By on September 23, 2015

tdiengine

Volkswagen broke the law.

Scratch that. Volkswagen knowingly went out of their way to break the law, did as much as they could to cover up that fact, and only admitted to wrongdoing when the evidence was so heavy that the German giant couldn’t stand under the weight of its own conspiracy.

Nearly 11 million vehicles worldwide — of which 482,000 made their way to the United States — were fitted with a “defeat device” which used a different engine map when being tested for emissions. That device allowed the Volkswagen TDIs to pass sniffer tests on a dyno, but on-road evaluations by the International Council on Clean Transportation showed the four-cylinder diesels were emitting up to 40 times the allowable nitrogen oxides in the real world.

A few things are going to happen. None of it will be pretty. Nobody is going to walk away from this without oily blowback on their faces.

The EPA will be proven toothless. $18 billion. That’s the maximum fine the EPA can levy with regards to Volkswagen’s brazen attempts to subvert United States’ emission regulations. It’s based on a $37,500 fine per car sold that doesn’t comply with the EPA’s regulations.

$7.3 billion. That’s the amount Volkswagen has set aside, via a charge they’ll take in the third quarter, to cover a mess that resembles the oily film that pools around a diesel pump.

Why is there such a discrepancy between the two numbers? Because Volkswagen knows they’ll never have to pay the full fine.

The largest Clean Air Act-related civil penalty to date was, in fact, levied against another automaker. Hyundai and Kia agreed to pay $100 million for 1.2 million vehicles sold that emitted 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases above and beyond what those companies had self-certified to the EPA. Hyundai and Kia also had to give up $200 million in greenhouse gas emissions credits and agree to spend $50 million on projects to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Make no bones about it: the EPA will make an example of Volkswagen. It just won’t be an $18 billion example. Expect it to be the largest Clean Air Act-related civil penalty ever levied against an automaker by many hundreds of millions dollars — right around $1.5 billion. Also, no matter what happens, self-certification will continue because the EPA is underfunded. (Though, an $18 billion influx of cash could fix that.)

The U.S. government will also be proven toothless. Unless Volkswagen offers up one of its own on a silver platter, nobody will go to jail.

A criminal investigation will be conducted. Many people will be interviewed. Volkswagen will commit to an internal investigation. Engineers and other decision makers will be quietly shown the door.

And that will be that.

Just like with General Motors and Toyota, Volkswagen will agree to a deal where they admit criminal wrongdoing and pay a paltry sum to defer prosecution.

The largest fine ever levied against an automaker is still the $1.2 billion Toyota agreed to pay regarding sudden acceleration cases. GM was last week saddled with a $900 million fine for killing people covering up the circumstances surrounding the ignition switch recall.

This will be the third time — and certainly not the last — in recent history where an automaker looks down the barrel of criminal charges and sees the empty chamber can be stuffed with cash.

Volkswagen will buy back, not fix, non-SCR cars. Based on cost alone, it’s in Volkswagen’s best interest to buy back the offending metal and sell them in regions with “friendlier” emissions laws. Whether they actually get shipped elsewhere for resale is another story altogether.

For those who choose to keep their cars, Volkswagen will be forced to pay some sort of polluter fee, as many TDI owners will likely exclaim “I’ll give you my Volkswagen when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

If a fix is employed — which at this point could be a very aggressive software and engine map update — customers will be given some severance due to increased fuel consumption (if goes up from the EPA rating) or decreased performance. Diehards will chip their TDIs to bring performance back up.

No matter how good the new Passat/Tiguan turn out to be, Volkswagen will continue to flag in the United States. Those in the know will continue to see Volkswagens as a solid deal with incentives on the hood. Those susceptible to the 24-hour news cycle will avoid walking into Volkswagen dealerships — just like they’ve done until now.

Unfortunately for Volkswagen, the buyers who are most likely to be swayed by a brand new crossover are also the same people swayed by the 24-hour news cycle. The second-generation Tiguan will do better than the old model, but the gains will be marginal.

As sales continue to slide, so will Volkswagen’s stock price, especially if the automaker props up dealers in the long run.

Media members will distance themselves from Volkswagen’s previous diesel marketing initiatives (which points to a much larger issue). The number of automotive journalists that have taken to social media in the last couple of days to express how they feel cheated by Volkswagen is in the dozens. Almost every automotive media professional has been on one Volkswagen or Audi TDI “clean” drive. Those journalists will claim that we (myself included) have given our trust to the automaker and now that trust is gone. Awards will be taken back.

However, this is just a symptom of a much larger problem: The modern automobile is incredibly complex.

In order to truly evaluate a car to the degree needed to find emissions issues, journalists must have access to testing equipment — and it isn’t cheap. Manufacturers of portable emissions measurement equipment (PEMS) sell their wares for approximately $100,000. Very few automotive outlets, let alone freelance automotive journalists, can afford this investment; maybe only Consumer Reports, IIHS and a couple other outlets supported by larger media conglomerates. The return on investment will be virtually nil unless another Volkswagen happens.

The truth is Alex Dykes, who does instrumented testing and provides more information than 99-percent of other automotive reviewers in the industry, and the few like him can only do so much. Professional automotive reviewers can give a lot of qualitative information, but quantitative data is — and will remain — financially out of reach for virtually all of us.

Diesel will be set back 10 to 20 years for those of us who value it most. Outside of pickups, the only non-premium automakers that sell diesels in America are Volkswagen, Chevrolet and Jeep. That’s it. If you want a diesel car without one of those badges affixed to the grille, you have to spend extra to graduate to BMW, Mercedes or Audi. (Also, the Jeep Grand Cherokee with the optional 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel is incredibly expensive.)

Volkswagen diesels were affordable for the people. If you wanted compression ignition, you paid a small premium between $800 to $2,000 for the privilege of getting stellar fuel economy without driving a Prius. You were also rewarded with big lumps of torque and the option of a manual transmission.

Those days will be gone for the foreseeable future.

It’s too bad, too. Those of us on the lower end of the consumer ladder are the ones who appreciate efficiency more so than those buying luxury diesel SUVs. We are the misers who have to be miserly. For those purchasing a vehicle from one of the premium German brands, being miserly in simply a choice.

However, all diesels — passenger cars, SUVs, and pickups — will now all be under the microscope, especially other diesels from Volkswagen’s group of brands. Over the next few months, we will receive a trickle of press releases from automakers that manufacture diesels proclaiming their innocence while pointing to on-road testing evaluations published by third parties.

That scrutiny will happen in almost every jurisdiction. The United States, Canada and South Korea have all launched investigations into Volkswagen’s four-cylinder diesels. The number of other regulatory bodies to get on this bandwagon will grow exponentially.

Euro-centric diesel haters will fight harder. Those looking to ban diesels in European metropolitan areas will ride this controversy to their benefit. Regional governments, such as Paris, will be under even more pressure to ban diesels — or maybe fossil fuel-only vehicles full stop — from their inner cities.

Diesels in Europe are a fair bit dirtier than they are in the U.S. because the European Union allows them to be. However, chances are those Euro 6 regulations will be tightened even further — and probably fairly quickly by government regulatory standards.

Everyone will lose … except the lawyers. We are less than a week into this fiasco and class-action attorneys all over the United States are licking their lips before the feast.

Class-action lawsuits are inevitable in the United States in cases like these. Unfortunately, all the parties involved in a class action of this scale — save the lawyers — end up losing. Volkswagen and the attorneys will come up with an “agreeable” civil penalty, current VW diesel owners will be given what amounts to pennies on the dollar for whatever losses — real or otherwise — they’ll experience because of the emissions mess, and the lawyers will walk away with millions of dollars in fees.

You don’t have to be part of a class action if you don’t want. You could take Volkswagen to court independently. However, your risk of losing is exponentially higher and you also assume all the financial risk of launching your own case.

(This last point was written before Winterkorn announced his resignation.)

Winterkorn will be sacked. It might not happen this week, even though the affable CEO’s contract is expiring this Friday, but it will happen.

While Ferdinand Piech — whom Winterkorn famously had a blowout with earlier this year — is no longer in the chairman’s seat on the Volkswagen AG board, he’s still on the board of Volkswagen’s parent company, Porsche SE, and holds considerable power.

We’d be ignorant to think this situation was devised by Piech in order to oust Winterkorn. That’s a theory reserved for conspiracy theorists and other personalities destined for A&E. However, we’d also be ignorant to think Piech won’t use this situation to his benefit.

Winterkorn will be shown the door, likely with Piech holding the handle, and another Volkswagen lifer will take his place.

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209 Comments on “After the NOx Particulates Settle, Everyone Loses...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    You know, this is still just VW. And just VW diesels, to boot.

  • avatar
    Nick

    I hope VW goes tits up and gets bought out by someone with more integrity and that builds better cars.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well Fiat looks ready and poised to do just that. Can’t say they build better cars though judging by there continual last placement in most reliability studies and reviews written by consumers.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Nick,
      Who are you willing to nominate that has more integrity ? Forget who has the cash to buy them out but who would you feel better about owning them?

