The VW “Fix” (Or: Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels)

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Never take a wooden nickel.VW card pic

Or a “credit card” from VW.

Reportedly, the under-siege automaker is going to send out prepaid credit cards (see here) to  people who own one of the diesel-powered models VW adjusted to “cheat” government emissions tests.

But the catch is that you have to bring the car in to a VW dealer in order to “validate” the card.

The card – the lure of cash, that is – is kind of like the piece of cheese you place on the business end of a mousetrap. Both serve the same purpose.

In the case of the card, the whole object is not to give VW owners “free” money – or to regain their confidence.

It is to get their hands on the cars.VW lead 2

To “fix” them.

That is, to reprogram them. So that they perform less well (i.e., not as much power/performance, reduced fuel economy).

But they will be in compliance with EPA’s insane emissions control fatwas.

They will emit a fraction of a percent less of this or that – and it will appease the EPA.

For now.

But you – the owner – may not be happy with the way your car runs after it is “fixed.”clover nickel

It will be interesting to see what happens to the goodwill of VW owners when they find their cars don’t run as well, having been “fixed.” When they notice a drop in fuel efficiency, especially.

This will be interesting on multiple levels, not just the customer level.

VW owners could reasonably claim they’ve been defrauded. Few probably care much about their car emitting a fraction of a percent more of an unseen gas that has caused no tangible harm to any actual person (EPA “projects” – that is, it confects – that about 60 theoretical – but not actual – “victims” will die from asthma attacks and so on as a result of the fraction of a percent increase in emissions). But they will probably care very much if they notice their car’s mileage is now say 3 MPG less than it was prior to having been “fixed.”

Diesel owners are probably the sort next-most-interested in the fuel efficiency of their vehicle after hybrid owners. It’s, you know, the main reason for buying a diesel-powered car.

How pissed off are they going to be?

And will a $500 (according to reports) “credit card” make up for it?Trees are reflected in the paint of a diesel Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL in Santa Monica

The fact that VW is offering (reportedly) money is hugely revealing. It indicates the company knows full well the “fix” is going to cost VW owners. But bet your bippie the money VW is putting on the table will be less than the money VW owners are fixin’ to lose as a result of the “fix.”    

The hope, probably, is that they will not sue. Which they may.

Which I would.

Not over the “cheating.” Screw Uncle. VW was only trying to help … the customer, for once. The emissions rigmarole is literally insane. It is not about “dirty” diesels. It is about making it impossible to sell the things here. The standards are that severe. To achieve compliance, the manufacturers end up with diesels that don’t get particularly spectacular mileage and which also cost a bundle of money. Check Bob Jane Catalogue on Catalogue AU. This is the reason why – VW excepted – the only diesel-powered cars you can buy in this country are expensive diesels. Almost all of them sold under the aegis of a luxury brand such as BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

The sole exception is the Chevy Cruse diesel – and even it approaches $26k (about $5k more than VW was asking for a Jetta TDI).

So VW adjusted the cars to perform better, so that they would be more appealing to buyers. This entailed end-running Uncle’s stand-on-your head-while-also-juggling-china-plates emissions test ukase.

Well, now the buyers are going to be cheated – or feel that way. And likely, they’ll sue. Or – best case – they will never buy another VW again.

Meanwhile, there is the EPA.VW lwsuit pic

They are zeroing in for the kill.

First, over the “cheating.” This alone could – and probably will – fatally cripple the company. The fines being discussed ($18 billion, last I heard) are insurmountable, especially if sales are dead in the water. Which they are. VW itself has halted sales. You can’t buy a new TDI even if you didn’t care about any of the above. VW has withdrawn the certification application (EPA permission slip) and that’s the end of it, until the cars are certified.

But what if EPA goes after VW over the “fixed” cars not delivering on their mileage claims? This is as much a problem, potentially (because legally) as the emissions stuff. If, after, the half-million “affected” VWs are “fixed,” it becomes apparent that the mileage they deliver is less-than-advertised, the company will face the wrath of EPA and its customers.

