By on June 30, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (5 of 8)

It’s like the Rapture, but for polluting German vehicles.

Starting this fall, owners of the 466,000 defeat device-equipped Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter TDI models still left on the road will head to their dealer, hand over their keys, sign a mountain of paperwork, and walk away with a fat check issued by the bean counters in Wolfburg.

So, what happens to your once-trustworthy diesel-powered steed after the buyback?

Not many owners will worry about the fate that awaits their TDI after it’s led behind the barn, but it’s still an interesting question. John Voelcker, writing for Green Car Reports, dove into the issue.

Volkswagen’s pricey settlement with U.S. owners (and state and federal governments and regulators) requires a minimum of 85 percent of the afflicted 2009–2016 model year TDIs to be bought back. Officially, according to a Volkswagen spokesperson, the automaker hasn’t decided what it plans to do with those 396,000 vehicles.

The settlement, which still needs official approval, spells out the do’s and don’ts:

All Eligible Vehicles returned to Settling Defendants through the Recall Program shall be rendered inoperable by removing the vehicle’s Engine Control Unit (“ECU”) and may be, to the extent possible, recycled to the extent permitted by law. No Eligible Vehicle that is rendered inoperable may subsequently be rendered operable except as allowed by and in compliance with subparagraph 7.2.3 below and Appendix B of this Consent Decree.

The vehicles can be salvaged and broken up for parts, so long as the ECU, diesel oxidation catalyst and diesel particulate filter don’t find a home in another vehicle.

Early speculation that some of the vehicles might find their way, intact and still dirty, to a country with less stringent pollution laws didn’t pan out. Not going to happen, says Volkswagen. Any exported vehicle still needs to undergo an Approved Emissions Modification to bring the vehicle into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

U.S. owners can opt to keep their vehicle on the road by undergoing the same fix, but there’s a problem: there is no EPA-approved fix for the vehicles, and any fix for older models would be cumbersome and likely lead to reduced performance and fuel economy. In other words, it would diminish the two traits that made TDI models a hot commodity. The development period and a laborious testing regime would mean a long wait before the fix becomes available.

If the fix doesn’t satisfy the EPA’s concerns, then every older (pre-2015) model is bound for the scrap heap. Newer 2.0-liter models sport an exhaust after-treatment system (urea injection, which the older models magically didn’t need), which should be easier to develop a fix for.

[Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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189 Comments on “Your Bought-Back Volkswagen has a Miserable (and Short) Life Ahead of It...”


  • avatar
    Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

    The Horsemen are drawing nearer
    On leather steeds they ride
    They’ve come to take your VW

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Why not just convert them to gassers? A bit of rebadging and they could be sold as factory refurbs. A bit more expensive up front but they could recover more of the costs on resale than they would by scrapping them.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I have begged Volkswagen to turn my Golf SportWagen TDI into a Golf R SportWagen, but so far thy haven’t answered.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @ Vulpine. A brilliant idea. Drop in an existing gas engine design into all the good condition/newer model returns.

        Little cost to VW, plus they would then actually get some money back on these cars.

        They could add/convert consumers to the VW brand who might never previously have even thought of it.

        They would drive traffic back into their dealerships.

        Less cars would be scrapped, helping the environment.

        Offer up a later model used Golf/Rabbit/Jetta/Passat with a new gas engine and a manufacturer’s used car warranty and at the right price it would go right to the top of my list for a driver for my kids. And I have purposely stayed away from the VW brand for the past few decades after our family having had one in the driveway for nearly 15 consecutive years.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Am I the only one thinking LS-X swap?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Little cost to VW, plus they would then actually get some money back on these cars.”

          that actually could be very costly (though not $14 bn costly) depending on if they’d have to re-certify those cars.

          “They could add/convert consumers to the VW brand who might never previously have even thought of it.”

          I don’t see how.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @JimZ: here is how and it is both relatively easy and fairly logical.

            “That actually could be very costly (though not $14 bn costly) depending on if they’d have to re-certify those cars.” Swapping in an existing gas engine and then selling the vehicle is more expensive than buying the vehicle and then scrapping it? How can you reason that? In Ontario for example an emissions test is about $50. An actual ROI versus zero return is always a better proposition.

            “They could add/convert consumers to the VW brand who might never previously have even thought of it.” Lots of consumers would never cross shop VW with Toyota, Honda or even Hyundai particularly for used cars. Remember ‘never buy a VW out of warranty?’. Well this would provide VW dealers with late model used cars, with brand new engines! How many ‘value’ buyers or those worried about warranty issues with used cars could then refuse even looking at/considering these cars. Thus presto, consumers new to VW entering their lots, if even out of curiosity. Increasing traffic into a dealership is a big deal.

            I could even see this playing out like the Iraqi taxi scenario that GM faced.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Wouldn’t it have to be sold as a salvage/rebuilt car?

            There’s just too many parts and systems that differ, diesel to gas. Logistical nightmare. You’d be better off with a gas “donor car”, for all the parts, misc you’ll need, including gas emissions, cat, exhaust, gas tank, ECU, wiring loom, instrument cluster, etc, you’d need for the conversion. Probably a different torque converter and a host of things you never think about.

            Never mind the intensive labor. And for an install that can never duplicate the quality/craftsmanship of factory car?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I think they’d rather just “rip the band-aid off quickly” and hope they can get at least a good portion of people into a new VW than waste the time and money to retro-fit cars with new powertrains and sell them at a loss.

            it’s like why automakers scrap prototype and pre-production vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          If would suck for the Mk7 Golf though. The TDI doesn’t have the independent rear suspension found in the TSI in order to accommodate the adblue tank. I assume this is also the case with the SportWagens, but not 100% sure.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I have a Golf SportWagen, and can confirm that. Yes, both the Golf TDI and Golf SportWagen TDI have a torsion-beam rear suspension, whereas all of the other Golf variants have IRS. My old Jetta SportWagen had IRS, but, like you said, it did not need to make room for the DEF tank.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @denvermike: didn’t GM eventually offer that type of conversion to those who held on to their Oldsmobile diesels?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yes, but engine swaps in 1980 were a lot easier and quicker.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The block was just a gas “350” 5.7, from what I understand, making it a much easier conversion from the heads up. I still wouldn’t consider it “simple” for back then.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Arthur Dailey
            Frightening. What were they thinking when they thought the Oldmobile block could become a reliable Diesel engine?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Olds diesel was surprisingly good, once you upgraded to commercial truck type of fuel filtration. It was the poor quality of fuel back then that did them in, with cheesy, GM “bean counter”, stock filtration and water separator.

            I worked a Chrysler Dodge dealer, late ’80s, so they sent me to the corner gas station to fetch 5 gals of diesel, and it came out of the pump dark brown, almost sludge. When I told the attendant it wasn’t clean, he asked “So What?” So I said it was going in a brand new Cummins pickup. He grabbed the container and poured it back down the hole.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “The Olds diesel was surprisingly good, once you upgraded to commercial truck type of fuel filtration”

            No it wasn’t. I owned one in a used Cadillac. But not for long.

            And the ’78 Olds Custom Cruiser equipped with this Diesel engine was trouble-prone from day one. I knew a guy who brought one to Germany in 1979.

            It had nothing to do with fuel filtration. Glow plugs failed often. The damn thing wouldn’t start in cold weather unless you squirted ether into the intake.