      • 0 avatar
        blockmachining

        Carlos Ghosn and the Nissan/Renault alliance. He is above board, treats each car company and employee with respect and has been extremely successful. Russian AvtoVAZ is now part of the group and he is now actively bringing Mercedes on board and to date, has not had any major malfunctions. He says what he does and does what he says. Yes, sounds like ISO9000 but it works.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I like that VW will be taken down a peg or two due to this. They deserve it. I also wouldnt shed a single tear for them if they pulled out of the US and Canada. But, theyre too successful elsewhere to fold as a whole company. This may knock them a few spots down the list of the worlds largest automakers, though, by the time its all over.

      I wonder if Trump would be happy if Ford bought their US plant? Lol. Really, I suspect that by this time next year, no body will be talking about Trump anyway.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    As one of the affected TDI owners, if VW can offer a fair /enhanced trade in I would have to think real hard about it, I also would need to know how much my car (11 wagon no ad blue tank) pollutes vs a similar car say a sports wagon TSI, I have not seen this number if it is out there. I just made my last payment last month so do I want more payments on a new car or drive payment free for a view years. I do not know how many 09-13 cars are effected , these seem to be the much harder ones to fix from what I have read. Also IF VW can not get the 16 TDI to be made for sale in the US, is there a VW I would really want, A GTI is a great car but not sure it would be the right choice for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they give you a buyback offer for the post-dieselgate appraised value of your car. That alone would save them billions. It would also destroy the goodwill of their core loyal customers, but who ever said carmakers do things rationally?

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        If that is the case I will just say no thanks and drive it paid off for a few years.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          seth, you may have difficulty keeping it registered if your state requires it, your car, to be tested before granting a re-registration.

          • 0 avatar
            seth1065

            I am in nJ so I will have to do what ever fix they have to fix this mess but I will keep driving the car unless VW gives me a very good reason to trade it in.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            no way they will force drivers to stop using their cars. simply not enough pollution and not even sure they have narrowed it down to exactly how much each car is polluting.
            i am getting fluctuating numbers from 20 to 40 percent off.

          • 0 avatar

            Once they issue a recall they can. CARB rules (adopted by other states including Jersey I belive) state that a non completed emission recall is an emission test fail which means non renewal of registration. In CT they will tow your car if they catch you with non renewed reg from emissions. You will then have to pay to have it towed to a repair shop then to an emission testing station. Or you just give up and buy an new car.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    vw needs to make the plan public and do it fast

    my guess is that vw and the epa have been involved in negotiations to settle the issue and vw was not contrite enough for the epa. epa then publishes the letter last friday and now the ball is in vw’s court.

    i’m following this one as close as i can/dare as i own a 2013 passat as my dd.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      Actually CARB was more involved in this than the EPA. Apparantly they gave VW a chance at a recall to fix the problem, they couldn’t meet emissions with a reflash so the govt put a stop sales order on the 16 models until it was sorted out.

      http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/in_use_compliance_letter.htm

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Not exactly, yes VW did a reflash but the testing proved that it too was designed to game the system only increasing the DEF dosing for the first few minutes of operation. So they made it so the car would pass the test for 10~15 minutes instead of just 4 minutes. No reason they can’t do a reflash that isn’t aimed at cheating the system to retain most of the MPG and performance of the original calibration.

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          Why wouldn’t they just correct it while they had the opportunity? It would have saved them billions along with keeping the secret and literally ruining any credibility they ever had.

          I’ve been around diesels a long time and have worked on many varieties of DOC/DPF equipped engines. You can really lean a diesel engine out with a few simple adjustments to the fuel/timing/ MAP parameters. Most don’t realize you can easily add or subtract 20+% of a diesel engines factory rated horsepower without ever turning a bolt or nut. When this story first broke I thought the same as you, a reflash will be all that is needed.
          After reading the letter from CARB in the link I posted above it doesn’t seem like that will be feasible.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The biggest takeaway from the CARB letter is on page 2.

        “To have a more controlled evaluation of the high NOx observed over the road, CARB developed a special dynamometer cycle which consisted of driving the Phase 2 portion of the of the FTP repeatedly. This special cycle revealed that VW’s recall calibration did increase Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) on startup; however, dosing was not sufficient to keep NOx emission from rising throughout the cycle. This resulted in uncontrolled NOx emissions despite the SCR reaching sufficient operating temperatures.”

        FTP details here:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTP-75

        So, even the newer TDIs with urea injection and the 12/14 reflash still fail emissions when run for longer time periods. It’s highly unlikely VW can fix that with another reflash.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The way I read it the first “fix” was just another attempt to cheat the system. They increased the time that the dosing was sufficient and then reverted to the program that provided good fluid economy and performance.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Well that could be the case if the engineers involved in the reflash had no clue about the defeat devises.

            “This special cycle revealed that VW’s recall calibration did increase Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) on startup; however, dosing was not sufficient to keep NOx emission from rising throughout the cycle”

            Your theory may explain that particular sentence. It will be interesting to see who was involved with what.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    This drama seems to fully explain why those TDI cars got higher than EPA numbers in the real world. The whole “why doesn’t VW get their EPA numbers adjusted” cries from the faithful were not falling deaf ears, apparently VW couldn’t adjust them without revealing the reason why.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It’s important to note here that the EPA fuel economy results are derived by running the tailpipe emission numbers through a formula, and not by driving the cars around to see how fast the tank empties out.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Yes, the EPA measures carbon emissions, and converts those to MPG. CO2 and MPG are essentially the same thing, although the conversion formulas for diesel and gas are different due to the higher level of carbon in diesel.

        Without hard data, I’m not inclined to believe that diesel MPG ratings are overly conservative. And no, Fuelly isn’t hard data.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      That’s pretty brilliant Alex. It would make perfect sense that, while being tested under the cheater map, the TDI would burn more fuel in the EPA test. No one could ever figure out why the real world MPG was so much better than EPA label for the TDIs. I will miss watching the clueless haters say there was no gap when everyone knows there was, now possibly proven by you.

      VW TDIs weren’t the only ones I remember with big gaps. If your theory is correct there could be others who cheated. I checked the RAM EcoDiesel a long time ago and found label and RW to be identical.

      I guess if cars get recalled/reflashed/modded and keep the EPA MPG or better there won’t be much real damage because VW never publicly disputed the label fuel economy.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    One quibble:

    “Volkswagen…only admitted to wrongdoing when the evidence was so heavy that the German giant couldn’t stand under the weight of its own conspiracy.”

    You have to read between the lines a bit, but what I think happened was the EPA refused to certify the 2016 TDIs and used that as leverage to force a confession.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      Well, EPA started talking to VW back in 2014. VW blamed the discrepancy on mechanical problems and issued a couple pointless recalls to “fix” the issue. It was only after retesting the allegedly “fixed” models this summer, and finding no improvement, that EPA started to talk about holding the 2016 models until VW could adequately explain themselves.

    • 0 avatar

      You are absolutely right. I wasn’t trying to ignore that fact. Volkswagen’s hand was certainly forced.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      They wouldn’t certify because regulators had already largely figured out something was amiss, and VW was not being forthright on what it was. The end game was refusal to certify the 2016 vehicles until they revealed how they had passed previously.

      I would say it was pretty clear, the EPA already knew the answer and VW was trying to come up with a quick fix (via software) that maintained EPA ratings etc. etc. to make this problem go away.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      I’ve worked with a lot of German engineers before, and this is a very common trait at work. They are good engineers and make very few mistakes, but they would not admit wrong doing UNLESS you absolutely point all evidences out so they cannot blame everyone else.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice piece!

    “EPA is underfunded”

    I think you meant incompetent. One poster claimed 17,000 people work for EPA but that’s not enough right?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The EPA is underfunded like Michael Moore’s clothes are too small.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Why would assume that the EPA deals solely with automotive emissions?

      Resources are allocated so that the auto industry will largely police itself, with third parties filling the gaps. And given how few violations there are, that’s actually a good idea.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “And given how few violations there are, that’s actually a good idea.”

        That might just mean people are getting away with it.

        I’m hoping all this causes the EPA to implement more comprehensive testing.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It’s hilarious. The guys who moan day in and day out about big government are jumping up and down for more government.

          The system generally works pretty well as is. The trust-and-spot-check system is cheaper and less bureaucratic. The VW case demonstrates that violators are eventually caught, and the penalties will deter others from following suit.

          • 0 avatar
            zerofoo

            Right – the guys who dumped a bunch of mine waste in to a river and turned it orange – and then let half a million polluting cars onto the roads – yeah – they are doing a bang up job over at the EPA.

            Don’t forget. The EPA didn’t catch these guys, a European non-profit hired the University of West Virginia to do some research for them.

