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chrisd

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"VW Is Said to Cheat on Diesel Emissions; U.S. Orders Big Recall"

 

Holy crap. How in the world did this ever get approved by the VW brain trust?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/19/business/volkswagen-is-ordered-to-recall-nearly-500000-vehicles-over-emissions-software.html

 

This is not surprising at all, and not the first time VAG has been caught in exactly the same act: it happened years ago with their first generation 5 liters diesel.

 

VAG management has always represented the worst Corporate Germany produces. Since the group is so large and is partly State-owned they often behave as they are above the law.

European authorities have long turned the other way (see how VAG purchased MAN while already owning Scania while the EU antitrust body looked the other way). Their US counterparts have proven far less amenable.

 

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In Arizona there is no tailpipe emissions test for newer vehicles. Its only an OBDII check for any current or stored but not cleared errors. Wonder how there will be a verification that a fix has been applied? Maybe a cult status growing up over those that were _not_ fixed ?

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Certainly don't condone it but still seems minor compared to the GM switch deal and yet nobody faced criminal charges. In this case though somebody will probably do time...

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Well, in a later article, it comes out that VW lied to the EPA for over a year about the source of the discrepancy, that's not going to help...

 

I agree though, that in the comparison to the GM case, at least in this one, nobody died.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I agree though, that in the comparison to the GM case, at least in this one, nobody died.

 

482,000 cars spewing NOx at 40 times the allowable rate is equivalent to 19,280,000 cars that meet the standard. With the entire US auto fleet numbering 253 million, that's a bump of something like 7 percent in mobile-source NOx emissions. Mobile sources are only one part of the emissions picture - there's also manufacturing, power generation, etc. - but it surely jacks up the grand total by a few percent. There's a group at EPA that keeps track of the National Emissions Inventory, a running model of how much nasty stuff we're putting into the air at any given moment (and how much we're going to, based on vehicle life and current/upcoming emissions regs), and this is going to throw a wrench into their numbers. It matters because the NEI is used to model air quality now and in the future, which in turn is important for understanding its impact on public health.

 

If you think pollution doesn't kill people, be very glad you don't live in China. Although we may not be able to point to any single person who has died because of VW's malfeasance, they surely made everyone just a little bit sicker, and they surely made a few people with asthma and other health issues a lot sicker. The term of interest here is disability-adjusted life years: if 365 people are each rendered unproductive for one day because they had to go to the ER for an acute asthma attack, then the world has lost one DALY. Lose enough DALYs, and it's the equivalent of losing a life. The math is normally used for cold, hard economic analyses, but I don't know that the emotional situation is much different: one family grieves if their grandma dies a year earlier than expected, but 365 families suffer a lot of emotional distress if someone in each family is hospitalized for a day.

 

GM's criminally negligent penny-pinching killed a few specific individuals, but VW's deliberate cheating has injured everyone. Which is the worse crime - stealing 1.3 minutes from all 300M people in this country, or stealing 50 years each from just fifteen people? I pulled the 1.3-minutes figure out of thin air, but I'm sure that someone at the EPA is doing the real official math right this minute, and we'll soon hear how many DALYs have been lost because of VW's cheating.

 

I guess my point is that this is not just a matter of "VW broke the rules and that's unfair;" the problem is that they broke the rules and injured everyone along the way.

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Personally, each time I see an old car or truck spewing smoke or for that matter attend a car race I ponder how much that contributes to the "death" of the environment and to us all collectively. Amuses me that some can quantify it so precisely but in any case no, there is no comparison. A group of GM employees (and at some point executives) calculated that the loss of human life did not measure against their bottom line. However VW rationalized their actions I doubt the ultimate decision factored in consequences so dire.

 

However you incrementally measure our collective death, it will never compare to the sudden and traumatic loss suffered by those who lost daughters, sons, spouses and friends due to corporate apathy and greed.