            And on and on and on……

            It’s an ownership experience best not repeated.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            HDC,
            I know someone who had one in the US. He said it was a nightmare from day one. If they had designed the engine from the start as a Diesel engine,, then it could have had a much happier ending

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            RobertRyan, I managed the Auto Hobby Shop a few nights of the week while stationed in Germany during the seventies and had to do a lot of Chilton’s research to help the GI’s stationed in my area maintain and repair their cars. I learned a lot!

            The Olds 350 Diesel was basiocally the stout Olds 350 gasoline block and heads trying to run a 22.5 compression ratio. Some times, under the right environmental conditions, it was a long-legged SOB on the autobahns. It was noisy, smoked under mild acceleration, but got the job done.

            But unless the owner stayed on top of things, like keeping the intake clean, removing soot build-up, using only clean #1 or #2 diesel to match the environment and temperature, that was one balky engine.

            I helped replace several glow plugs that died before their time until the owner cleared it with the Pentagon Federal Credit Union so he could sell it to another guy going back stateside.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If you had a mechanic or friend that understood them, no problem. Most didn’t. Mine was the ’78 Delta Eighty Eight diesel, my 1st car.

            I drove mine everywhere and I’d change the glow plugs myself. Frustrating if you’re used to gas engines. Except I had a harder time understanding points/dwell and carbs/fuel bowls etc. They still don’t make sense to me. But that’s what I would’ve had to deal with at the time. And those would definitely leave you stranded. My Delta never did.

            Fuel injected, and electronic ignition cars were too pricey for me in high school, 1985. I paid $800 for Delta since the seller couldn’t start it cold. Worked out perfect for me. A clean, low mileage car no body wanted.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            The GM diesel was not a normal 350 block, and the head was certainly not a gas engine head. No way would the engine run with a gas engine head. The block, which had similar dimensions as the gas version, was a much stouter design. In fact, they were sought out by racers for use in gas engine build ups. The cylinder head was a pure diesel design. What ultimately killed these engines was that the bean counters insisted that this engine be build-able with the existing gas engine tooling. That meant the head bolt pattern had to be the same as the gas engine. Even with stouter head bolts the pattern was not adequate to deal with the rigors of the high compression needed for diesel operation. That lead to the widespread head gasket failures, the overheating, and the hydrolocking that doomed these engines to the scrap heap.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The diesel block is a stouter, but interchangeable with the gas block, as far as heads go. No one said the heads were the same, that’s clearly not possible.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        Unless they fire up some temporary specially-designed assembly line to essentially rip out everything under the hood, along with the fuel and exhaust systems, and replace them with the gasoline parts, it’d probably be cheaper just to scrap the things.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          So 466,000 vehicles. Let’s say that they swap only those that are less than 9 years old and have less than 75,000 miles.

          Guestimate 40% of them? So a total of186,400 receive a gas engine. At that volume can the swap be completed at a cost of $6k per vehicle?

          If so and you can sell them as CPO with a 3 to 5 year manufacturer’s warranty on the drivetrain, could you realistically sell them for from $8k to $18k?

          Profit would then be between $2k to $12k per vehicle.

          If you sell 175,000 with even an average profit of $4k per vehicle, you end up netting $700 million. Not exactly chump change.

          Plus you probably add a bunch of new VW customers and gain some goodwill.

          And its not like there is not a lot of underutilized auto manufacturing facilities out there that would love to get that kind of work.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            You are forgetting that VW is not getting these cars for free- they are buying them back from the current owners. There goes your profit margin.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @whynot. Yes they are. They are buying them back. Regardless of what happens to them after. That is a sunk cost. So therefore has no impact on the cost of engine swapping and selling them.

            The difference is rather than buying them and scrapping them which is the current plan. This could allow VW to buy them, engine swap them and then sell them as CPO’s at a profit.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Economies of scale come into play here as this would effectively be an assembly-line process. Replacement engines, transmissions and computers could be swapped out pretty easily at an effective cost of $3K each or less and if the cars are sold for “Blue Book” trade-in value or a little less they could realize a near 50% recovery on their losses. Considering the billions of dollars at stake, that’s not an insignificant number.

          • 0 avatar
            xantia10000

            In addition to the new gas engine the vehicles will need a different transmission (VW uses DSG for diesel and regular torque converter for gas; there are even different MTs for each engine). They will require new fuel lines, fuel filler (because diesel is a different diameter from gas), probably a whole new fuel tank and fuel pump. Maybe new wheels/tires that are gas-specific and even little things like a different meter cluster with the proper tach for a gasoline engine with a higher red line than diesel. I’m sure there are many more parts I’m forgetting. Oh and the time and labor of VW technicians to complete this monumental retrofit, when they probably have plenty of other VWs to tend to. Even if all of this were cheaper than the $10B settlement costs, what company would want to have hundreds of thousands of Frankenstein cars running around, prone to failure? It’s a cool idea and sad to see such good cars get destroyed, but I think ultimately not the direction any company would want to go in.

      • 0 avatar
        namesakeone

        It would probably interfere with Volkswagen’s CAFE ratings for the years involved, and be too big a hassle for VW, the EPA, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          New fuel lines and fuel tank not a big deal. Filler for the fuel not a big deal. Nor the tach red line. Needing to change the tires is far fetched.

          Why would a transmission change be required? The diesel would have more torque than the new gas engine. And manuals should be just fine. Would of course require a new ECM and exhaust system.

          As for ‘frankenstein’ cars, we have a number of precedents including the ‘Iraqi taxis’, and Oldsmobiles with replacement gas engines.

          So the primary problem could be the one that ‘namesakeone’ mentions which is regarding CAFE requirements.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Actually, it would be akin to resto-modding the older car, giving a new drive train to the older vehicle while probably still able to be tested under the body-year rules.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      The Mechanix is a better song, btw.

    • 0 avatar
      Seid Diglisic

      We need little buster help from any good and willing people to helps us and our group that is in limbo since April of 2017 hold VW accountable, if you would sign our petition we would appreciate greatly . https://www.change.org/p/charles-r-breyer-punish-vw-for-non-compliance-for-tdi-buyback-settlement-for-salvage-rebuilt-clean-titles

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Has any thought been given to the environmental impact of destroying half a million perfectly serviceable cars that will be replaced with newly constructed ones? I suppose this is a way of getting VW to pay for a car industry subsidy, and it won’t be as hard on the working class as c4c was, but it sure will be hard on the old planet.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Eco-tyranny does not consider it’s impact on the planet.

    • 0 avatar
      legacygt

      Thought? Please.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Here are some of the natural resources used in automobile production.

        https://www.quora.com/What-natural-resources-are-used-in-cars

        This list leaves out fresh water, which to my distant reelection was about 900 gal per unit (but I can’t cite that figure, this is based on my memory of a report I read years ago).

        So we’ve got some amount of:

        -iron ore (for steel)
        -aluminum and petroleum (used in plastics production) for the vehicle body, powertrain components and wheels
        -copper for the alternator and starter
        -platinum and palladium for the catalytic converter
        -rubber for tires
        -petroleum for polyester for cloth seats and headliners
        -polyurethane, produced from various industrial reagents, for seat foam and headliners
        -animal hides for leather seats
        -lead, nickel or lithium for batteries
        -fresh water

        used in every automobile. So per the above article 396,000 vehicles will be confiscated with remuneration but their fate is uncertain. A fair number will be scrapped, and some of those parts will be used to repair others but we’re talking 10-20% here. So what will likely happen is many of those will simply go to waste as Chinese refrigerators. This in itself is an eco crime. The simple solution for all is to export the better condition vehicles. If some governing body or sovereign nation rejected this for whatever reason, than so be it we tried. But the eco tyrant cares not for this, he cares about enforcing statism against the “eeevvilll corportation” when in fact it’s just as feasible “eeevvilll government” is the flip side of the same coin.