            Big government didn’t uncover this problem, but in fairness, big government MAY help put it right. Time will tell.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “And given how few violations there are, that’s actually a good idea.”

        500,000+ diesel VWs aren’t what I would call “few”. And there could be more.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Go ahead and compare that figure to the total number of new cars sold over the same period.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            Suppose 10M are sold every year and 50,000 are diesel VWs. That’s about 0.5%.

            Knowing that these car emit 40 times more NOx, the total amount of excess NOx is 20% more than expected even if it’s averaged down by all the sales.

            20% is a lot.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Suppose 10M are sold every year”

            I wouldn’t suppose that, because sales are much higher than that.

            The rest of your “analysis” is also wrong.

            Try again.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        well considering most of its work is contracted out…nobody here can really say for sure.
        however, it is not really going to far out to assume any government agency is not well run.
        reading even more about the vet admin today…it makes you sick how the participants continue on unrepentant or punished.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Well, when the EPA priority is blowing up mines and poisoning the water and crops for entire Indian nations, those dollars for car testing just don’t stretch as much as they used to.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I think you meant incompetent.

      I love this line of logic. The people who would have complained the loudest about regulatory overreach if the EPA announced it was moving to both lab and real world testing, are now complaining that the EPA didn’t do, what they would have screamed the loudest about, had they tried to do it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Why don’t they just hire the NGO who found this to do testing for them in the future?

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “EPA partners with left with environmental group to impose huge new regulatory burden on auto industry!”

          No opposition to that, none at all…/s

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            ARPANET, which begat the internet that some of you are using to whine about the government, was developed by DoD in partnership with several public and private universities.

            I guess that the internet must not be worth a damn because the government didn’t develop it all by itself.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Testing does not imply any new regulations, stop jumping to conclusions.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Step back for a second: The stuff that you want would make things more bureaucratic and more expensive. It isn’t possible to test everything at no additional cost.

            You don’t really want smaller government, you just want opportunities to whine about it.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “isn’t possible to test everything at no additional cost.”

            Then increase the cost. This might be a good time to try and get additional resources so they can update their testing process.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Aside from the fact that you like cars, what is your rationale for spending more on this when there are more downsides than upsides? This is one area in which enough is already being done.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Truthfully PCH what really happened is gov’t set unrealistic rules and VW skirted them but who is the bigger ass, VW for cheating or gov’t for attempting to legislate the technology out of existence? Euro6 cut allowable NOx 68% from Euro4 in 2005 while requiring a reduction of only 25% for petrol motors in the same period. You yourself stated US standards were stricter. Sixty eight percent is quite a figure to cut for a technology which literally burns fuel in a fire. In an ideal world just put a quota on the amount TDIs which can be imported in a year and stop pretending the small amount of cars actually creates a blip on the climate radar, it doesn’t. I have yet to see data indicating these cars have done jack sh*t to air quality, just yesterday I posted a link explaining how air quality in LA *improved* up to 50% per area from 1994 to 2011. This whole fiasco is alot of bullsh*t because some corporate entity violated one of the million or so sometimes mindless laws or regulations imposed by Fedgov. If they are not made an example of, more corps will follow. The amount of money and energy spent on this could have probably cured a disease and in the end the crime itself does not matter, only the intention.

            “Some of the most problematic pollutants-smog-forming nitrogen dioxide and fine particles created by diesel-engine exhaust and other fossil fuels-declined in the worst neighborhoods by up to 50 percent in 20 years. Maritime pollution, particularly in neighborhoods near the massive ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, also has dropped substantially.”

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150304-los-angeles-smog-children-health-environment/

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The technology exists to cut NOx levels, but it costs money. Urea systems and more effective catalytic converters are not free.

            VW can’t pass those costs onto American consumers because Americans won’t pay that much for cars in the first place. The question is whether senior management directed the cheating or whether it came from engineers who were unwilling to disclose to management that they couldn’t hit the targets while staying on budget.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            28,

            I still don’t understand your logic here. You are trying to prove that the EPA and/or CARB is useless, by pointing-out the fact that they have had a significant positive impact over the years.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If government isn’t perfect, then it’s useless. No need to consider whether the alternatives might be worse, because the alternative to government is a perfect universe that provides no cause for complaint.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @pch

            Since costs are king to a volume brand such as VW, mandating extra equipment does effectively reduce the number of diesels sold and relegates the already niche technology to even less of a presence outside of $50K+ cars. Their real goal was to reduce the availability of diesels in order to meet the lofty goal of 80% CO2e below 1990 levels by 2050 as shown in these charts:

            http://namvbc.org/presentations/san-diego-2014/ZEV%20Mandate%20Presentation.pdf

            @hh

            Not at all, as much as I may not like them the results are impressive. My argument is the amount of pollution emitted from these VWs is insignificant else the climate data would reflect a measurable increase in NOx in the 2009-15 period where these cars exist. If say in a city like LA where there must be at least a few thousand diesels registered, showed a sudden bump in emissions say starting in 2010, or if more than 1% of all autos sold were diesels, I would change my argument. This started with a desire to reduce the availability of diesels and snowballed into what we see now.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            So you want more diesel passenger cars on the roads, even though they pollute more, just because.

            You seem to think that pollution is a victimless crime, when it obviously isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t personally care one way or another, but nearly 500,000 drivers did because they bought them. You respect data as much as I do, and data doesn’t lie. If data were to show these 500K cars increased smog/pollution/NOx in any meaningful way then sure I’ll call for their removal/fix whatever. Trouble is if such data already did exist it would have come out by now, and it probably would exist if the amount of cars was more than 1% of those sold. This is about ecoweenies pushing an agenda and now gov’t being in the position of having to do something with VW owners and dealers caught in the middle.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you were to murder one American, there would be 320 million left. The low percentage of Americans who you killed would not make the offense less relevant.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            28,

            That makes more sense, but you forgot to account for the fact that regulations may have tightened in 2009, as they regularly do. Non-compliant 2009+ VWs would have been compliant in ’08 and before.

            If that’s the case, you would expect a lower rate of decrease in emissions rather than an increase. Those 2009s are entering the fleet at the same time as ’79s are being crushed (for instance), and the ’79s were much worse polluters.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Pollution in general causes health problems but the only way someone is going to die from a VW diesel is if they put their face in front of the exhaust for a length of time.

            Since I know you were interested, here is a Wired article talking about cost/feasibility of repair:

            “The standard way of making a diesel run cleanly is to use selective catalytic reduction, a chemical process that breaks NOx down into nitrogen and water. Part of that process includes adding urea to the mix. The super effective system can eliminate 70 to 90 percent of NOx emissions, and is used by other diesel manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW. The downside is that it adds complication to the system, and cost—$5,000 to $8,000 per car. And you need to periodically add the urea-based solution to your car to keep it working.”

            “So it seems the logical way to get those cars to perform like their diesel cousins is to add a urea. VW’s unlikely to embrace that option, because adding hardware to half a million cars would be far more expensive than a computer update. It wouldn’t be any fun for the TDI owner, either. Not only do you have to spend an afternoon with your local dealer, you have to make room for the tank. That could mean sacrificing cargo space or giving up the spare tire.”

            http://www.wired.com/2015/09/vw-owners-arent-going-like-fixes-diesels/

          • 0 avatar
            moorewr

            @28-Cars-Later

            What that quote seems oblivious to is that all the current models of the VWs in the notice HAVE urea tanks. That’s any car with the EA288 engine.

            2009-2012 cars with the EA189 don’t, and probably cannot be made to meet the limits.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @moorewr

            You should probably alert Wired, evidently the writer did not fact check his piece before submission.

            @heavy handle

            I cite figures from Euro standards but a 68% decrease in a ten year time frame is fairly significant, vs 25% for gas. Based on this and the later data I found on CARB, suggests they are trying to make diesel less available by driving up the costs in order to fit with the stated agenda. VW for whatever reason at the time decided it could not meet these standards. In the 2014 US sales figures, VW claimed 79,422 TDI units were sold for the year, accounting for 21.6 percent of sales in 2014. According to the second link, it seems the VW brand sold 4.5 million units worldwide, Audi 1.4m, Skoda 796K, SEAT 501K for a total of 7,197,000 in 2014 (I’m skipping Porsche, Bentley, MAN, and VW Commercial so its slightly skewed). So 11 million affected diesels/6 years would come out to be 1,833,333 per year for I assume is all of its brands, and is 25.47% of the total number of vehicles sold in 2014. When 21% of your US business and possibly 25% (based on national standards where sold) is on the line, I could see why they would cheat. But is a 68% reduction reasonable in a decade? Phasing in reductions over say a twenty year period would have been much more workable for all parties involved.

            http://media.vw.com/release/907/

            http://www.statista.com/statistics/275868/sales-figures-for-volkswagen-by-brand/

            Hybrids/EVs, aging out of 1970s-80s cars, and other advances had occurred to me as they are bringing overall pollution figures down, which is good but difficult to exactly measure. All the more reason to fix the cars which can be fixed easily (say the 13-15 with the urea tank already there) and simply exempt the rest. The emissions figures are already in a downtrend and as the offending diesels age out they will not be replaced.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The tests were conducted in 2013-14. The Jetta tested by West Virginia University did not use urea. I would presume that they are recalling the newer vehicles because they have cause to be suspicious.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/in_use_compliance_letter.htm

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        It is hilarious. The very same people who spout-out “free market” BS every tenuous chance they get – come running back under big government’s skirt whenever there’s an issue. “Why wasn’t the government doing anything about this?” They won’t like the answer: “because morons like you thought that industry should police itself.”