And the truly grotesque thing is that if the mileage drops as expected, the cars at issue will also emit more of the “harmful emissions” being nattered about. Perhaps not while being hooked up to the EPA’s testing machines. But out on the road. Because if they burn more fuel, they will emit more exhaust gas. It is unavoidable, a function of “in and out.” Put the fuel in, burn it, you get a certain volume of gas. Chemistry.Bismarck sinking pic

Well, the greater the volume, the greater the total output and unless the exhaust is absolutely, 100 percent “clean” as unicorn farts – and it can never be when we are talking about internal combustion – whatever the remainder, even if it’s only 2-3 percent, which is what we’re talking about here – there will be more of it.

So, to recap:

VW is currently in the position of the battleship Bismarck on the 27th of May, 1941. Cornered and floundering, the guns of multiple adversaries raining shells down on her.

It is not going to end well.

For VW – or VW owners. depends on you to keep the wheels turning! The control freaks (Clovers) hate us. Goo-guhl blackballed us.

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  1. More fuel usage with a fuel mileage drop after complying with “pollutant” emissions is correlated to more carbon dioxide emissions that aren’t measured with these EPA emission tests. That’s covered with the CAFE law.

    After VW applies the “fix,” I suspect their engines will need re-certification and that would establish a new EPA fuel mileage estimate. Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of what current customers expected from their purchase or lease of the vehicle.

  2. My guess is part of activating your credit card involves signing something that, in very small writing, absolves them of civil liability to you in agreement for accepting the card.

  3. So what do you all think about taking the gift cards, getting your car “upgraded” at the dealership then driving it over to the local APR dealer to get a nice new ECU upgrade? I figure I can pay for most of the APR upgrade on the prepaid visa and then ebay the dealer gift card.

  4. Isn’t your reasoning is a little faulty. If there is a decrease in fuel efficiency of 2-3% to bring the emissions into compliance, by definition there will be no increased emissions; the emissions will meet standards. If your point is that even at EPA guidelines there will still be emissions then the increase in fuel use would have to match the amount the emissions exceeded EPA guidelines. I’ve seen estimates that the TDI exceeded guidelines from 10x to 40x. An increase of 2-3% in fuel usage would have to match a 1000 to 4000% of emissions. Wouldn’t you have to have a 1000 – 4000% decrease in fuel efficiency?

    • The problem is that test A and test B need to have different passing criteria. To determine how test A and B correlate to each other takes a lot of work. What the media is doing is taking the passing criteria of test A and applying it to test B. Test B might after all the correlation work, have a standard of ten times test A. Who knows? Nobody. All test B can be used for, the way it was conducted and with the limited data and development test, is to say ‘hey maybe there is something goofy going on with these VWs’. That’s about it. But from the limited data taken across multiple models from multiple manufacturers is that test B would have a greatly higher standard than test A. So how much more is the VW polluting compared to others that passed test A legitimately? Something far less dramatic most likely.

    • It depends on how emissions are specified in the tests. If they are the overall amount emitted, possibly what you say is true. But if they are specified in parts per million, then it is indeed possible to have higher total emissions while having a lower amount in parts per million, because more fuel will be consumed.

      Keep in mind that tailpipe emissions is not the end of it. Fuel has to be produced in the first place, and that too adds to pollution, so that if more fuel is consumed by the car then there will be more emissions from producing that extra fuel.

  5. I have received 3 letters from lawyers looking for my business. One even said they got my information from Audi, in the form of a marketing mailing list. I’m sure that’s where the other two got my address from as well. Serves ’em right for selling my personal data.

    According to an article on the BBC website, they’re offering $1000 vouchers (but no mention of the requirement to bring the vehicle in), and that “Volkswagen has already offered $2,000 to current VW owners to trade their cars in for new vehicles as well as the $1,000 gift cards and vouchers.”

    Haven’t heard anything from Audi other than a form email that they’d “personally be in contact with me to discuss the situation.” You’d better believe I’ll be recording that conversation.