        The other thing to consider in all of this is the sheer amount of energy expended by everyone involved: gov’t, auto industry, media, even people discussing it. If somehow this energy could have been harnessed and put toward, say cancer research, the people of this planet would have been much better off.

        Something to think about.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Wow, 28CL,
          Are you proposing that we never buy another new car, based on this?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Are you incapable of making a distinction between consuming something’s utility and destroying it? Pathetic.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Truthfully, what would be better for everyone would be longer product lifespans and easily serviceable components. The opposite seems to be occurring of course.

            You may enjoy this documentary:

            youtube.com/watch?v=-1j0XDGIsUg

            Another interesting thought I had is the rapid growth (but not invention) of the throwaway society after the 1971 Nixon gold shock, but that’s something else altogether.

            @ToddAtlasF1

            Be cool man, he’s not being sarcastic.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            I think you’re onto something. In Europe, the automakers have taken steps to increase the recyclability of their vehicles. I wish we could do more of that here in the US, but I suppose it would require some sort of government intervention, or even a regulatory body to encourage.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Recycling is a big part of it, but ultimately recycling still benefits the industry. Large scale manufacturing seeks economies of scale in order to produce (and presumably sell) the maximum amount of units at the least cost. However in order to achieve this year after year, new units must be sold. Therefore it was and is in their interest to engage in activities of planned obsolescence, which in reality is stealing equity from you the buyer. Encouraging recycling is great but there still are some finite materials and rare Earth metals being consumed along with things like fresh water in order to keep up the production ponzi. Recycling may bend the curve of materials use, but it does not turn it into the Ouroboros. We as a society certainly want and need product production but truthfully what we also need is a longer product lifespan coupled with things like recycling.

            Then again with lessened production you get into economic areas and other socioeconomic problems such as what to do what an excessive idle population (as we are already seeing as more mfg jobs have been automated). Def a slippery slope.

            Watch the documentary, its actually an European one with subtitles.

        • 0 avatar
          Piston Slap Yo Mama

          28CL – in re. your statement on planned obsolescence vs. longer lifespans and the Lightbulb Conspiracy (which is now in my queue to watch) I’d really, highly urge you to check out BBC documentarian Adam Curtis (if you haven’t already). His films on consumerism, world economics and marketing have given me insights that collegiate poli-sci and macro-economics couldn’t. On this particular topic the one to watch is “The Century of the Self”.

          It makes sense to submit a gasoline engine conversion kit to dealers, it begs belief that it’s not economically feasible.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the recommendation. I enjoyed Curtis’ documentary series “The Mayfair Set” but haven’t seen any more of his work.

            I agree in that the waste about the occur is unfathomable. Gas conversion kits, export, something.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          Interesting stuff, 28CL. Re: “new units must be sold,” I’ve heard that a contributing factor to the demise of Peerless and Pierce-Arrow was that the cars were almost too robust. The original owners held onto them for a relatively long time and didn’t trade them in for a new one nearly so often as, say, a 1960s Cadillac/Lincoln/Imperial owner would.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Precisely. Watch the documentary I cited above, you’ll see how light bulb lifespan was first crippled by a Geneva based cartel in the 1920s. Automobiles I imagine are/were no different.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          The best way to deal with this from an environmental perspective is to calculate the extra emissions from the group of cars, based on an expected life. Then make VW offset that delta from their operations or some other process. That allows the benefit to be had from the car who’s manufacturing impact on the environment has already been made, and prevents the duplicate of such impact from the replacement of the affected cars. The owners then keep the car in service till it dies.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

      The planet gets mad every once in awhile and removes perfectly serviceable vehicles too. Hurricane Sandy possibly destroyed and/or ruined 200K+ vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      no, because the metal will likely be recycled. Especially aluminum parts; aluminum recycling is lucrative because it’s a lot less nasty and energy intensive than refining it from ore.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Not destroyed – Recycled.

      But the harm done to the environment by polluting TDIs (or recycling them) is secondary to the fact that VW intentionally sought to deceive owners and regulators with cars that were never in compliance, that there is no approved fix that will bring them into compliance, and that any fix that presently exists will hamper efficiency and performance.

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      Cash for Clunkers was different?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      The reason that nitrogen oxides, which is the offending compound that VW was caught cheating on, are regulated is that they are a major contributor to photochemical smog. It’s true that replacing these cars will consume more energy than letting them continue operating through their normal lifespan.

      I suppose the most efficient way to deal with this would be to buy them from the owners who live in cities that have a ground level ozone problem and relocate the cars to areas that don’t. I sure don’t know how that would be feasible.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Blame VW, Todd…they’re the ones who did this. When laws are broken, everyone suffers.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Truly, continuing to use the cars, with or without actually fixing the problem, is probably a net eco-win.

      However, the bureaucracy works within rules established by Congress and their own rule-making processes (which are intended to be relatively transparent) and in developing the framework for this, Congress never seems to have considered the possibility of a manufacturer doing wholesale lying about emissions. Which is ironic, considering Congress is one of the epicenters of wholesale lying.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      **In Theory** the owners of the same VW models should see a decrease in there insurance costs as the front fender and door bolts up to a Jetta TSI the same as it does to a Jetta TDI.

      So crash parts should be plentiful AND painted the appropriate color to boot!

      One would hope every single piece of these cars will get recycled.

      ***CAUTION LEAVING FANTASY LAND***

      I am sure these cars will get ground up into metal all the usable parts and all because the used parts would be sold by the recyclers and NOT the dealer body who makes money on selling parts.
      The dealers are pissed enough as it is, I seriously doubt the dealer council that has been involved in these decisions as the voice of the dealers forgot about the backend of the dealership.

  • avatar
    ajla

    What about the owners that just don’t do anything (don’t do a buyback and don’t do a fix)?

    Has the EPA announced anything that would block future registration or ability to sell the car?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      vehicle registration is done at the state level. I’d expect some states (most likely the “CARB states”) to refuse registrations of TDI models after a certain point.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        New Mexico doesn’t care. I know military guys who brought back non-compliant European motorcycles in their Household good shipments in crates and got them registered even though the bikes didn’t meet US-specs.

        I bet if VW sold these bought-back polluters in NM, no one would notice or care. After Katrina, new flood cars were also peddled as bargain-buys in the desert Southwest. And people bought them. Many still on the road today.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          New Mexico: Ranked 49th in education.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            NM and MS are tied for poorest state, and least educated state. 49th is an improvement, if true. It has been 50 out of 50 for decades.

            And that’s why I cannot understand why soooooo many people, mostly from NY, NJ and CA move here. The demand for housing for these out-of-staters is at an all-time high.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          “I bet if VW sold these bought-back polluters in NM, no one would notice or care.”

          Unless VW tampers with the VIN, SOMEBODY is going to notice, and tell the EPA. As if they weren’t in enough trouble already.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sirwired, outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe there is no emissions testing.

            So that leaves a whole lot of territory where you can legally register a vehicle even if it fails emissions tests in other cities where there is testing.