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          What I think is rollin’ on the floor laughing out loud funny is those effen holier than thou diesel fans who were so down on gas engines and who are now having their cake and are forced to eat it, too.

          As it may turn out, gasoline-fired engines may actually run cleaner than these squirrel diesels the fans push.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            In my experience, diesel fans fall into two categories: cheap bastards and farm boys.

            The first type is out to save a buck; they will tell you exactly how many bucks they think they are saving. The second type grew-up around heavy equipment; it tastes like home cooking to them.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            hh, last summer I drove a Volvo tractor to help my son move some cattle he had bought in Dalhart, KC and Hastings.

            It watered my eyes every time we had to fill those two saddle tanks.

            But there, in tractor-trailer application, is where diesel really shines IMO. Ditto with EM Diesel locomotives, Thunder Pumpkins, and even in pickup trucks, 3/4-ton and up.

          • 0 avatar
            TOTitan

            I own a BMW 335D because I like the combination of massive effortless power and 34 mpg. The performance you get with 425 ft lbs and 265 hp at 1750 rpm and the ability to cruise at 100 while getting 30 mpg is a combination that no other four door car even comes close to. Im not a cheapskate or a tree hugger, but I do like driving cars with lots of power “briskly”

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Where are these small government strawmen who are complaining about the government not doing enough? The government created this problem and the solution to it is not more government. Ditch CAFE and let people buy what they want. There won’t be much incentive to build cars that can’t pass emissions tests in the name of fuel efficiency.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            Grover Norquist, and every Republican that he’s bullied into signing his pledge to never raise any tax in order to “starve the beast”, are not strawmen.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Try to follow me here. There are people that want to protect the public from unlimited government. There are people complaining that the government isn’t doing enough. They are not the same people.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            I find that they are often the same people, they just use circular reasoning to attain the first goal of limited govt. The script works like this: First, refuse to adequately fund the govt agency tasked with regulating bad behavior. Then, when the agency fails to perfectly catch/stop said behavior, complain that govt is incapable of regulating behavior (implying that govt SHOULD have done more/better) and therefore the agency should be abolished, resulting in the goal of less govt.

        • 0 avatar
          zerofoo

          The EPA has 17,000 employees – yet we have industries “policing themselves”….why?

          I’m an IT administrator – maybe I can get my co-workers to fix their own computers…..and still get paid.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Same old debate.

          – The debate always is about one side being evil and the other side is not.

          – The debate always says that all will be good if one side gets dismantled or subjugated by the other.

          – or the problem will be fixed if one side gets bigger and bigger.

          One can argue that VW’s response to Big Government’s Big Regulation is typical of Big Business. Big Business exists to make Big Money. They will do anything to keep making Big Money.

          VW says, “we screwed up”.

          They actually mean, “We screwed up by getting caught.”

          Any remorse is over the fact that they will loose money.

          Edit:
          (This wasn’t the spot I had intended to insert this post…. odd)

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        so now, with this discovery, we can no longer complain about incompetence? one good deed erases all other crimes or failures?
        um…don’t get the logic here.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The EPA is charged with monitoring everything related to air, soil, and water – not just cars. This means farming, industry, restaurants, natural processes, mining, drilling, trains, truck transport, air travel, and your campfire.

      That’s a lot of work. Just like the local police, there is only enough funding and personnel as long as most people behave.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        If only we had a document that protected the rights of individuals and limited the scope of the federal government.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          “If only we had a document that protected the rights of individuals and limited the scope of t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶e̶d̶e̶r̶a̶l̶ ̶g̶o̶v̶e̶r̶n̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ corporations.”

          ftfy

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            What are corporations doing to you? Don’t like them? Don’t buy their products or take their jobs. The only places where corporations infringe on rights is where they are aided by our boundlessly corrupt government, like with GE and Monsanto. GE couldn’t change what we can legally buy and where it is made on their own. Monsanto couldn’t claim ownership of all seed stocks. The governments that imbecile statists believe in are the ones that make corporations threats to liberty.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        The EPA doesn’t “monitor everything”. They make policy, advise congress on environmental issues, and do some enforcement.

        The EPA is a massive organization of 17,000 people – that push around a lot of paper.

        Don’t forget, almost every state has their own “DEP” of sorts. NJ DEP has around 2800 employees alone – and that’s just one state.

        Government has TONS of people working on Environmental protection – yet the worlds largest auto manufacturer’s most popular products that create “regulated emissions” still fell through the cracks.

        And that will be the justification for even more money and people at the EPA/DEP.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Ah another disband the EPA idiot.

      Never mind the fact that they caught this and are turning the screws on VW.

      The very fact that we are even talking about this speaks to the EPA’s competence, especially in the context of their gross underfunding.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The problem was test methodology, not lack of EPA paper pushers. Volkswagen designed engine control software to perform differently during EPA-specified lab testing and the EPA had no way of verifying the test results. The solution involves 1) changes the test methodology to double-check results in the real world and 2) use of independent labs to replicate the results submitted by the OEM. However, there’s no reason that those independent test labs should be staffed with government employees.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You guys keep talking about the “real world” when there is no such thing as a single “real world” condition. Laboratory testing is more useful because the testing is consistent, which makes it possible to compare results to each other.

        What uncovered this was not the “real world” operation but operating it differently from the normal test cycle. That could have happened anywhere.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Pch101, it should be possible to specify a separate sanity check test to be performed on public highways with looser limits than the dynamometer test. Specify the range of environmental conditions under which the test is valid and measure tailpipe emissions over a long test drive that meets those conditions. If the manufacturer isn’t cheating, the sanity check road test would be easier to pass than the dynamometer test.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think for VW the fallout will continue in just about every western country where VW sold vehicles. I don’t know what EU emissions regulations are but I wonder if VW wont also get stung heavily by the EU. Then end result will be increased cost to automakers which will be passed on to us, so unfortunately, we all lose. Thanks a lot VW.

  • avatar
    couger

    Unfortunately fines levied by the EPA will not end up in their budget. They end up in the general fund.

  • avatar
    swester

    All I can think is that this coming 6 months or so is going to be a chance to get one HELL of a deal on a new VW.

    Only problem might be even worse depreciation than usual, if you ever wanted to sell it.

    • 0 avatar
      moorewr

      If the 2016 TDIs ever get certified, I am still in the market for one.

      I was (of course!) at a previously scheduled test drive in a Golf SportWagen TDI manual on Saturday. Loved that car.. but am I relieved or mad that I was a day late to actually buy one?

  • avatar
    ckb

    “The EPA will be proven toothless” – at least they aren’t the SEC

    “The U.S. government will also be proven toothless” – at least VW doesn’t write laws governing itself like the banks.

    These things all suck but everything not explicitly about diesel has already been more or less proven by the banks.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      To understand why bankers and traders are often left to their own devices, you have to understand the antipathy between merchant and ruling classes. Elections have not liberated the productive classes from the malice of authoritarians, and that’s why bankers, traders, even accountants, are somewhat self-regulating. Prior to Enron, accountants were regulated primarily by private rules and regulations. The ruling classes have always persecuted the press, as well. Where are your crocodile tears for their unfettered freedoms?

      The relatively relaxed rules for financial professionals are only a conspiracy if you aspire to be a despot who economically subjugates his people.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I also assume VW will not be hiring anyone from WVU anytime soon. This will mostly blow over there will be someone else who gets caught doing something stupid so maybe by the time VW gets a real SUV.Cuv the general public may not care.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Perhaps I missed it in one of the other posts/comments..
    How in the hell did they find this out?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Europe-based International Council on Clean Transportation wanted to build support for stricter and faster adoption of the new Euro 6 emission standards, by using USDM vehicles to demonstrate that the standards were already being met in the US. They hired researchers at West Virginia University to provide hard data showing this. When the USDM cars were actually tested, their emissions were much higher than expected.

      http://www.theicct.org/use-emissions-testing-light-duty-diesel-vehicles-us

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/10/20141012-icct.html

      This came to the attention of CARB and EPA, who took up the matter with VW. VW issued a software patch in December 2014, but subsequent testing by CARB showed that patched cars were still exceeding the standards. EPA took it up with VW again and finally decided to withhold the Certificate of Compliance on all 2016 4-cylinder TDIs until VW gave a satisfactory explanation.

