included posing as company chairman (despite being removed from this position back in February 2013), giving unauthorised support to the Morgan Le Mans team, revealing to Morgan owners that an updated version of its 3 Wheeler was in development, and taking two separate payments for television appearances.

In response, Morgan defended his actions on his blog:

“Morgan’s future cannot rely on its heritage alone. As such, I endeavour to introduce our unique brand to new markets such as China; to take Morgan racing again; and to engage the passion of a new generation using social media, and by doing interesting things such as the Gumball Rally in a 3 Wheeler.”

The eight members of the Morgan Motor Company board – on which Charles’ sister, Gillian Price, sits – chose to dismiss Mr Morgan from his role as strategy director.

Morgan does remain a shareholder in the business, however, but for how long is now in doubt following his comments.

“I remain a major shareholder in the Morgan Motor Company and am concerned for its future. I will take time to consider my next actions and potentially explore other opportunities available to me.”

On Bing: see pictures of Morgan cars

Find out how much a used Morgan costs on Auto Trader

Charles Morgan leaves Morgan

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Read a Morgan review on MSN Cars

The MR Index: Ford Tourneo Connect


Ford’s added yet another MPV to its line-up. This is the Tourneo Connect – a no-nonsense people carrier with acres of space.

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FBI hunts £1.8m eBay car fraudster

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the USA has issued a wanted poster for Nicolae Popescu, a Romanian man they suspect of leading a “sophisticated internet fraud scheme where criminal conspirators, posted advertisements on internet auction sites for merchandise for sale”.

The scam – predominantly carried out using eBay Motors – convinced would-be buyers to part with money for cars that didn’t exist.

On Bing: see pictures of car fraud

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The conspirators posed as eBay sellers and then sent fraudulent invoices, that appeared to be from legitimate online payment services, with instructions for payment to bank accounts held in the United States.

When the victims wired the payment to the account identified on the invoices, the conspirator associated with that account would then withdraw them and wire the funds to another conspirator based on email instructions.

The elaborate fraud is alleged to have netted $3 million (£1.8 million) for the scammers. The so-called ‘masters of illusion’ thought they were above the law, with Popescu boasting that he was “beyond the reach” of US authorities.

US Attorney, Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York:

“They thought their distance would insulate them from law enforcement scrutiny. They were wrong.

“We will not stop in our efforts to find these fugitives and bring them to justice for the crimes they have allegedly committed against our citizens.”

Nicolae Popescu is charged with multiple crimes, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, passport fraud and trafficking in counterfeit service marks.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Popescu or any of his associates are urged to get in touch with the FBI.

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The best selling car in the world is a Focus


More people bought a new car with a Focus badge on the back than any other car on the planet, new registration data for the first half of 2013 has revealed.

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Audi: why it is happy not to be a UK top 10


Year to date, there are two BMWs in the SMMT top 10 best selling cars list. There’s not a single Audi. So, in the battle of the premium brands, is the Ingolstadt firm miffed by this?

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Launch Pad: Audi RS 7 and RS Q3


On a day of dire warnings as we experience the biggest storm on the planet right now, I’m off to drive two Audis with a collective 870hp.

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Launch Pad: Ford Tourneo Connect

Ford Tourneo Connect

Ford’s launching its new Tourneo Connect people carrier in Munich. Today (weather permitting), I’m off to find out whether it’s a cool lifestyle vehicle, or another Motability favourite.

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Record sales for Kia’s used car scheme


There’s been no shortage of good news coming from Kia over recent years – it’s a brand on the up and its cars are proving popular with new and, increasingly used buyers alike.

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