            And unless there is a database set up by the EPA with VIN of the offending cars, no one would even question a sale.

            There have been instances where people brought in totally wrecked cars from other states and registered them in NM without titles. Some of them had body panels welded in but would not pass the minimum safety inspection.

            One military guy brought in a wrecked German-spec Porsche that had been repaired while he was overseas, and got it registered, titled and eventually resold it in NM. When the subsequent owner decided to get it repainted, all the repairs came to light.

            Scams like that happen every day.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Any exported vehicle still needs to undergo an Approved Emissions Modification”

    If some semi-governing body demanded as such (OECD, OAS etc) then fine, but otherwise this sounds simply Orwellian.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Lots of US-registered vehicles end up in Mexico, mostly legally but sometimes illegally, as in stolen, so many TDI owners in the border states must also have this in the back of their mind.

      Like why settle for $10K, when you can get maybe (much) more for it south of the border?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Are you suggesting the Mexican government will not be all over this and prevent their registration!?!

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          Corey DL,
          The mexician gov has a plan, they will build a wall and have the USA pay for it, this wall will keep out the nasty TDI’s

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          There are quite a number of cars in old Mexico that are not registered or insured at all. That’s why I always rent while in old Mexico or use a limo service (dirt cheap!). I would not drive my own vehicles into old Mexico beyond the outskirts south of Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana.

          And if you’ve ever seen the traffic in old Mexico, some cars don’t even have license plates on them. That’s why so many people in borderland USA put their license plate in the back window inside the car, to keep them from being stolen and used in old Mexico for transit or whatever.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sounds like you just need some Torx screws for your plate there.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Nothing stops thieves if they want something bad enough. A crow bar will pull the aluminum license plate off the bracket and leave the Torq-x screws in place.

            A friend of mine who owned a string of Corn Dog 7 outlets got his brand new conversion Van stolen while eating dinner at Red Lobster. Destination old Mexico, no doubt.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Haha, Corn Dog 7.

            “What do you do?”
            “Corn Dogs.”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            He’s got a lot more money than I do.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            We don’t have that chain here, but something specializing in corn dogs – I’m not sure we need it!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            If you’ve ever been to a State Fair, it’s one of those things, hot dog dipped in honeyed cornbread, on a stick. Comes in two sizes, regular size dog or footlong.

            Been a successful business for him since 1980. Still going strong today, mostly in Malls, and similar venues.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOLOL guess I should clarify. We don’t have a “Corn Dog” chain restaurant. We DO have corn dogs. I haven’t had one in years, but they’re readily available at any grocery store. I eat em with mustard.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            In my neck of the woods, they’re popular. Also, Burger King in my area came out with grilled Hot Dogs and Hot Dogs that have all the stuff normally on a Burger.

            People are scarfing them up. Makes you wonder, do they know what goes into Hot Dogs? Like meat by-products, chicken lips, pork snouts, beef tongue, etc etc etc Wrrrrrrrretch….

            Well, unless you buy Kosher all-beef Dogs.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That’s all viable food, hdc; just like rattlesnake.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, yeah, I understand. If a person is hungry they don’t bite the hands that feeds them.

            When I was a youngster, I grew up with such German delicacies like blood-pudding sausage slices on buttered bread, pig-face sausage in green pea soup, pickled pigs-feet and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes-with-kale and smoked bull-balls, and baked beef tongue with veggies.

            My German mom spent hours cooking, getting it “just right.”

            Now that I’m 70 and look back, I find my tastes have changed.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ever try a properly made Scrapple? Fried up and served with maple syrup is tasty and comes across much like sausage patties. Yes, I do know there are those who hate it, but it’s because they don’t fry it up properly. Hot griddle, seared and cooked halfway through, flip and sear again. Crispy and tasty.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine. I have not. But I do know that sizzling heat has a great deal to do with taste, texture and appeal.

            For instance, when my mom made traditional German sausage, the size of the chunks of meat were crucial. And she pan-fried them in real butter, she did so at high heat.

            Served with potatoes-O’Brien and eggs for breakfast, remains one of my personal faves.

            But that very same sausage, boiled until cooked though, served with German potato salad and pickles, will tickle any German-food aficionado all the way down to his/her toes.

            Seriously!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “But that very same sausage, boiled until cooked though, served with German potato salad and pickles, will tickle any German-food aficionado all the way down to his/her toes.”

            Hot or cold potato salad? My mother’s aunt and a ‘to die for’ hot potato salad recipe. Family name Meier.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Only German potato salad I know is served hot and very mildly sweet because of the ingredients.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, the recipe in my family is more savory, almost no sweetness. Like making the potato salad with home fries rather than boiled potatoes.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, yes, I’ve heard of that. German potato salad differs from region to region where the German immigrants settled over the decades.

            My mom came from German potato farmers who immigrated to the US during the late 1920s and settled in New England.

            But there was a huge contingent of German immigrants that settled in Ohio and they brought different taste buds, as did those in Pennsylvania, and Colorado.

            There is a little bakery in Bishop, CA, called Schat’s Bakkerij and they serve all sorts of traditional Dutch and German foods. Whenever we travel that area, we always try to make that place a stop along the way.

            There’s also a Deli about 15 miles west of Banning, CA, called George’s IIRC, and they stock and make all sorts of German foods and delicacies, including cheeses and wursts.

            Every time I go there it fires up my German half to the detriment of my mellow Portuguese half.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yup. And just as there are, shall we say, different taste buds, there are different ideas on how to handle thins like this Volkswagen issue. Some ‘taste’ better than others to different individuals. The idea is to come up with a solution that satisfies most taste buds, even if it isn’t haute cuisine, as it were.

            I’ve presented an idea that could help Volkswagen put that penalty money to better use at least in the short term by reducing the cost of buy-back, allowing them to commit more overall to a BEV/FCEV platform which would really resolve most, if not all future emissions rules. Modifying the existing cars to new drivetrains–whether legitimate diesel, gasoline, hybrid or all-electric–would see them ‘waste’ less than half of that penalty overall while they work to advance the BEV program they’ve announced to something better than ‘compliance car’ grade they’re currently producing. It saves VW money, it reduces overall waste and makes reasonably good cars available to people who can’t afford a new one with some level of factory support for the first two or three years of ownership. Such an idea would turn a $10Billion loss into a potential win for all sides with almost no money actually wasted by comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            They’re not in the business of salvage cars.

            Engine swapping is a great idea, but we’re talking cars that are disposable to begin with, and would have very low value at completing a costly conversion.

            Crushing them may seem like a waste to the common man, but just from a liability standpoint, VW has to cut their losses.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Sometimes cutting losses means spending a little more to realize ANY income from a bad deal. If the resale value of the modified car is notably higher than the cost of conversion, then certainly the best way to cut losses is to convert and re-sell. By making it an assembly-line type of operation, losses are cut even more as no one person (or small group of persons) has to perform the entire task, making it go faster and with less confusion.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Since no one is going to convince you it’d cost way too much, VW dealers want nothing to do with rebuilt VWs, same as with salvage title cars. They’d go to BHPH lots and sold AS-IS.

            It’s just a real bad situation, and it’s best to crush them and move on, closing the ugly chapter. And maybe salvage some of their dignity.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That’s why you and I are so different, Denver; you prefer to simply waste your money for the sake of a quick fix while I prefer to at least attempt to recover some of that lost money if I can find a way to do so. Maybe that’s why I keep my cars roadworthy long after others have traded their once-new cars for something newer.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Mexico won’t legally accept any cars other than “2006” models this year. Next year, 2007 cars only. It’s meant to protect their new car sales, manufacturing and protect their air quality from US gross polluters, failed emissions, etc, at least in theory.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          DenverMike, That is correct about being able to legally register a car that is 10 years old, or less in old Mexico.