      • 0 avatar
        Duaney

        Installing a “defeat device” such as described, might be something an individual might do, just to pass the emission’s testing. But it’s quite something for VW to do. You have to wonder, how did they think they could get away with it? And didn’t they consider the consequences if they were caught? Could it just be typical German arrogance? I have a hard time imagining the VW engineers design the device or software-program, and then getting the OK from management to go ahead, and yet that must be what happened. It would be interesting to hear the entire story from the VW employees.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    On this, and other sites, I’ve seen several comments from people wondering what the problem with Mazda was and why they took so long to bring diesels to America. Foot dragging? Incompetence? Not wanting to compete with their existing products? Mazda kept saying it’s harder to make a US compliant diesel than it looks. Critics responded “VW can, why can’t you?”
    What is the Japanese equivalent of I told you so?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Mazda is also using lower compression diesel engines than VW and that seems to exacerbate the problem further. They were hoping to avoid using aftertreatment, but that didn’t happen. Also, Mazda has had issues with their diesel engines in Europe and Australia. No one here really wants that dog of an engine anyway (or what it would be with US emissions equipment). It is better if they keep it across the ocean.

    • 0 avatar
      spw

      Its ze german engineering.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Mazda engineers KNEW that VW was cheating on the EPA tests. If Mazda couldn’t make their engines clean enough, it wouldn’t have been difficult for them to bring a VW into their lab to reverse-engineer it to see how VW was succeeding.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If VW wants to ever salvage its business, they need a CEO who’s an outsider.

  • avatar
    dartman

    “everyone loses…except the lawyers”…Not true. There are 7.5 billion people on this big blue marble. 11 million potential cars affected represents .0015% of the total. That means 7,489,000,000 that will benefit from these cars either being repaired, replaced and going forward meeting the rules and not contributing to the further pollution of our atmosphere. My guess is the EU, with Germany greatly embarrassed at the forefront, will push for a more stringent “one-world” standard (USA EPA or CARB) that will benefit everyone. Yes a tiny minority of VW employees, shareholders and owners will suffer some losses with VW itself bearing the brunt of those for many years to come. (think BP) But this will further the goal to put multi-national corporations of all types on notice that such flagrant disregard of the law and regulations to benefit so few will not be tolerated.

  • avatar
    charlie986532

    You can stop your beating of VW now.
    Stock is already moving back up.
    CEO has resigned.
    Only the stupid didn’t wonder what magic VW used to get their diesels to pass emission tests without after treatment. Perhaps they pissed someone off at the EPA or wanted to stop the bribes since the new diesels now have after treatment.
    Volkswagen will continue to flounder not because of this situation but because they aren’t offering Americans what we currently want. Americans have very short memories, give us what we want even if you have killed people, we will buy the cars.

    • 0 avatar
      spw

      i am expecting stock to go down again after Korean and Japanese investigations recall cars sold there, as well as VW publishing that they will need more than 7.4 billion to fix this and EPA giving them 1-2 billion fine… stock is now more than half down compared to March 2015 high.

      • 0 avatar
        charlie986532

        I would love to see a further pullback of the stock, great buying opportunity. But thoughts of VW completely failing can be written in the tabloids, not happening in our lifetime.
        VW needs new direction to compete in America. I mean not building and selling a truck in America is mind bogglingly stupid. We are a truck and SUV country, diesel engines only make the deal sweeter.

        German companies in a scandal are the most fun to write about because unlike the rest of the world, they admit completely to wrong doing instead of continued denial and payment of reduced penalties to whitewash the situation.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Count me as stupid , I assume what VW told me was correct, my bad I guess since I am not a auto engineer , I should walk.

      • 0 avatar
        charlie986532

        Everyone ASSumes! We can all believe everything without question because we are not people of any intelligence.

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          Ok Charlie , help me out what should be my next car, I need your all knowing wisdom. Or just let me know what you drive it must be the best , I am sure you did your research.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            F250 4×4 with the 6.7L diesel or Silverado 2500 4×4 with the 6.6L diesel.

            Both pollute less then your VW TDI :)

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Failed EGT sensors that leads to engine SHUTDOWN while the truck is in motion, less than reliable single sequential turbos that eat themselves up, fractured exhaust valves that eat up even more turbos, bogus HPFP designs that grenade and wipe out injectors that cost over $500 EACH (and don’t have the greatest track record either).

            The marvels of Ford engineering live on in the Mexican Scorpion.

          • 0 avatar
            charlie986532

            Sorry Seth, not meaning to get personal. I just don’t want to completely drink any of the koolaid that any of the manufacturers or government are trying to feed us.

            You want the perfect car? Maybe your right, we should be walking.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @seth

            Lexus LS430 or LS460. You’re welcome.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    Every company has disgruntled workers. After all these years, no whistle blowers from the software dept. Amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      My thought is that one could make software for clean emissions vs. dirtier for “internal testing or offroad use or third-world markets”, and develop it openly; “this is only for good, honest, decent cases”.

      Then have *one guy* do the code for “oh, and have it run in dirty mode in the US except when plugged into an OBD2 system”, deep in the ECU.

      Nobody else might find out about it for *years*; it’s not like the ECU programming team is going to be really big, nor do they likely do constant revision of the 2.0TDI ECU code.

      You might have as few as two culpable people, for the minimum set; I’d expect a larger set of people in the know, but not hundreds of people in software.

      I doubt VW’s entire ECU team is that big.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It has nothing to do with being plugged into the OBD II system as has been said dozens of times. It is all about detecting it is being operated on a dyno in a manner consistent with the FTP. The FTP is not done with anything plugged into the OBD II port since that did not exist when the FTP was developed.

    • 0 avatar
      spw

      cheating on emissions and consumption is considered normal course of doing business in Europe. It is just that VW extended this to the USA as well, and others did not.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Tsk tsk tsk… No small brown diesel manual wagon for you!

    Hey – at least the company in question isn’t GM…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “at least the company in question isn’t GM…”

      Don’t be so sure. That may still be coming. I would not be surprised if other diesel cars will be scrutinized now too.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Volkswagen’s name is now so sullied, they may want to stop selling VWs entirely in the U.S., and replace those dealerships with
    Seat/Skoda, which will provide more competitive price points, alongside MAN and Neoplan SUVs and pickups to compete with Chevy and Ford (why not?! They gotta do something!)
    They can return to the market with next-generation Transporters, GTIs and Beetles once this thing has blown over, right around when the Millenial’s children are old enough to go car shopping.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “Unless Volkswagen offers up one of its own on a silver platter, nobody will go to jail.”

    42 USC 7413 describes what appear [per EPA] to be the relevant statutes (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/7413).

    All of them require knowing violation … *if* the programming and decisionmaking was done in Germany, and the cars shipped to VW US and the people doing the EPA filing *without telling them about the cheating*, then nobody’s going to jail.

    Because the Germans didn’t make any false statements to EPA, and the Americans who did so *did so without knowing it*, and the law requires knowing violation for criminal penalties.

    This assumes that someone at VW had to make an official statement to the EPA, rather than just the testing bodies doing it; if they didn’t, then there’s possibly no statue that *allows* criminal penalty, though that’s a question for a specialist Clean Air Act lawyer.

    (Of course, maybe VW USA pushed to this and got it implemented by Germany for them – in which case people *could* well get jail time.)

    That’s why fines are the results in cases like this, not jail – the fines can be applied to the *company*, and hurt it where it counts, in the bottom line.

    The core problem is corporate culture, not One Bad Actor You Can Punish Or Deter With A Few Years In Jail.

    (The biggest penalty I saw in the code there was, I think, 5 years.)

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      Don’t kid yourself ‘Valid. That’s just the environmental part of the criminal code. These guys are probably subject to racketeering penalties plus treble civil damages for mail and wire fraud. Basically, repeatedly telling lies for money using E-mail as part of an overall scheme to defraud.

      Add $15,000 or so per car to the $35,000 you see quoted everywhere.

      The state AGs are weighing in. If they can ding Big Tobacco, they can ding VW.

      Eric Holder isn’t AG anymore. I wouldn’t count on no one being indicted.

  • avatar
    spw

    seems like a fair summary of what will happen actually. Also, worldwide – exactly nothing will happen, sans Japanese and Korean investigations which might end up with same results but with even less cars sold… Vast majority of 11 million cars affected will continue to work with any kind of recall or any work done.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Will states allow these tdi’s to be retitled or will states not them get re-registered? The tdi’s could be worthless if this happens. A VW tdi buy back sounds like the best option.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I’m guessing here but my bet is on a software rewrite/reflash.

      The downside of that is, when tuned like that all the time, acceleration and power will suffer greatly.

      What was once anemic performance, will become even more lethargic.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        @hdc,

        Acceleration and power is unlikely to suffer much, imagine the difference between 87 and 91 octance gas in your truck; noticeable to us enthusiasts, but pretty insignificant to the general population. I’d expect a few tenths in the quarter to be lost.