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Dave McReynolds

The penalties are always more severe when someone knowingly violates the law. In most cases of white collar crime, the accused will argue to the end that he never intended to violate the law, and is usually convicted by circumstantial evidence that convinces the judge or jury that a "reasonable man" should have known. I think this is why penalties in white collar crime cases are often much less than in blue collar crime cases: it's hard to deny that you knew you were breaking the law when you rob a bank. In white collar crime cases, even if a person is convicted, I'm sure the judge takes into account that in many cases, the person thought he was just skating around the edges of a complicated law, and sentences him accordingly. Here, VW knowingly designed a system that would only function during emissions tests. How are they going to skate around that one?

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From the linked article:

Experts in automotive technology said that disengaging the pollution controls on a diesel-fueled car can yield better performance, including increased torque and acceleration.

So I have a hard time imagining that many will be happy to bring their cars in to be 'fixed,' even if it is for free.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
From the linked article:
Experts in automotive technology said that disengaging the pollution controls on a diesel-fueled car can yield better performance, including increased torque and acceleration.

So I have a hard time imagining that many will be happy to bring their cars in to be 'fixed,' even if it is for free.

 

There was a bizarre episode in the 1990s in which maybe half a dozen heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturers designed their engines to perform differently in tests than they did out on the open road. The ECU was programmed to recognize when it wasn't being tested, and it would advance the fuel injection timing. The result was improved fuel economy, and a jump in NOx output to something like 4X the legal limit at the time. The manufacturers claimed that what they were doing was allowable based on some sort of unwritten understanding with the EPA, but the EPA felt differently and settled with the manufacturers for about $1B worth of fines and remediation. The engines that were already out there did eventually get reprogrammed (though it took a few years), and of course the result for those owners was lower fuel economy than what they had paid for. I don't recall how much worse, but any amount hurts when you're trying to run a competitive business.

 

In the case of Volkswagen, I've heard a couple of different things, and I'm not sure yet which is true (possibly both):

 

-Some engines are fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR), which requires injection of a water-based urea solution (diesel exhaust fluid, DEF) into the exhaust system. The urea breaks down into ammonia, which works with the catalyst to separate NOx back into elemental nitrogen and oxygen. Reportedly the cheat here was to use a higher rate of DEF injection during tests, and dial it back during open-road driving. The obvious remedy in this situation is to increase DEF usage under normal driving conditions. Maybe it doesn't take much more, or maybe VW owners will have to refill their DEF tank every couple of weeks - who knows...

 

-The other issue has to do with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Some exhaust is actually fed back into the intake system, displacing some fresh oxygen with inert combustion products. Reduced oxygen concentration means less NOx ends up being formed - but it also means you can't inject as much fuel, which means you can't make as much power. During a dynamometer-based MPG/emissions test, an underpowered vehicle may fall below the prescribed speed schedule and still pass the test if the driver has his foot to the floor during those periods, so a car with high EGR and low power would pass the test, and then when customers are driving them on the open road, the EGR gets dialed back and the engine is able to inject more fuel and deliver more power/pep than it did during cert testing. The fix of course is to crank up the EGR, but the engine will make less peak power/torque, lending new significance to the phrase "slug bug." :grin:

 

It was impressive to see VW's stock drop nearly 20 percent in a single day yesterday. Wow.

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The smaller cars like the Jetta/Golf/Beetle don't have the Urea injection systems on them. That only applies to the larger models like the Passat and Toureg. So it makes me think its more EGR related

 

Either way......It will certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out when facts start filtering to the surface.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
So it makes me think its more EGR related...

 

Interesting. Not sure how existing cars will be brought into compliance; it may be that you won't be allowed to re-register your car unless you show up with a document proving the fix (whatever that fix is) has been applied.

 

Get ready for 0-60 in 12 seconds; may the torque be with you. :grin:

 

VW is now reporting that it has sold 11 million vehicles worldwide that behave differently during testing and during normal use. I wonder what the potential fines will add up to outside of the US?

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I'm not sure how it will be treated. I'm assuming that here in PA, no one will care. We have yearly emissions testing for gas vehicles, but it is governed by the county you live in, not by the State or Federal. If I moved 20mins West into the next county, there would be no emissions testing for my cars. To top it off, there are NO emissions testing requirements for Diesel vehicles, regardless of where you live in PA. In Maryland, they have emissions testing every 2 years, but I also believe that doesn't include diesel vehicles.