          But the towed-car caravans heading south still bring in dozens, if not hundreds, of older cars each day into old Mexico, presumably to be parted out, or used for restoration and repair of cars already in old Mexico.

          Big business! I’ve had Mexicans stop by my place and ask if I was interested in selling the old cars that I had parked on my property, when I still had them.

          BTW, they also take old tires of our hands, and burn them to generate electricity for Ciudad Juarez. Our city and county dump sites save the old tires to be hauled off to Mexico for burning.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            In 2005, around this very week, I was in Ciudad Juarez with a youth group from church doing mission work there for a week.

            Surreal:
            – The trucks going through the neighborhood with “La Cucharacha (sp?)” playing on their horns, peddling various things like water, LPG, maybe even gasoline.
            – Seeing the lights of El Paso, right across the Rio Grande from us, all lit up at night — and how dark it was on the Mexican side. (And celebrating the Fourth of July, and watching El Paso’s fireworks display, from across our border!
            – Some of the folks living there had cell phones at the time, and we supposed that they were likely all from over the border, considering that cell towers lined the top of the ridge which overlooks El Paso to its north. (Weird, too, seeing the outgoing air traffic from the El Paso airport pass overhead; yup, most departures cross the border!)
            – Remembering how things like air-conditioning, so common in the US, and how the swamp-coolers down there were a weak substitute. (And how awesome it felt to have that cooled air hit us as we entered the terminal at El Paso airport to fly home!)

            Unfortunately, I’m sure that Ciudad Juarez is a virtual no-man’s-land because of the drug cartels which run rampant down there now (and I’m guessing that even El Paso itself, and maybe even ten+ miles inside the United States, isn’t safe, either).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sgeffe, your experience was 11 years ago. But it is the exact same way today! And Juarez is still a great hang-out for GIs with plenty of whorehouses all around. I would guess that many American El Paso women crossing the border every night to ply their horizontal-relaxation trade in Juarez. Good money! Humongus number of Johns.

            Best cell phone provider for that international region is America Movil (TracFone). They have an agreement with ALL cell-tower operators to use their signals, everywhere. Owned by Carlos Slim, one rich dude.

            Drug cartels are not bad in Juarez or El Paso, as opposed to Tucson, Phoenix or SW Texas. Bad stuff there.

            The cartels usually operate away from population centers. Too much scrutiny. Border Patrol saturation increases 360 degrees out of every population center near the border into the States and the border is watched by the eyes in the skies. I can’t go into detail but I have second-hand knowledge because of three relations who do that kind of Homeland Security (Customs) work. What Customs does might surprise you.

            When we travel in Mexico, we usually fly out of Juarez or Tijuana and use a Mexican airline. Just as good, not a cattle car ride, and at 1/3 the price of the American carriers with all their regulations, baggage fees, and delays.

            In fact when we travel to Europe and fly commercial we try to fly Lufthansa. Better service, cheaper air fare, more amenities included, like bigger reclinining seats, super meals. Love Lufthansa! Puts AA to shame, for less money.

            Swamp coolers vs refrigerated air. It’s a matter of personal preference. Our rental apartments and older houses use swamp coolers. We maintain them and make sure the pads get really, really wet. And we use 3/4-horse motors.

            Our newer rental homes, like for the German military tenants, and some of our personal homes have both swamp coolers and AC, utilizing a rooftop conversion Trane AC with the A-frame inside the heater ducts and using the blower motor of the heater to blow the refrigerated air throughout the ducting system..

            This means that on muggy, humid days we can run AC through the ducts, and on dry, arid days we can add moisture to the air with the swamp cooler pads. We can run one or the other, not both at the same time.

            These systems are very common in the modern day desert Southwest and offer huge flexibility in cooling and heating, including heat pumps and in-floor heating.

            When the business bought a 1972-built house for my daughter in West El Paso, near UTEP, that’s the first thing I did, with the help of Federico and Nguyen (my two contract employees and fellow contractors). Man, what a difference from ye olde swamp cooler!

  • avatar
    Storz

    All TDI racing series!

  • avatar
    Lampredotto

    Seems like the simplest solution for the buyback cars is to reflash the ECU so that the engine runs in “test mode” all the time– which *is* EPA compliant– then export for resale elsewhere. Yes, fuel economy and performance would suffer but presumably those concerns could be neutralized by reselling them at a substantial discount. It would be a hell of a lot better for the environment (and a better financial outcome for VW) than sending 400,000 cars to The Crusher.

    Am I missing something here?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Seems like the simplest solution for the buyback cars is to reflash the ECU so that the engine runs in “test mode” all the time– which *is* EPA compliant–”

      it’s only known to be compliant for the duration of the test. I’d expect that it wouldn’t take long for the NOx adsorber to be overwhelmed and emissions levels to rise.

      • 0 avatar
        Lampredotto

        My understanding is that if the TDI were run in test mode full time, it would just mean that the NOx adsorber would have to run in regen mode more frequently. Regen mode requires a richer fuel mixture, so yes fuel consumption would rise and the adsorber’s lifespan would likely be shortened. But does increased frequency of regen mode necessarily mean an increase in tailpipe emissions?

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Could be a situation where the regen cycles can’t keep up with the accumulations of constant usage because the system is undersized for the engine.

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          From my understanding, the emission control system was built around the cheat, so the speculation is that if the car was run in “clean” mode all the time, the DPF would clog up very quickly and regens would happen constantly because the DPF isn’t sized correctly.

          If there is a fix that ever gets approved, all of the emission controls are supposed to be warrantied for an additional 4 years/48000 miles.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is what I’ve been saying all along.

    The TDI dreamers out there need to wake up and realize they’re not going to chip their cars, avoid the fix, or somehow enjoy a post-scandal version of owning their car. And, Big Brother will be watching your VIN.

    These cars are radioactive now.

    Take the money and buy elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    In the back of my mind, I can see VW shipping the repurchased cars to countries in South America, Latin America (Cuba) and/or Africa where they meet or exceed emission laws, and would be welcomed by the local used car industry. The idea of removing and destroying the ECU confirms this thought since VW could easily replace the ECU with a new one without the defeat software for a few bucks (eruos). A few tweaks and voila, the cars are now compliant in many countries, but not NA. Dirty as they are by US standards, these cars would be a big improvement emission wise compared to a large fraction of the cars on the roads in the aforementioned countries.
    No sense in sending perfectly good metal to the crusher.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Under EPA regulations, Neither Volkswagen nor any other automaker is allowed to export vehicles that don’t meet regulations, a clause that was probably instated in order to dissuade automakers from ever having such vehicles in the US in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Yeah, the feds thought of that one. They are specifically prohibiting the export of the cars until they meet –> EPA <– rules. It is literally irrelevant what the emissions laws (or lack thereof) are in the destination country, as they must be brought into US compliance before they leave.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I sure hope mine finds a home, given that it’s one of the newer models with the DEF system.

  • avatar

    So, NOW what do I do with the two TDis I have in inventory…?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This is actually an interesting situation because as a dealer you probably aren’t required to “register” vehicles and instead hold titles (that’s how it worked here). Since you own the title, you own the vehicle and thus should be able to qualify for the payout, no?

