Update: I made a decimal flub. The math is corrected. Thanks to commenter ChemEng for pointing it out. We’ll post a new piece on Monday.
There’s no denying it: Volkswagen cheated. It confessed to the crime of emitting up to 40 times over the legal limit allowed for NOx. We learned yesterday (and the day before, to some degree), that Volkswagen will fix the vehicles that can be fixed, if owners so choose.
But what happens to all those diesel cars, which are perfectly good aside from emitting more NOx than they should, if owners decide to cut and run? And what happens to all those vehicles that can’t be fixed? Volkswagen has vowed to buy them back from customers — to which I ask, what then?
There are few options Volkswagen can employ to unload the massive windfall of cars coming its way, and none of them are particularly environmentally friendly.
Note: In light of today’s news regarding an agreement between Volkswagen and U.S. regulators, we believe it’s pertinent to rerun this piece considering Volkswagen still plans on fixing some of the affected 2.0-liter TDI vehicles. —MS
In all reality, Volkswagen probably won’t pay $37,500 for each car that cheated its way through U.S. emissions standards, but the German automaker will probably pay thousands for each car to fit a device that would clean up their acts.
The presumed fix would come by retrofitting a Selective Catalytic Reduction (Adblue or urea) system although that wouldn’t be the only fix necessary. Researchers discovered that the Passat TDI that they tested, fitted with the SCR system, was 5 to 20 times over the NO limit — less than the 10 to 40 times by the lean NO filter cars, but still illegal.
The long list of items needed to fit models of the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 doesn’t include the engineering needed to retrofit the cars and the costs to crash test the models after the significant modifications. That’ll add hundreds of millions to the bottom line.
Dirty Volkswagen diesels equipped with illicit “defeat devices” could soon be flying off driveways and into oblivion.
Sources briefed on the matter told Reuters (via Automotive News) that the automaker will offer to buy back up to half a million 2.0-liter TDI models in the U.S. that emit illegal levels of smog-causing emissions.
They expect that Volkswagen will make the offer tomorrow before a federal judge. The company’s deadline for a U.S. fix is tomorrow, and a failure to act will result in a trial the automaker desperately wants to avoid. (Read More…)
I’ve toyed with the idea of turbocharging a 2.sl0w just for giggles and TORQUE, but the quest has to make some sense economically, or else the finance minister will not approve. Then it hit me: just how LOW in price have those older dirty diesels gone, anyway? You know, the ones with that lovely 236 pounds-feet of torque.
In other words, can I just get the torque without the spending abyss and busting my knuckles? Small data-set wise, four-cylinder manual Jettas with 64,000 miles average a diesel premium of only $675. At that consideration point, say 2010-ish Jetta, there is no economy for the project and I could jump right into the lovely torque.
So my question to you, on behalf of Torque Lovers Everywhere: is it time to pounce on diesel?
We knew it wouldn’t be easy for them. We knew it would get worse before it got better. But did you know it would be this difficult for Volkswagen of America to sell cars, and did you know it would get this bad this soon?
And could it get even worse?
Volkswagen brand sales in the United States tumbled 15 percent in January 2016, a year-over-year loss of 3,425 units. With barely more than 20,000 total sales, January 2016 sales fell to a 60-month low. Not since January 2011, when Volkswagen sold only 18,401 vehicles in America, has the company generated so little showroom activity. (Read More…)
The fuel cost savings of a diesel vehicle can be huge for those who eat up highway miles. However, with Volkswagen’s voluntary stop sale of those vehicles implicated in the diesel emissions scandal, you may think you can’t buy one from a Volkswagen dealer.
You’d be wrong.
According to a source who spoke to TTAC under the condition of anonymity, Volkswagen dealers are still able to sell an affected diesel vehicle should it meet certain conditions: that it not be a “certified pre-owned” (CPO) or new vehicle, and that the buyer signs a disclaimer stating they understand the vehicle being purchased pollutes more than government compliance tests initially indicated.
Volkswagen Group has until the end of the day Tuesday to submit its final plan to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its illegally polluting 3-liter TDI engines, primarily used in Audi vehicles, reported Automotive News on Monday.
The deadline comes after an earlier proposal to fix 2-liter TDI vehicles was rejected by the regulatory agency and before Audi takes to the airwaves during Super Bowl 50 where we hope it’ll use the opportunity to tell us something more than just “buy this new, fancy, non-diesel car.”
Porsche’s CEO is confident that the fix for their 3-liter diesel Cayennes will be approved by regulators, which is more than Volkswagen can say at the moment.
That, Kia’s big Detroit show, GM’s plan to sell cars online and Volkswagen CEO has a momentarily lapse of logic … after the break!
Engineers at Volkswagen have proposed fitting a catalytic converter to more than 400,000 cars in the U.S. to comply with emissions, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday (via Reuters).
The costly and lengthy fix could bring into compliance cars that Volkswagen admitted cheated diesel emissions test through an illegal “defeat device” that reduced nitrogen oxides by up to 40 times during test cycles.
Officials at Volkswagen didn’t comment on the report.
German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Thursday that Volkswagen was preparing to buy back about one-fifth of its cheating diesel cars in the U.S., according to Reuters.
That would mean about 115,000 cars — likely older models that would need significant work to bring emissions into compliance — could be taken off the road in an historic buyback. According to the report, the cars would be bought back by the automaker for their purchase price or by significantly discounting a new model for those owners.