        Fuel economy will be the biggest victim. What the VW engine needs to do to clean up the emissions is generate more heat for the nox trap; which means running richer and altering timing. Even a small percentage increase in fuel consumption results in large integer value drops in economy when you are talking about huge MPG numbers (ie 10% of 40mpg is a 4mpg loss, 10% of 20mpg is only a 2mpg loss; same actual loss of efficiency, but the 4mpg loss looks much worse).

        I personally am enjoying the fallout from VW fans who were pontificating that Mazda’s engineers suck and that GM copped out by using urea injection.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Frylock350, I am certain that VW will find a way out of this mess.

          I also agree with you that their precious fuel economy will take a nosedive.

          Your statement,

          “I personally am enjoying the fallout from VW fans who were pontificating that Mazda’s engineers suck and that GM copped out by using urea injection.”

          really made my day! I always thought those holier-than-thou diesel worshipers were waaaaay too judgmental and condemning of gasoline disciples like myself.

          Sorry about the delayed response. Had a lot of things to get done for our next trip.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    “We’d be ignorant to think this situation was devised by Piech in order to oust Winterkorn. That’s a theory reserved for conspiracy theorists and other personalities destined for A&E.”

    I’ll tell you who is responsible: Aliens!

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    So like so many companies do, will volkswagen rename it self to escape the -oodydamage? How about Audi-doody for a name!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Take away their LeMans victories too.

  • avatar

    I think your buyback idea is not very likely. The last thing any car company wants to do is refund anything…Lemon Laws, etc show how hard a car company will fight to make you eat their mistakes.

    Yes, they lied, but the likelihood of me ever seeing a check for any sort of FMV on my used TDi is miniscule. I’m still being cynical on this one, I’d be happy for a bumper to bumper 120k or 150k warranty, but that won’t happen either.

    I’m sure anything back to the customer will depend on the 25hp Briggs and Stratton re-flash…..suddenly you’ll see Prius tail lamps….and TDi will sell really well only in non-inspection states.

    If I knew it was ALREADY a gross polluter, I would have replaced the DPF and that nonsense with a Malone pass pipe and ecu re flash…..

    On another note, I just left my local dealer…JSW TDi, 2014 models, and a 2013, new are still on the lot….

  • avatar
    derekson

    https://twitter.com/GregKable/status/646689927229505541

    “The Deutsch Umwelthilfe claims to hold evidence implicating BMW, Daimler, Ford and Porsche in emission test rigging similar to #Volkswagen”

    This organization is basically the German equivalent to the EPA.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Jalopnik has a lot more information on industrywide implications:

      http://jalopnik.com/watchdog-group-says-other-car-companies-are-cheating-on-1732615322

      • 0 avatar
        jthorner

        One thing that has been bothering me is that I’m sure automotive companies buy and test competing products in order to really understand what the competitors are up to. I assume that they also strip them down and try to learn by observing what the others are doing.

        If that is so, then engineers and managers must have noticed that their competitors vehicles were cheating on the emissions test. If so, why keep quiet about it?

        Ah, perhaps the answer is that nobody wants to make a stink because everyone is doing it! “It’s accepted industry practice” they snicker.

        Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t make it right.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          I agree that “everyone is doing it” isn’t any kind of defense. I just think there will be a huge fallout from this for many companies and not just VW. All the data point toward widespread malfeasance.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    Mark, you said that “Those in the know will continue to see Volkswagens as a solid deal with incentives on the hood. Those susceptible to the 24-hour news cycle will avoid walking into Volkswagen dealerships.”

    I think it’s safe to say that for many of us former VW owners, the VW ownership experience is what keeps us out of VW dealerships.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do hope VW win on this one. VW did not comply with regulations for emissions.

    If I were VW I would introduce into the argument the difference between diesel regulations and gasoline regulations. There are quite a few, which in fact act as technical barriers for diesel to become more successful in the US market. These differences are driven by big energy, auto manufacturers and UAW.

    The EPA itself is creating some of the current problems. How many new refineries are there in the US? How new refineries are needed. These new refineries could then produce better quality diesel fuel for the US consumer.

    Why does GDI engines not have particulate filters? They are emitting up to 1000 time the number of particulates than a diesel. Yes. But here we have a VW diesel up to 40 times above the mandated regulation. So Fncking What!

    FE and emission improvements on diesel are to increase at a rate 50% above that of the gasoline engine, even though diesel is far more economical.s

    I really do think this is a case also what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Energy, emission, auto manufacturing must become more aligned to what is going on in the world outside of the US. If the US has good and viable ideas then use them, if the EU has good ideas use them. Even if Australia or Nauru has a good idea use them.

    The use US energy security as a reason to produce anti competitive policy should be long gone, especially in this age of globalisation. Actually the rest of the world should sit down and seriously look at how we use energy as it is a finite resource.

    As for emissions, yes, the US is reducing emisssions. But like I stated they emission regulations are designed to protect US industry.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Mornin’ Al,

      Are you really arguing that VW should take the “six year old who’s been told to clean-up his room” defense? (“why doesn’t my sister have to clean her’s up?” the answer being “because it’s already clean”).

      Maybe they can save it as a last resort? People may not be impressed if they lead with the whining.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They aren’t going to win. They admitted guilt, set aside cash for the cost of the fines/recalls, and fired their CEO.

      They also don’t want to argue about GDI emissions because they strongly rely on GTDI engines.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Sigh…

      “The EPA itself is creating some of the current problems. How many new refineries are there in the US? How new refineries are needed. These new refineries could then produce better quality diesel fuel for the US consumer.”

      This has nothing to do with the quality of the fuel. The oxides of nitrogen in the emissions are created from the air, and diesel engines by their very nature create more than gasoline.

      The US is a ***net exporter** of refined fuels now, and it doesn’t help because there is a **glut**. Undercapacity is not the problem.

      “Why does GDI engines not have particulate filters? They are emitting up to 1000 time the number of particulates than a diesel”

      One, they don’t emit a thousand times the particulates. Citation needed, please.

      Two, the issue is oxides of nitrogen, not particulates. VW blew the NOx allotment by more than an order of magnitude at best. NOx, unlike CO2 and even particulates (to a degree), is actually really, really bad.

      “FE and emission improvements on diesel are to increase at a rate 50% above that of the gasoline engine, even though diesel is far more economical.s”

      Emissions improvements with diesel are increasing because it had so very far to come. Diesel powertrains are filthy, which is why it needs particulate filters and urea injection to be only slightly worse than the worst new gas engines.

      “The use US energy security as a reason to produce anti competitive policy should be long gone, especially in this age of globalisation. Actually the rest of the world should sit down and seriously look at how we use energy as it is a finite resource.

      As for emissions, yes, the US is reducing emisssions. But like I stated they emission regulations are designed to protect US industry.”

      No, they’re not. Emissions regulations exist to protect US citizens. Europe, because of quirks of geography that result in a lack of Los Angeles-like smog issues, a powerful trucking lobby and a desire to protect their OEMs, pushed diesel for years.

      Everywhere else, literally, that diesel did not enjoy an artificial tax advantage, it has been supplanted by gasoline.

      You’ve got the correct issue, but exactly 180 degrees wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “This has nothing to do with the quality of the fuel.”

        BAFO is a buffoon. Why are you bothering?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Pch101,
          I agree a little with your statement. But the lower US diesel fuel quality makes it harder for the manufacturers to provide more effective emission controls to meet the different US regulations.

          So, in effect the lower US diesel fuel quality, along with different emission regulations does make a huge difference.

          What made VW consider the move they had made?? What was the driving force behind the decision to just look at profit? VW could of easily fixed the problem prior to this incident unfolding.

          I do think your self righteous attitude is rather boring as well.

          In the end the spiderweb of regulations, controls, lower fuel quality, etc has contributed to creating this situation. These are all in place in the name of protectionism. This is what VW must argue, even to the point of approaching the WTO on the US and it’s technical barriers producing an uncompetitive marketplace. Remember the US isn’t the only place in which VW operates and stating well look at the other manufacturers in the US they seem to be playing ball, well are they? Or have they not been caught out?

          It seems all auto manufacturers are not playing ball in the interest of the consumer. What is causing this? Just profit? Or is policy and regulatory controls unrealistic?

          It isn’t all VW’s fault. Like a little child you would think a man stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family should go to prison. But ask an adult for a response the adult would state “why did the man feel he needed to steal to feed his family”.

          You tend to be very simplistic when it suits you, you then lay on the bullsh!t when it suits you.

          When will you become a consistent and reliable debaters, instead of insulting those around you, especially when you are incorrect.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “It isn’t all VW’s fault”

            I cannot discuss this with you anymore. The analogy after it made even less sense. VW is not a kid stealing bread to feed his family. They are the largest automaker in the world. This mess is VWs fault and only VWs fault.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I cannot discuss this with you anymore.”