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “Early speculation that some of the vehicles might find their way, intact and still dirty, to a country with less stringent pollution laws didn’t pan out. Not going to happen, says Volkswagen.”

    Yeah, I bet; Mogadishu, here we come.

  • avatar

    Here’s an idea. Remove the engines, destroy the engines and donate the engineless shells to EV enthusiasts who can turn them into serviceable electric vehicles.

    Avoids the environmental tragedy of destroying otherwise perfectly serviceable vehicles.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Sounds like a potential windfall for LKQ. But I don’t think that even they could absorb 400,000 cars.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    What’s incredible is that all they really need to do is program the emissions controls to stay on all the time. What this tells us is that the 2.0 TDI is an absolute dog with emissions controls fully operational. Otherwise they’d be willing to re-program the emissions controls and re-purpose the cars for the US or other markets or maybe for fleets. But since they’re scrapping these cars it means the 2.0 TDI must be a truly awful engine when emissions systems are fully operational. It must be under-powered and inefficient. And that brings me to mention the other victims of this scandal. Other automakers have diesels that they have either struggled to market in the US or not even bothered. Part of that is because they couldn’t match up to the VW offering. All of a sudden, that Cruze diesel might look pretty great. What about diesels that Ford or Mazda haven’t even bothered trying to bring them to the US? Or all the people who didn’t buy hybrids because all the auto journalists told them to just buy the Jetta TDI?

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I hope my TDI does not end up crushed , what a waste, I am not even sure I will sell mine back we will see, but the other issue for VW is not only a fix if you want to keep your car but they must warranty the fix for something like 100,000 miles and the early years cars were not setup with that new plumbing in mind. people who buy TDI’s tend to drive a ton so most Hybrids are not really attractive to them, I know my next car will not be a hybrid unless it is a volt type. I could see VW placing a gas engine in my car and reselling it either here or abroad.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      I’ve decided to drive mine as long as possible before the buyback window ends, which is apparently Sept 1, 2018. By then it’ll be just over 6 years old with probably about 70-75000 miles. The great thing is that as long as you can do 1042 miles/month or less, it’ll still be worth the same value as it was on June 28th. For me the value should be $21587, which will get me into a new car with either no loan or a very small loan.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I doubt you’ll enjoy the post-fix experience if you keep your car. And, if you keep it, you have only one place to sell it later – VW.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      The problem, if you decide to keep your car, is that few owners are likely to do so. VW will be dropping parts and service support for these about as fast as luckless Phaeton owners.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The “fix” seems to be nothing but an illusion conjured up to try and maintain a tiny amount of VW’s pride.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Also my understanding is if you opt for the fix you want for your money until you get the fix, a fix that right now does not exits and has no timeline to exits and we have no idea what it does to the car

  • avatar
    threeer

    So should we expect to see VW set up a YUGE eBay account to sell off perfectly good rims/tires/etc? Wonder if a set of 17″ rims would fit my Escape? I’d even be willing to find replacement center caps for a cheap set of nice alloys! Seems like a real waste to shred every. single. component.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Threer
      I say a Golf yesterday with Jeep chrome rims on it so anything is possible

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The parts worth saving will be removed and sent into inventory. This is generally what happens to insurance write-offs of late-models vehicles already. The folks who get screwed are the parts suppliers who won’t be making any more Jetta windows or door panels for a while.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        That’ll be a sh!t-ton of spares then. Nearly 400,000 worth of rims, seats, etc…I guess good for those remaining on the road, unless VW decides to add a healthy mark-up for the pleasure of buying said used parts. For this, they could (virtually) stock entire cars, minus the engine, of course.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    This whole thing has become one big farce. The most environmentally-sound procedure, minimizing foundry-to-boneyard impact, would have been to levy a punitive fine against VW and then just exempt these cars to allow them to run their useful life. The “pollution” “impact” is negligible – we haven’t seen trees and shrubs dying in the slipstream of TDI diesels; nor was any note made of impact in regions where they sold.

    This is all about FLEXING MUSCLES. Demonstrating the POWER of BUREAUCRATS. Out of this, comes a lot of eco-costs from scrapping huge amounts of perfectly-serviceable automobiles; plus a HEAVY cost to purchasers and shareholders of Volkswagenwerk.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      The results of the increased emissions are hazardous to human health, its not the sooty black smoke that you typically think about. This isn’t just killing some shrub 50 miles from nowhere, the impact could very well be felt by people more than trees. It would be exceedingly difficult to prove who was affected and exactly how.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        So…where’s all the death? Or, since we’ve identified the problem, using Federal Regulations crafted by the Smartest Bureaucrats Ever Known To Man…we should be seeing a JUMP in the quality and length of life.

        Part of intelligence is being able to distinguish between real problems and made-up imaginary problems, like bogeymen under the bed or people dying from non-complying diesel engines.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Various reports have estimated that 5 million people die annually from air pollution, including around 50K annually in the US. Granted, the exact number directly attributable to VW diesel cheating is unknown, and frankly, unknowable.

          You make a good point that “part of intelligence is being able to distinguish between real problems and made-up imaginary problems.” Given that VW’s total costs are about one-thirtieth what the US has paid to rid the world of Iraqi WMDs,…

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Experts say that 98 percent of Internet statistics are just made up, with no supporting data.

            In any event, I am not going to trust the same bureaucrats who tell us we have FOUR PERCENT unemployment right now, to tell us how much a few VW diesels that didn’t comply with fantasy standards, are #DestroyingThePlanet.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            HOMER: Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forfty percent of all people know that

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “It’s called Sex Panther, by Odeon. Sixty percent of the time, it works – every time.”

            “That doesn’t make sense.”

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I posted a plethora of sources on the topic yesterday, and don’t have the energy to re-post.

            But if you have 30 seconds to Google annual deaths from air pollution, you’ll find a farrago of reports from credible sources.

            As far as the unemployment statistics go, they are real and they are fabulous. What probably concerns you are all the people who are excluded from unemployment statistics, i.e., those who don’t bother looking anymore.

            I share that concern.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            It makes sense to ban these vehicles from being registered anywhere that smog is a concern. But there are plenty of locations where the pollution from these vehicles would be irrelevant.

        • 0 avatar

          @JPT

          Next you’ll be telling us that second hand smoke is just fine and the ban on public smoking was unnecessary.

          Cause and effect can be separated by years when dealing with health impacts from pollution. Part of intelligence is understanding that simple fact.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Yes.

            Except that it’s off-topic.

            I could write reams on the hysteria around “second-hand smoke.”

            Also, it’s curious, don’t you think, that the same people in such hysteria about TOBACCO smoke, seem JUST FINE with secondhand POT smoke.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Is there any reason for concern with 2nd-hand Pot smoke?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      C’mon, emissions standards have been around the 1960s. VW knew the standards, and willfully broke them. Plus, they defrauded all the people who bought these.

      Stop trying to make some silly political issue out of this…it’s a swindle, plain and simple.

      And unemployment stats are calculated are the same way they’ve always been. The folks who are out of the workforce because they’ve given up concerns me too, but at the same time, you’re not considering that with the population aging, and more of them than ever retired, they’re part of the “not actively seeking work” gang too. That’s definitely part of the population NOT included in the unemployment rate as well.