 

So while I imagine that the fines will be rough at the company level, but I can't see it having much effect to the consumer. Other than the stigma of people driving their polluting VW diesels around. That and unaware people complaining about their cars losing power after having scheduled maintenance done at the dealer.

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I'm not sure how it will be treated. I'm assuming that here in PA, no one will care. We have yearly emissions testing for gas vehicles, but it is governed by the county you live in, not by the State or Federal. If I moved 20mins West into the next county, there would be no emissions testing for my cars. To top it off, there are NO emissions testing requirements for Diesel vehicles, regardless of where you live in PA. In Maryland, they have emissions testing every 2 years, but I also believe that doesn't include diesel vehicles.

 

A coworker just got back from a 2+ week trip to Europe where he visited Italy, Germany, and some Baltic countries. Among the many things he learned is that many European countries tax drivers on the amount they drive their vehicles. Over there it's considered a carbon tax.

 

So while I imagine that the fines will be rough at the company level, but I can't see it having much effect to the consumer. Other than the stigma of people driving their polluting VW diesels around. That and unaware people complaining about their cars losing power after having scheduled maintenance done at the dealer.

 

Interesting. It never occurred to me that there may be a stigma element associated with owning a car apparently skirts our pollution regulations. I'm thinking that VW diesel owners just saw their cars' value drop precipitously.

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I'm thinking that VW diesel owners just saw their cars' value drop precipitously.

I'm thinking the value just rose, considering that the vehicles with compromised emissions systems will probably provide better power and mileage figures than the new replacements.

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Just hope all diesels don't get stigmatized since the US market has been slow to adopt. We have a Mercedes SUV with the Bluetec and love the mileage and range, not to mention the torque since we travel a lot with our trailer. We were within a week of buying a leftover Golf Sportwagon TDI, the wife thinks we missed our chance, I think we dodged a bullet because this is going to get ugly regardless. Anybody else out there have a diesel utilizing DEF? Our MB uses very little of the stuff, makes you wonder if there aren't other manufacturers playing software games for testing/certification purposes? Nah, corporations wouldn't do that.....right???

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I have to think that, as soon as you inject doubt and uncertainty into the equation, the resale value of these vehicles will drop. Methinks that may the basis for some sort of class-action lawsuit. Wouldn't owners want to be compensated, or even have VW buy back their vehicles? I mean a lawyer's got to make a living somehow.

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I have to think that, as soon as you inject doubt and uncertainty into the equation, the resale value of these vehicles will drop. Methinks that may the basis for some sort of class-action lawsuit. Wouldn't owners want to be compensated, or even have VW buy back their vehicles? I mean a lawyer's got to make a living somehow.

 

Ask Bernie about diminished value when you see him at FART...

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My 2012 Passat TDI is not on the first list BUT it had some ECU upgrades after a service campaign that gave rather unintelligble reasons for doing so. Maybe it was the precursor to the current revelation or perhaps it will be added to the list at a future date.

 

It has eaten one DEF pump so far also.

 

The over 700 mile range on a tank is nice and performance is completely adequate for a street machine- even to a leadfoot like me. Averaging just a few tenths under 40 pg in all knds of driving and diesel now right around $2 in SC

 

My industrial experience taught me that euros talk a better game about regulation than they do- exactly because they do little to no enforcement. You can bet at least one VW board member was in on it and that unless the US puts one in prison, none will do any time though at least a few folks will get replaced- mostly for being dumb enough to get caught. A real genius would have had the cheater code self destruct after some designated period.

 

The EPA needs to insist that makers submit annotated source code for all ECUs and every time they do a service update- to supplement testing.

Design review is the right place to catch cheaters and/or stupidity, not testing.

 

The euro testing of pre production rather than line-pulled models is yet another example of how unserious they are about regs being effective.

 

I'll bet whatever caused VW to do this is also why Mazda is doing a low compression diesel without tailpipe urea. Doing a compliant diesel without hi pressure direct injection- very recent addition- would certainly be a real challenge.

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The euro testing of pre production rather than line-pulled models is yet another example of how unserious they are about regs being effective.