            I haven’t read a word of what he said, and I could have told you that. He has no clue about any of this, and he never will.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            All three of you are juvenile and asinine when it comes to being correct vs. being “right”. You fail to consider that there might very well be someone out there who does have a better view of the issue, and believe that you are the only person who could ever be correct, and therefore everyone else must be wrong 100% of the time. It’s incredibly disenheartening.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “You fail to consider that there might very well be someone out there who does have a better view of the issue”

            Facts are facts, and BAFO has no grasp of the facts. Not all views are equally valid, and his views have virtually no validity at all. (And I don’t need to read them now, because I have no doubt that he’s making the same fallacious points that he was two years ago — the guy can’t learn anything.)

            Anyone who believes that cetane = fuel quality is already starting off on the wrong foot. That would be akin to arguing that premium unleaded is better than regular unleaded because it has a bigger number.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Me? I’m wrong all the time, darnit.

            My understanding of who is responsible for this issue starts and ends with VW saying that they messed up. Black and white. The whole side issue with whose emissions are what and this engine or that, meh. Don’t care about that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I can see VW lawyers in court:

            “It isn’t our fault”

            “We were forced to cheat due to protectionistic USA EPA measures!”

            Judge, “Guilty!… 18 billion please!”

            Yes, they cheated on regulations.

            Why?

            Profit matters more than honour.

            It wasn’t as if all of VW’s executives and engineers were kneeling in a shallow grave surrounded by ISIL being told to pollute the infidels or die!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Guys,
            I didn’t state VW is in the “right”. Where did I state this?

            What I’m stating other than just profits why did VW go down the path it had?

            There are difference in diesel and gasoline regulations in the US in emissions.

            The biggest one here which is a problem for VW is particulates. Now if those uni students with their research grant found that the Polo was emitting UP TO 30 times more particulates and the Golf UP TO 40 times the particulates then they do have some defence.

            Their defence is GDI gasoline engines currently sold on the US market don’t have any regulations that limit particulate emissions.

            The EPA isn’t introducing particulate limits until 2018 for gasoline engines.

            GDI engine are currently emitting between 10-1000 times the particulates than most diesels (that is known) other than VW. Which VW is still selling diesel powered vehicles than could be emitting up to 50 times less particulates.

            So, their is little consistency between diesel vs gasoline particulate emissions in the US.

            This is driven by big energy, auto manufacturers and government.

            I really do think you guys should look beyond “he stole the bread and should go to prison” and look at ” why and what caused a major manufacturer to do this.

            Greed is a part, but also there must be other reasons. Lax Euro testing, even lax emissions testing in the US and globally.

            Big industry irrespective of what country they are based seem to have big lobby power in most nations.

            Better governance is required with realistic targets, policy, instruction, etc.

            The auto industry has been taken over by overly zealous art degreed losers and dumb ass lawyers.

            The poor slob and consumer will be the ones who will wear the cost in the end.

            So why fine these companies, when the consumer pays no matter what decision is made.

            The people who allow these white collar crimes to continue should be the ones who pay.

            Yes, they should go to prision. The head of Toyota, VW, GM, FCA all the companies that have headlined in the news over the recent past.

            Or, do you think we should be like the Chinese and execute these guys, ie, the milk formula laced with melamine.

            Look at this with open eyes.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Pch101,
            Here are some EPA links I would like you to peruse. The contents within shall enlighten you;)

            http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/tier3.htm

            http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/documents/tier3/420f14009.pdf

          • 0 avatar

            Read away
            https://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/ld_ca.php

            http://articles.sae.org/13624/

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cetane_number

            Big Al is a little off on most of what he’s said and mostly going off on his “the US govt. is a protectionist bastard who should burn tripe”.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            GM’s Cruze Diesel manages to pass and they don’t have near the economy of scale that VW does to amortize the investment. VW did this for marketing. They could claim the increased power and real world mpg without adding expensive/inconvenient urea systems.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        psarhjinian,
        Sigh?

        1. What does an increase in compression equate to? Hmm…more NOx. Remember pressure equals heat. US diesel needs to run at higher compression ratios than the requirement to run on German diesel fuel.

        2. What does 50% more sulphur equate to during combustion? More particulates.

        This is what makes it harder for EU diesel engine designers to engineer emission systems for the lower US diesel fuel quality.

        Wrong??? I’m not really wrong. Read up on this “stuff”. Or just listen and learn.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        psarhjinian,
        NOx is created through heat during combustion. You do need nitrogen and oxygen.

        So, if US diesel fuel has a lower cetane rating, what must occur to the compression ratio of the engine to run on US diesel? The compression must increase. This increase produces more NOx. So US diesel is producing more NOx.

        US diesel fuel contains 50% more sulphur than German diesel, what does this impact in a diesel engine? This increase particualtes.

        So, now we have US diesel fuel increasing NOx and particulate because of it makeup.

        Hmmmmmm…………Sigh?????

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          Cetane is only part of the equation and is not precisely formulated here. US minimum standards are 43 but many independent tests have revealed major refiners in the 47-50 range. The ignition delay time is influenced by several other physical properties associated with the nature of the fuel, such as volatility, viscosity, surface tension, and mechanical characteristics of the engines such as compression ratio, pressure of the injection system, etc.

          In short, cetane is important but is only one piece of the pie.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            jrmason,
            You are correct. Even our ULSD is down to 3ppm in sulphur. But the engines and emissions are engineered to run at 10ppm.

            The same goes for the US ULSD. Engine are engineered and designed to run at 42 cetane.

            So, you can run a US diesel on our diesel quite easily, but you will eventually have issues running on of our diesels on US ULSD.

            The fuel quality dictates the emission quality.

            In the US it’s 42 cetane and 15ppm of sulphur. In Australia and much or the EU it’s 54 cetane and 10ppm of sulphur. That’s where the difference lies.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The standards for gas, diesel, E85, propane, and CNG are all the same. It wasn’t always that way. Initially there were zero standards for diesel powered vehicles and the slowly implemented standards and tightened them up in 2010 so that all engines regardless of fuel have to meet the same standards.

      So just because diesel got a pass in the past doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with them having to meet the same standards today.

      Fact is other mfgs do meet the standards and on vehicles that require much more control. The standards are written in grams per mile. So it is much easier to get a vehicle with relatively low fuel consumption to pass compared to a vehicle with high fuel consumption. So a 2.0L in a small car has a much easier time of meeting the standards than say a 3/4 ton pickup with an engine 3+ times the size.

      Plain and simple VW was trying to save money/increase profits by gaming the system. They got caught, have admitted it and hopefully they will pay big time, both in actual fines, cost to come into compliance and with reduced sales.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “…So a 2.0L in a small car has a much easier time of meeting the standards than say a 3/4 ton pickup with an engine 3+ times the size…”

        Could you further explain that? It seems quite the opposite. As if all are saddled with powering the same small office building (or similar burdensome emissions controls), besides powering the vehicle itself efficiently.

        So it would be far less of a burden on 6.0+ liter ‘torque monster’ diesel pickups, as opposed to 2.0 liter diesel cars, with 3.0 liter diesels barely squeaking by.

        This while aftermarket, or off-road “tuner/chips” will radically improve BOTH power and fuel economy, at the expense of having dirty/illegal emissions.

        So VW simply ran a dirty/illegal type of tuner/chip to effectively, efficiently and adequately power their 2.0 TDI cars (except while on ‘test modes’). Or it seems to me.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    If the US poor diesel is an issue , have VW, BMW, Fiat and the rest of Europe car makers buy a Oil company and give their cars the “right ” type of diesel

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      US diesel is so bad that it exports it to Europe.

      The reality is that EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 standards for NOx are more stringent than Euro 5 or the new Euro 6 standard. There is a big difference between the 50/70 mg per mile allowed in the US and the 180 mg per kilometer that was allowed under Euro 5. The 80 mg per kilometer allowed under Euro 6 is also above the US standard, although one would expect that Euro 7 will probably end up bringing the EU in line with the US.

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    In about 6 months I’ll be in the market for a replacement for my 05 Escape. The MK6 GTI is tops on my list but with the problems I had with my Audi A4 1.8T Quattro and now this I might skip the GTI and go for a FoST or a FiST.
    VW seems to keep giving me reasons to doubt them.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Two observations from this scandal:

    1. It’s hard to believe VW thought defeat devices would fly.

    2. It’s easy to understand the moral equivalency that led them down the road to perdition. People are rolling coal all the time and defeating the emissions settings of their vehicles. This is also true of the heavy freight industry which isn’t in compliance or lobbies for exceptions. Is VW much worse because they chose a different route to the same illegal outcome?

    Not defending VW because they are the biggest imbeciles in the auto industry, but it seems people are more outraged by their tarnished reputation. No one cares about the dirty industrialists who are known to be dirty cheaters. We often defend those industries as the victims of EPA attacks.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “t’s easy to understand the moral equivalency that led them down the road to perdition. People are rolling coal all the time and defeating the emissions settings of their vehicles.”