      • 0 avatar
        TriumphDriver

        There have been some subtle and some not-so-subtle changes to the way employment stats are calculated: http://www.shadowstats.com/article/employment

        For a more realistic discussion on the current state of employment than the mainstream media will ever give you: http://www.shadowstats.com/article/c810x.pdf

      • 0 avatar

        Emissions regulations have change a LOT since the 60’s, I don’t know what you’re on about. Hell, diesel regulations have changed since the 80’s, if not more recently.

        This whole scrappage scheme is nonsense and even more ecologically destructive than the tens of thousands “dirty “diesels on the road. My TDI is a 2005 — and thus somehow “OK” in the eyes of the EPA because it was made when regulations were more lax. It has no urea, no DPF. By the logic of the pantywaists who think this is some sort environmental travesty, then what the hell is my EPA-sanctioned car, and the tens of thousands like it that are still on the road?

        I didn’t buy my car for the environment, I bought it for the torque. They should just levy the fine and let the cars stay on the road.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “My TDI is a 2005 — and thus somehow “OK” in the eyes of the EPA because it was made when regulations were more lax. It has no urea, no DPF. By the logic of the pantywaists who think this is some sort environmental travesty, then what the hell is my EPA-sanctioned car, and the tens of thousands like it that are still on the road?”

          By your logic, every time there is an upgrade in the EPA standards, EVERY car, no matter how old, should be upgraded to meet those standards regardless of cost or the value of the vehicle. Now… Who is supposed to pay for the upgrade on, for instance, your 2005 model TDI?

          Volkswagen? Why? When the car was built it was built to the then-established rules. Their responsibility ends once the warranty period ends. (This should hold true for some recalls as well.)
          You? You are the operator, after all. You are the one responsible for keeping the car in good repair and ensuring the vehicle meets safety and air quality regulations. Are you willing to pay the thousands of dollars necessary to meet new regulations on a vehicle thats now worth less than $10K at best?

          I do agree that scrapping a relatively new vehicle is bad, but not on an ecological level; it’s bad on an economic level. In the case of VW, most of the cars involved are seven years old or less IIRC. Most of these cars still have a reasonable value on the open market. Despite the fact that it would cost more to re-build them, such modification would still permit them to be re-sold to the public and help recoup some of the costs of the buyback program.

          That old C4C program? Not exactly political despite your argument. The intent was to get 10, 15, 20 year old vehicles and older off the road; cars with very outdated or no pollution control systems on board at all. BUT… no matter the intent, such laws can be gamed unless they’re very specific and legislators seem to have a knack for leaving loopholes. Different wording could have exempted some cars that should not have been destroyed and perhaps caught some that should. And with today’s scrapping methods, much, much more of the vehicle is recovered with far less waste or impact on the environment… at least here in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Vulpine.

            Your observations about older units, with even-dirtier exhausts, being blessed by the EPA as grandfathered in, is spot on.

            Also your observations about the economic benefits of rebuilding these “offending” units as opposed to scrapping them. Sure, VW dealers won’t want to touch them. They’re in business to sell NEW VWs; and these are a bad memory to prospective buyers of NEW models.

            That does not mean they couldn’t be rebuilt on an assembly-line, as remanufactured components are done; and then wholesaled out, either in the States or worldwide.

            BUT…the environmental costs of scrapping perfectly-good vehicles are heavy. The energy used to transport them. Plastic components are stripped out and sometimes incinerated. Metal shells are crushed – and that takes energy. And then the fuel and resources used to make NEW cars to replace THESE cars.

            You use your cars and other things longer because it makes economic sense. It makes economic sense because in so doing you are buying/consuming/wasting fewer resources.

            There are several logical ways this could be done to cut losses; but it appears the EPA will mandate THE most EXPENSIVE solution.

            As they always do; because they’re fanatics and idealogues.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            In this case, JPT, total destruction is not (yet) mandated. There is the very clear out that they can be made legal through modification. HOW they perform that mod isn’t exactly specified, as long as they prove their emissions meet federal requirements in both electronic and tailpipe testing. As I said, they could even be converted to BEVs if VW wanted at which point they would have no emissions at all, but that would be more expensive than dropping new engines into them.

            No, this time that C4C program doesn’t ride. C4C required not only that the engines be destroyed but that the vehicle itself be destroyed. There is nothing in this settlement that makes that demand from what I’ve seen.

            By the way, at least here in the US cars are recycled a little bit differently. Yes, they are crushed. Then shredded (including the metal parts.) All the different parts get separated out by magnetics and a myriad of other methods to separate out metals, plastic, glass and organics. Yes, some of this requires heating to high temperatures, within which the organics are totally destroyed. Plastics melt out and get scavenged at lower temperatures, 400°- 800° I expect, then aluminum and other non-ferrous metals at higher temperatures. The scavenging process is remarkably efficient in its own way, though admittedly uses more energy than just letting them rust away. The fluids are typically drained and captured for their own version of recycling even before the crusher, as is the engine/transmission pulled in many cases simply to make the crushing and shredding easier. My point is that recycling that vehicle into raw materials is more efficient than mining and refining them as ores and raw oil on average. By a factor of about 50% for aluminum and higher for some other materials.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Isn’t there a line on the 1040 asking how much money you received in a settlement? Curious to see if they get a 1090 or what ever it’s called from VW.

  • avatar

    My sources suggest that President Trump will send undocumented Mexicans home in salvage titled Volkswagen TDIs. Two problems solved.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “Two problems solved”

      These undocumented repatriates will be hired by Mexico to build the wall, at the behest of Emperor Trump.

      Three problems solved.

  • avatar

    Environmentalists should object to the total scrapping, as an utter waste of resources. Remove the engine, export them back to Europe where new Euro 6 engines can be retrofitted.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree and some probably do. However the parties running the show are not necessarily environmentalists.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        I daresay the aim of government lawyers and bureaucrats is to cause MAXIMUM PAIN to the vilified party.

        Volkswagenwerk will be brought to its knees. Then, with lawyers working on Bankruptcy proceedings, the German and American and other governments will construct, and implement, a complex and expensive BAIL-OUT PROGRAM.

        Government in action. If it moves, tax it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Brilliant.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          No, the government won’t bring VW to its knees. VW did that all on its own.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Nope. As already discussed, there’s ways of doing this without destroying the business and without the ecological impact of destroying several hundred-thousand newish automobiles.

            But that’s not what this is about. This is about EXERCISING POWER and CREATING FEAR.

            You cannot punish a corporation – a corporation is a charter, a form of organization. You can punish wrongdoers. Or you can punish wrongdoers, persons who invested in that corporation, customers of that corporation, people whose jobs are within that corporation who had nothing to do with this.

            Since this is about breaking the will and bending knees, of course, Volkswagenwerk must be brought to the brink of insolvency.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            No, this is about a company that knew the rules that everyone had to play by, and broke them anyway. They broke the law and defrauded their customers, and now they’re going to have to face the consequences.

            Sorry, VW brought this on themselves.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          For posters on TTAC’s, this is about RELENTLESS REPETITIVENESS and EXCESS CAPITALIZATION.

          Again, the TTAC management should note that all-caps are equivalent to shouting. If you tolerate that nonsense day in and day out, then you end up with a comments section full of rubbish since you’ve given permission to the drunks to yell at everyone.

          A simple bit of code will convert ALL CAPS to lower case.