That appears to be incorrect.

 

From The Guardian

 

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said:

 

“The EU operates a fundamentally different system to the US, with all European tests performed in strict conditions as required by EU law and witnessed by a government-appointed independent approval agency. There is no evidence that manufacturers cheat the cycle. Vehicles are removed from the production line randomly and must be standard production models, certified by the relevant authority – the UK body being the Vehicle Certification Agency, which is responsible to the Department for Transport."

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A good read hinting at just how much work went into cheating the tests

LINK

 

This had to have been a serious concentrated effort with corporate orders to pull off something that big.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
This had to have been a serious concentrated effort with corporate orders to pull off something that big.

 

The cheat was quite well concealed, as evidenced by its remaining secret for so many years - but it's bizarre that VW apparently thought this would never, EVER be discovered by anyone anywhere in the world.

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The cheat was quite well concealed, as evidenced by its remaining secret for so many years - but it's bizarre that VW apparently thought this would never, EVER be discovered by anyone anywhere in the world.

 

Yeah, that's the part I don't get. We're either missing something or they grossly underestimated the ramifications if caught.

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John Ranalletta

Putting VW's problems in perspective: Let's assume each car scheduled for recall/refit with a SCR system occupies 120 sq feet of real estate and they have to apply the fix to (in their estimate) 11 million cars. That equals 30 thousand + acres of cars waiting in the lot to be fixed. That doesn't even consider the issues of developing the systems, crash testing, manufacturing and distributing them to dealers.

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Putting VW's problems in perspective: Let's assume each car scheduled for recall/refit with a SCR system occupies 120 sq feet of real estate and they have to apply the fix to (in their estimate) 11 million cars. That equals 30 thousand + acres of cars waiting in the lot to be fixed. That doesn't even consider the issues of developing the systems, crash testing, manufacturing and distributing them to dealers.

 

Or how pissed their customers will be when they get their cars back and they don't perform as well as they used to PLUS their fuel mileage goes down.

 

I work with a few people who own different flavors of VW TDi's, and every one that I have talked to is VERY concerned about how this is going to effect them personally. They bought their diesels due to the excellent fuel economy, good highway manners, and better than average depreciation. Once all that goes out the window, I think VW is going to have some very irate customers. I also believe a large portion of them are well educated, have decent incomes, and don't like being lied to.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if this puts diesel cars within the U.S. right back where they were 20 years ago. I also saw an article today that mentioned something about Fiat already starting to sniff around about a merger/buyout.

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I have to think that, as soon as you inject doubt and uncertainty into the equation, the resale value of these vehicles will drop. Methinks that may the basis for some sort of class-action lawsuit. Wouldn't owners want to be compensated, or even have VW buy back their vehicles? I mean a lawyer's got to make a living somehow.

 

Per the Wall Street Journal:

"The EPA investigation triggered a lawsuit. On Friday, lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking class action status against the German auto maker in a federal court in California that accused the company of fraudulent concealment, false advertising and violating consumer rights laws.

 

The suit alleges customers paid premiums for Volkswagen and Audi cars powered by clean-diesel engines on false promises of horsepower and fuel efficiency, and that their vehicle values will now suffer as a result of the EPA probe and any recall."

 

Probably one of many suits to come. The VW CEO resigned today, though it is said that he had no knowledge of the deception.

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...

 

Probably one of many suits to come. The VW CEO resigned today, though it is said that he had no knowledge of the deception.

 

Any CEO worth their salt takes responsibility for the culture and values of the company. When that doesn't happen you have to wonder what will really change?

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"The suit alleges customers paid premiums for Volkswagen and Audi cars powered by clean-diesel engines on false promises of horsepower and fuel efficiency, and that their vehicle values will now suffer as a result of the EPA probe and any recall."

This is something I'm still not getting. From the perspective of someone who wanted one of these cars last week, what is different this week (other than the car might not be as 'green' as advertised)? It is the same car with the same 'horsepower and efficiency' as last week so why would the utility or value of the car be significantly affected? If the emissions issue is of concern to a buyer they will have the option of installing the updated software when it is available. If I was in the market for one of these cars I would consider now the time to buy since you could probably get an incredible deal simply because of the bad publicity.