      …which is fine, sort of. When they go to get tested, they have to put them back. The “moral equivalent” is more like a mechanic faking the emissions test and giving said fake results to the DMV.

      “This is also true of the heavy freight industry which isn’t in compliance or lobbies for exceptions.”

      Heavy freight is sorta-kinda in compliance. A few makes have been nailed for faking tests”

      ” Is VW much worse because they chose a different route to the same illegal outcome?”

      VW’s issue isn’t emissions. People seem to forget this. The problem wasn’t that the cars operate above limits; that would be okay. The problem (and what they’re being grilled for) is lying to the regulatory agency.

      That’s the problem that got Toyota sued: not pedalgate, but covering up the recall.

      Generally, if you screw up, you can issue a recall and move on. You usually won’t be fined, though you may face (trivial) civil suits and you will have to eat recall costs.

      What gets you serious fines isn’t noncompliance, but fraud and malfeasance. VW wasn’t inept, they were evil.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    The problem I see is the buyback. I mean, from an environmental point of view, scrapping cars is far worse an impact than these cars actually running.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I doubt that there will be much of a buyback program, if any. But even if there is, there are other parts of the world where these cars would be legal.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Who said ANYTHING about scraping them?! Either VW would retrofit them and resell them here, or ship them to countries in which they are not subject to emissions (or are not as strict). Their dealers would retail them as used cars.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Not really, the parts would get recycled. If anything insurance costs for non affected models, read gas, may come down due to a glut of crash pars being available and for the most part already painted the correct color! Airbags etc will all make their way back into circulation at some point in time. Plus, there will always be a go getter out there who decides to take a crashed gas model and transplant the drivetrain into a diesel.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    If I were a TDI owner, Id take the buyback and get a Fiesta 3 cyl EcoBoost. A Euro-centric car with a manual transmission that will be fairly fun to drive and very economical. Checks a lot of the same boxes but uses cheaper fuel and will likely have less electrical gremlins and such expected in an aging VW over the long term.

    If I owned a VW/TDI, itd be a Golf. I realize the Fiesta is a bit smaller but its not that much of a difference.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Funny to read some of the points of this article from Europe. In US the “diesel enthusiasts” see the manual transmission small diesel car as a romantic European thing which makes the owners kind of special and “in the know”. And by offering those affordable-diesel-manuals to the public in the US VW is kind of a lone hero Apple-like company. Like I said, funny.

    At this point already lot of manufacturers have turbocharged small displacement direct injection petrol engines for sale in the US. Real life mpg numbers are getting close to diesel and there’s almost as much torque available. And those engines are truly clean compared to equivalent diesel.

    The real hero in US is Ford who is offering variety of very modern world-class ecoboost engines and their cars look good, drive nicely and have quality interiors. Plus they managed to survive without bailout cash. But as we know grass is alway greener…

    So forget about diesels. Most Americans had sense to steer clear of them and now you have more reason to do so in the future. Because of this massive scandal I think Europe will now speed up shifting from diesels to petrol-electric-hybrid powertrains. In 15-20 years diesel will only stay fueling heavy machinery and highway travelling trucks/buses – the use it was originally intended for.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Know who else loses here? Innovators.

    Sure, the EPA’s gonna self-righteously hulk out on VW now, and use this mess as an excuse to further restrict the automotive options available to Americans.

    But here’s my specific problem.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that somebody comes up with a new design for a combustion engine that is not only more powerful than existing plants, but as a side effect, cleaner as well. Builds it in their garage over the course of several years of evening work.

    Let’s say they even managed to do it without any computer control or emissions systems, just for the sake of argument.

    Now they’re going to have to run an even-more-invasive gauntlet of proctology-grade certification tests to be legally allowed to sell this new engine.

    EXPENSIVE proctology-grade certification tests.

    The EPA would go into its closed-loop bureaucracy mode, and wouldn’t care how clean this new engine is – all they’d care about would be the fact that they couldn’t plug an OBD connector into it.

    They’d claim that the new design’s not testable, even though they could just tailpipe the thing, and though, again for the sake of argument, that it passed the actual emissions tests, it still wouldn’t be allowed for sale.

    So the already-stratospheric barrier to entering the car business goes even higher, and we all lose.

    But it’s all okay, because it’s allegedly for clean air.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This one crazy idea let my neighbor invent a 1000 hp motor that only gives off Febreeze!

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      Exactly, Alpha, but you argue against yourself. If you have Al Capone, so to speak, in the regulatory mix with normal people, your choice is to regulate everyone as if they were Al Capone, or to send Capone to jail and go back to regulating the others like they were normal people.

      That should be a very easy societal choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        jim brewer – that is the hawk and dove argument.

        – A society full of doves does well because they all cooperate and get along.
        – A society full of hawks does actually work because they fight each other and eventually establish a pecking order.
        – Throw one hawk in a society of doves and things run amok.

        As you have pointed out, what is the best way to deal with hawks?

        We don’t do one or the other.

        We do a combination of both.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The EPA does test the tail pipe and that is what they are concerned with. If the engine is so clean that it can do it with out electronics that need to be monitored all the better. That is the reason that the OBDII regulations exist to monitor those electronics for failure.

      So no it won’t change things in that respect at all.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      OneAlpha, I thought the lesson of VWs is to actually buy a new car from dealership (under cover) and then run real life tests. That shouldn’t harm the garage innovator.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      Total bunk. Yes, it is expensive to certify new engines …. but it is done all the time. The EPA actually made it too easy for VW to cheat.

      The most radical new vehicle designs have been all electric vehicles like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf. The EPA didn’t get in their way.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        I think the issue is the 09-13 cars, to do the fixes I have heard , you will need to add a adblue tank somewhere as well as a bunch of other stuff, those years cars were not designed for the tank, the 14-16’s have it, so it would not be the cost of testing the new engines but ripping out fuel tanks to make room for another tank, it may be cheaper to take them back sell them somewhere else.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    “Diehards will chip their TDIs to bring performance back up.

    And others will go even further and chip their TDIs to “roll coal”.

    https://youtu.be/RdIB3fsIrsY

  • avatar
    charlie986532

    Sadly, this VW situation just shows that full and open disclosure of rule breaking only gets all involved in greater trouble, i.e., corporate, government and public.

    Denial, denial, denial and grudgingly pay the fine without admission of guilt is the way of the world. Fix what they say is broken and move on.

    When there are more EVs in use that need the batteries replaced and have the used batteries stacked up, who are we going to blame for the eventual ecological disaster?

    Anyway, watch VW stock, buy when you think it’s at bottom and profit. Simply to big to fail even if a government bailout is needed.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    Mark my words, outside of HD pickups used as towing vehicles and tractor trailers, diesel is now done in the United States. This VW business is making enough of a stir that it’s going to seep into the Neanderthal brains of your average social media addled American as “diesel bad.” That’s all it will take.

    I think it will take down the premium cars too. You think any socially conscious upwardly mobile woman (who spends all day on her Iphone and having play dates and taking “lunch”) is going to let their husband by a diesel Benz or BMW? Not going to happen.

  • avatar

    “Everyone will lose”… except people who breath air, Mark. Especially those living in Los Angeles.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      LA is already enjoying up to 50% cleaner air vs 1994:

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150304-los-angeles-smog-children-health-environment/

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        I believe it. I was just commenting to my wife the other day (we’re both in our late 30’s) that when we were young, it seemed like everything pretty much reeked of gasoline all the time. Every relative of mine had a smelly garage, and half the vehicles you’d get behind in traffic stunk to high heaven. I’ve noticed it’s rare now to see a car that actually smokes out the tail pipe, even the really thrashed ones. I think the demise of carburetors and the computer control of engines has made a world of difference.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      +1

  • avatar
    TAP

    @ OneAlpha,

    If I suffered from the terminal cynicism that seems to have infected you, could not get myself out of bed in the morning.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I’ve lost friends, co-workers and even close relatives to NOx emissions.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and particulate emissions are two different things. But why let science get in the way of a headline?

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I think I would use a tad bit more fuel using your suggestion BBall

    F250 4×4 with the 6.7L diesel or Silverado 2500 4×4 with the 6.6L diesel.

    Both pollute less then your VW TDI :) I will assume that is correct but at the moment I really have no idea how much my car pollutes I still have not read a real number vs. what is allowed.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    @Charlie,
    No problem thanks for posting it.

    Sorry Seth, not meaning to get personal. I just don’t want to completely drink any of the koolaid that any of the manufacturers or government are trying to feed us.

    You want the perfect car? Maybe your right, we should be walking.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    @28 a bit out of my price range but if VW was very very generous with a buyback…

    @seth

    Lexus LS430 or LS460. You’re welcome.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Mark,

    NOx is not emitted as “particulates”: it is a gas, — unless you were using the word metaphorically!

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