          • 0 avatar
            mtmmo

            Someone please get him a Safe-Space.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Robert Farago, who isn’t exactly a “safe space” sort of dude, would not have allowed the commenters on this website to treat it in the way that a dog treats a fire hydrant.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Brilliant. So anyone who doesn’t join in your anti-car, government-worship groupthink, needs a safe space and a fire hydrant to void on.

            I think not. And unlike emotion-driven groupthink automatons, I can justify my opinions.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            What would you suggest if someone wants to emphasize a point under TTAC’s very basic text entry program? Personally, I use the asterisk (*) or sometimes another special symbol, but some symbols are hard to access unless you know the “secret code” for your PC.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      except they’d need to retrofit more than just the engines; the lighting and other subsystems would need to be changed. total waste of money on their part.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “the lighting and other subsystems would need to be changed.”

        Why? Lighting is lighting and as far as I know they’re identical across models no matter the engine/transmission type.

        Or are you talking about specific in-dash indicators which can be pretty easily re-programmed? After all, they again all use the same dashboard between engine types, just activate one set of idiot lights in place of a different set of idiot lights. The amount of change you portend can be easily handled in an assembly-line manner. Could even activate an otherwise un-used assembly line to perform the mods.

  • avatar
    shaker

    “Environmentalists should object to the total scrapping…”

    If the alternatives weren’t the equivalent of “putting the toothpaste back in the tube”, well, sometimes you just move on to a newer battle.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Well then this probably means I shouldn’t spend the money to repair the scratch on the rear bumper cover or refinish the scratched alloy wheels on my TDI Passat since there’s a good chance its going to be crushed.

    What a shame because its such a great car to drive and is perfect for my situation right now to the point that I can’t even imagine what I would buy to replace it.

    Maybe TDI owners can start playing a new game called “Let’s see how far we can drive our TDI without doing any maintenance whatsoever and when they blow up sell them back to Uncle Volkswagen for a boatload of money.”

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      If it doesn’t bother you, don’t spend the money on it. The cars just have to be able to get to the dealer under their own power, cosmetic condition doesn’t matter at all.

      I’ll keep up on the maintenance on my car since I’m planning on keeping it for a while longer, but for the people that are getting rid of them ASAP, it would be a fun game to play. The dealer service departments won’t appreciate it, but not much we can do about that.

  • avatar
    NickS

    As much as I would like to see all that embodied energy of an already built car not go to waste, converting them to gassers will be hugely cost prohibitive. Even if the cost of all the parts needed is somehow rationalized the cost of labor will have to be borne by someone. Even if the dealers give VW a disco on the labor there are tons of things to replace and adapt, not just the engine. Unless VW comes up with a specific engine and other parts that minimize the wide variety of parts it’s going to be a nightmare. Various engine codes will have different ECU’s, various trims will have different looms and controllers … someone will need to take all these TDI combinations out in the wild and map them to a gas engined car, and most importantly the wiring harness — that to me is a show-stopper. Some of the actuator and sensor lines might be convertible but it’s going to require some serious engineering work to retrofit everything, add the ignition system wiring, etc.

    I’ve done engine swaps (gassers) and they were more or less straightforward CONCEPTUALLY but there was always something or other that didn’t exactly bolt up or needed a hack. And those swaps didn’t trigger some warranty or emissions legal framework.

    They could just part them out and/or sell them to salvage yards. VAG cars share many parts across models and brands. The only toxic part that needs to be withdrawn from any available channel is the ECUs with the cheat programming, plus LNTs and anything else that could not survive without a cheat ECU.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Did you swaps cost less or more than $6k?
      If less then it is financially not only viable but possibly profitable.
      And remember we are talking about hundreds of thousands of these, not just a one off. So once set-up the time and cost should be reduced due to efficiencies of scale.
      However VW management may well just wish to erase this fiasco.

      • 0 avatar
        NickS

        Arthur, I never did a swap like the TDIs would need, just engines. I cannot fathom who would charge less than $6K in labor to rip out an entire diesel powertrain, the entire fuel and exhaust systems, and install new everything, and then adapt all the controllers etc. Perhaps only in a DIY setting where only the cost of parts is accounted for (usually the DIYer’s time is ignored).

        And this is just labor. Cost of parts, cost of storing the cars, cost of whatever re-certification may be needed, this that and the other? Economies of scale? Who would pay the cost of moving all those TDIs to one special purpose retrofit factory?

        And I am not entirely certain who would pay and how much for a car with old bones and a brand new engine. Will it be sold with the old and possibly worn suspension or other broken interior or whatever each of these had when it was brought in? Some VeeDub enthusiast might, but they don’t add up to the market VW would need.

        Even if each conversion was profitable, the margins would be so incredibly tiny, before you even consider the logistics headaches … I really do not see them going to all this trouble for, … what, a $200 profit per car?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          A factory rebuild line would eliminate 90% of your objections. You’re assuming a one-person job to handle hundreds of thousands of cars. An assembly-line process would take a fraction of the time and costs would be reduced simply through the economy of scale. VW wouldn’t need to recover ALL of the lost funds, but they could certainly recover a decent proportion.

          Let’s say you, yourself had to buy a vehicle you knew you couldn’t drive or re-sell as it is. Let’s say you had to pay $10K for that vehicle. What would you do with it, just junk it for 50 bucks? You’ve just lost nearly all that money and you’re simply out of pocket.
          However; you know that if you could re-build that car for a cost of $3K and re-sell that car legally for $8K, how much money have you really lost? Granted, you’re not making a profit, but your loss is cut in half and everybody’s happy.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Switching the rebuild and sale amounts would be closer to the truth. You have at least twice the labor costs and twice the component costs that have to be borne by a vehicle sold for maybe 1/3 of new.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I disagree, bumpy; economies of scale make parts costs minimal while labor costs themselves would be half (or less) than reported labor prices at the average dealership. The resale value would be at least somewhat contingent of the year-model of the vehicle so you could not comprehensively state that their value would be ⅓ of new or less.

  • avatar
    Kabayo

    What an incredible waste. Those vehicles should be sold for full market value in a country where they can operate legally. Only government can be this wasteful.

    • 0 avatar
      NickS

      By all means, let’s legitimize illegal behavior AND prop up an ideology in one go. The facts show VW as the creator of that waste, but whatever, these days everyone is somehow entitled to their own facts.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        TTAC seems to attract a rather large number of commenters who love to criticize the US government. If they hate America so much, I certainly won’t force them to stay here.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “If they hate America so much, I certainly won’t force them to stay here.”

          God, I miss Archie Bunker. Thanks for channeling.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          “TTAC seems to attract a rather large number of commenters who love to criticize the US government. If they hate America so much, I certainly won’t force them to stay here”

          Yes.

          And I cannot understand why people who hate cars and hate freedom, come to a site that celebrates cars and the personal free-movement they allow.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Is something wrong because the government says it is so.

        Or could it be that, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The Law is an @ss”?

        Something is not wrong because it’s illegal. Something, in a healthy society, is illegal because it’s wrong.

        And in a sick or crumbling society, a lot of outlawed behavior is not only right but necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Sure it’s a waste, except they’re contraband. How do you think I feel when tons of Pot get burned by the Federalies??

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Pretty good.

        It’s always a good day when the stuff that makes stupid people more stupid, is destroyed rather than sold on the street.

        In any event, I don’t worry much about wasted POT. Unlike some people on some websites, my life doesn’t revolve around getting high, staying high, promoting drug use and agitating for more handouts so I can stay high.


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