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"The suit alleges customers paid premiums for Volkswagen and Audi cars powered by clean-diesel engines on false promises of horsepower and fuel efficiency, and that their vehicle values will now suffer as a result of the EPA probe and any recall."

This is something I'm still not getting. From the perspective of someone who wanted one of these cars last week, what is different this week (other than the car might not be as 'green' as advertised)? It is the same car with the same 'horsepower and efficiency' as last week so why would the utility or value of the car be significantly affected? If the emissions issue is of concern to a buyer they will have the option of installing the updated software when it is available. If I was in the market for one of these cars I would consider now the time to buy since you could probably get an incredible deal simply because of the bad publicity.

 

The problem is that the cars as configured are illegal and violate EPA air quality standards. Therefor, until there is an approved fix they won't be selling any more TDI's. And with the current state of the relationship between the EPA and VW after the deception it probably won't be anytime soon.

 

Doug

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Therefor, until there is an approved fix they won't be selling any more TDI's. And with the current state of the relationship between the EPA and VW after the deception it probably won't be anytime soon.

Which makes used models even more valuable to a buyer looking for a TDI, not less.

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I've got an unmolested 2004 Jetta TDI (that's not part of the "problem") that gets 45 mpg when i drive it like i stole it that i will sell for $250,000. ;)

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Dave McReynolds
"The suit alleges customers paid premiums for Volkswagen and Audi cars powered by clean-diesel engines on false promises of horsepower and fuel efficiency, and that their vehicle values will now suffer as a result of the EPA probe and any recall."

This is something I'm still not getting. From the perspective of someone who wanted one of these cars last week, what is different this week (other than the car might not be as 'green' as advertised)? It is the same car with the same 'horsepower and efficiency' as last week so why would the utility or value of the car be significantly affected? If the emissions issue is of concern to a buyer they will have the option of installing the updated software when it is available. If I was in the market for one of these cars I would consider now the time to buy since you could probably get an incredible deal simply because of the bad publicity.

 

If you live in a state that requires auto emissions testing to renew your registration, I would imagine that the businesses that certify that a car is in compliance will be required to verify that these VW diesels are in true compliance. Evidently the performance of those that are in true compliance will suffer, unless VW comes up with a fix for both problems at the same time.

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If you live in a state that requires auto emissions testing to renew your registration, I would imagine that the businesses that certify that a car is in compliance will be required to verify that these VW diesels are in true compliance. Evidently the performance of those that are in true compliance will suffer, unless VW comes up with a fix for both problems at the same time.

Yes but the idea that this will be mandatory is nothing but speculation and seems rather doubtful to me. There's no enforcement system for recalls (on the consumer side) yet in existence, many/most states don't even have diesel emissions testing, and even the CARB has said that there are no current plans to enforce application of any recall (implementing a new program to do so so would probably cost the state far more than it's worth.) So while it's theoretically possible that installation of the fix/update might be enforced in perhaps a handful of states (at best) it also seems rather unlikely.

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Dave McReynolds

Implementing a state program for mandatory recalls might cost a state more than it's worth. However, sending out a mandate to emissions testing businesses that requires them follow certain additional procedures when they test the affected cars to verify that are truly in compliance wouldn't cost the state any more than the one-time cost of creating the additional procedures. It would increase the cost to emissions testing businesses, who would probably pass it on to consumers (unless the state required VW to pay for the additional testing costs).

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The devil is in the details. It may not be so easy to do a quick check, will the testing stations' automated OBDII scanners (or whatever method is used) be able to detect the change, etc. Plus only nine states even require diesel vehicles to be inspected in the first place. Again, always possible (anything is), but likely? I kind of doubt it, and even if so not more than a handful of states at best.

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Remember that we're talking about 11 million cars that could be, and probably are effected worldwide. This is a political hot potato, and states will want to show that they are acting. All the state would have to do is make your registration renewal dependent on there being software fix being done on your VIN number by VW. It wouldn't necessarily have to have anything to do with the actual inspection or emissions test. They could make VW supply them with a database of VIN numbers that have been fixed and program in a simple cross check. No fix no registration.

 

Doug

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Our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland EcoDiesel uses DEF. It works out at about 8 gallons per 10k miles. I keep it half full and "top up" from busy truck stop DEF pumps rather than use "shelf" DEF from stores.

 

We get 29mpg highway...seen as high as 35mpg at 55mph but we do live in Texas and our limits around here are 70mph and up :) !!!

 

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Dave McReynolds

I have a 2015 Ford F-250 turbo diesel that uses DEF. When they first came out, the word was to save your old F-250's, because nobody was going to want one that used DEF. The facts are that I get 15-16 mpg pulling my trailer with the 6.7 L F-250, where I was getting 9-10 mpg pulling it with my old 4.7 L gas Tundra. And whatever speed I set on my cruise control, that's the speed it's going to stay, uphill or down. I don't think the rpm' s have ever gone above 2,500 maintaining 60 mph, where on the Tundra it would go up to 4,000 trying to maintain 45 mph on a 7% grade. Without the trailer, wow! I've never been into hot rods, but this F-250 outperforms any other vehicle I've ever had (except my BMW motorcycles, of course).

 

The latest reviews I've read say that the 2015 F-250 with DEF outperforms all the earlier F-250's that didn't have DEF. Hopefully, without cheating; that would really disappoint me.

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If you live in a state that requires auto emissions testing to renew your registration, I would imagine that the businesses that certify that a car is in compliance will be required to verify that these VW diesels are in true compliance. Evidently the performance of those that are in true compliance will suffer, unless VW comes up with a fix for both problems at the same time.

 

If inspections are carried out in the same way as they are here (on a single axle dyno), they thought about that: the ECU/ECM has an algorith that picks up ABS/wheel speed sensor impulses. If a single axle is moving, switch to clean mode. If both axes are moving, let the taps flow. ;)

 

An engineer friend of mine predicted a few years ago the "death of diesel" because stricter emissions will make it economically impossible to build cheap diesel cars. Despite having less strict emission requirements than the US and Japan, automakers in Europe are groaning because of EURO6 legislation, chiefly because it will force all of them to buy a host of patent licenses from Bosch (sole supplier rule: the patent holder can ask as much money as it wants and/or force you to buy components straight from it). For example Nissan has already announced there won't be a diesel engine available for the new Micra because it would be too expensive to make it EURO6 compliant, thus driving the price into a region where nobody would buy it.

 

And it seems this scandal is becoming bigger and bigger: BMW has been caught redhanded just yesterday. According to Autobild the 2 liter diesel equipped X3 has emissions far in excess of the European legal limit.

While VAG at least had the good taste of simply assuring they will "fully cooperate with authorities", BMW has already gone into "YOU caused it!" mode. Guess this time it's a little more serious than fuel pumps and rear wheel flanges. :rofl:

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The PR phase of the battle has begun.

 

“The test manipulations are a moral and political disaster for Volkswagen. The unlawful behaviour of engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen just as much as it shocked the public." Berthold Huber, the acting head of VW’s supervisory board. From The Guardian.

 

The head of the Supervisory Board blames engineers and technicians, but not management. And then talks about VW as a entity separate from them, one which was shocked as much as the public was.

 

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The PR phase of the battle has begun.

 

“The test manipulations are a moral and political disaster for Volkswagen. The unlawful behaviour of engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen just as much as it shocked the public." Berthold Huber, the acting head of VW’s supervisory board. From The Guardian.

 

The head of the Supervisory Board blames engineers and technicians, but not management. And then talks about VW as a entity separate from them, one which was shocked as much as the public was.

 

Corporate Germany at its finest... always blame the engineer who was just following orders.

At least Corporate Japan presents a high-ranking head on a platter (CEO, president or somu bucho) when they screw things up and keep the purges and finger pointing private.

 

Then people ask me why I prefer deal with Japanese instead of German companies...

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The PR phase of the battle has begun.

 

“The test manipulations are a moral and political disaster for Volkswagen. The unlawful behaviour of engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen just as much as it shocked the public." Berthold Huber, the acting head of VW’s supervisory board. From The Guardian.

 

The head of the Supervisory Board blames engineers and technicians, but not management. And then talks about VW as a entity separate from them, one which was shocked as much as the public was.

 

Corporate Germany at its finest... always blame the engineer who was just following orders.

At least Corporate Japan presents a high-ranking head on a platter (CEO, president or somu bucho) when they screw things up and keep the purges and finger pointing private.

 

Then people ask me why I prefer deal with Japanese instead of German companies...

 

Maybe you missed it but the VAG CEO is already gone and three of the top Engineering bosses are following him out the door. Maybe you're thinking about the GM way of working their way through a mess.

 

And Autobots report one X3 diesel anomaly and all of a sudden BMW is in the same boat? BMW has refuted the report and asked for the data...if they were going to disclose any wrongdoing now would have been the time since they're going to have regulators scrubbing their data vigorously.

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Maybe you missed it but the VAG CEO is already gone and three of the top Engineering bosses are following him out the door. Maybe you're thinking about the GM way of working their way through a mess.

 

No, but maybe Mr. Huber missed it. Or more likely, he just recited the statement as written by the the law firm or PR firm that wrote.

 

It seems impossible that a group of engineers (and technicians) did this without the express consent of management. Yet the head of the Supervisory Board does not mention management as part of the group who engaged in unlawful behavior. And I haven't seen any comments from VAG saying that any of managers who have been shown the door did anything unlawful. The PR spin machine is picking up speed.

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John Ranalletta

Excellent article in today's WSJ. Hope the link works.

That’s another thing. I am amazed the socially enlightened young technocrats in VW’s engineering bureaucracy would suborn this. Which makes me believe that what rats there are to be found will be old rats. Let’s apply Occam’s razor: This could only have been orchestrated at management level and above, and its business upside—to advance VW’s diesel penetration in the U.S., particularly in California, the States’ largest market and global leader in clean air rules—so obvious it could only have been strategic.
And, can we just spread the blame here? There are probably 1,000 engine and diesel specialists in Michigan alone who looked at a VW’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel-powered vehicle’s claims to pass California nitrogen oxide tests without NOx-suppressing urea injection, and thought, Hey…. I myself am on record as being amazed at the engine’s power, economy and hyper-clean emissions, and without urea. How’d they do that? Now I know.

 

I do wish one of these specialists had spoken up before I was drawn into complicity by recommending VW diesels to readers. That’s right: VW deceived nearly a half-million diesel-buying Americans, nuked the brand and cratered its market value, but I am going to make it all about me.

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Maybe you missed it but the VAG CEO is already gone and three of the top Engineering bosses are following him out the door. Maybe you're thinking about the GM way of working their way through a mess.

 

And Autobots report one X3 diesel anomaly and all of a sudden BMW is in the same boat? BMW has refuted the report and asked for the data...if they were going to disclose any wrongdoing now would have been the time since they're going to have regulators scrubbing their data vigorously.

 

No, the point is that after the high ranking head has been offered on a platter the company should just shut up, not attempt publicly shift the blame down the pecking order, especially on those working long hard hours to make things work.

 

Now... Switzerland has already acted by ordering a stop on sales of VAG diesel cars (Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT are all affected) until they are fixed to be truly emission compliant. In the meantime Confederate authorities are pondering on which penalties to apply. A fine is almost certain, but it's also likely there will be a trial which, knowing the law of the land, may result in jail time for some VAG executives.

 

And, yes, you would be right: the Euro-version of the 2 liters diesel BMW X3 has been found to be as emission compliant as a WWII battleship. It's very likely most if not all diesel manufacturers are guilty to some degree of the same.

But I am ready to bet a shiny ChF1 coin VAG has already been picked as the fall guy to avoid a general scandal which could cripple the largest manufacturing sector in Germany and one of the most important in other European countries.

 

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John Ranalletta

Before the Challenger disaster, engineers knew or at least suspected the seals could/would fail but remained silent due to political and financial pressure. VAG employees lower in the hierarchy probably knew/participated in the fraud but did so to protect their jobs.

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