  6. I drove a 4 cylinder Camry from D.C. to Miami two years ago. It got amazingly close to 40 mpg on the trip down I-95, only three tanks of gas for the trip. Here’s the rest of that story. After the initial cold start, the drive train remained at operating temperature for the entire trip. Then, we hit heavy traffic and bad weather around West Palm Beach and kept it all the way to Miami. In those conditions Camry guzzled gas as fast as any other car of that size ever did in five hours of stop and go traffic. One quarter tank of gas to go the final 75 miles.

    The problem lies in the natural laws of physics. Deep overdrives and high tech fuel management on flat, dry roads produce outstanding fuel economy, not so much when gridlocked with heavy rain and high wind. Thrift vanished in the glare of reality.

    Those outstanding highway mileage numbers are seldom obtainable in typical driving with gasoline engines. Diesel power plants are capable of exceeding highway numbers in everyday driving. Higher thermodynamic efficiency, more energy per gallon, test cycles optimize gasoline engine performance characteristics. Physics.

    • C C, “high wind”…..being a factor. The new style cars with the cd of a brick can’t help but use more fuel, another factor that’s been lost. Cars from 20-25 years ago have a much slippery shape. Of course the EPA cycle doesn’t take that into account any longer I suppose.

      I recently had to drive a pickup to a truck for a hotshot load. I was running nearly 80 mph headed into a howling SW cornering wind and that pickup sucked up 3 times the amount of fuel…..or more, than it did on the return trip, same conditions. The entire trip was also slightly uphill for 150 miles and slightly downhill coming back.

  7. To avoid it getting ‘fixed’ the car would have to never be serviced at a dealer again for anything. From my own experience avoiding recalls that made something worse (in my case just the feel of the parking brake lever, which I eventually got used to) they’ll just do it when the car is there for something else.

  8. “2+2=5”

    The reason the main character in 1984 agreed this was the correct answer was because he had a rat in a cage attached to his face. If you don’t agree with authority you will either be made to look crazy or you will have an ‘accident.’

    We know the ‘hockey stick’ graph is incorrect – yet it is still used to ‘prove’ global warming. A magazine priding itself on its ‘skepticism’

    Even though you present people with correct facts they will undoubtedly follow the majority. They do this to be “safe.” In school they followed what the ‘cool’ people did though they were either mistreated by them or simply not acknowledged. They were, and still are, the provokers/ instigators cooing “oooooo” each time the bully tears down the timid victim. Those same people, backed into a corner, wouldn’t dare allow themselves to remember their own indifference to someone else’s suffering.

    Gosh, living ‘green’ sure does cost a lot of ‘green.’ In the Matrix the analogy of the sheeple is brought to light when Neo is being trained and Morpheus points out that everyone in the matrix is the enemy. The lady in the red dress, one swift turn – Agent Smith.

  9. Just out of my own philosophical musings and curiosity – I’ve literally been pondering this whole (non) scancal for maybe last 2 weeks – and definitely after it was announced the other day that now Porsche and Audi are being pulled into this … idiocy. Just what is the end game here ? Why now ? What’s the real purpose / reason for this “scandal” to suddenly appear at this time ? Something else is afoot. There is a larger agenda in play, it seems. Cui Bono ? Your previous post – re: CO2 “taxes” coming – I think you are heading down the right avenue with the idea that now other “things” are opened up for government theft, oops, I mean “taxation” (but I repeat myself). Oh, don’t forget, us eeeevil humans breathe out CO2, so we are killing the children and baby seals with our very breath. Oh, the horror. But frankly, I think that is just the beginning of more psychopathic behavior to come.

    There is simply no doubt that what VW (and now Porsche and Audi) is being accused of is SOP for every major auto manufacturer out there. This is akin to those of us who have worked in IT security – since literally the mid-90’s it’s been an open secret among my peers (including mgmt) that uncle/big bro is absolutely collecting every email, phone call, website visited, library records, bank records, travel records, credit card spending, every-freaking-thing. So, regarding the VW “scandal” I initially thought, oops somebody missed their protection money payoff, or perhaps some asshats from washington and brussels wanted to “teach VW a lesson for opening a plant (several actually) in the latest propaganda enemy, Russia … perhaps US automakers put the bug in EPA’s ear …. a sort of mercantilism … But now, it’s gotten bigger. And seems to be starting a domino-effect. This is the sort of thing that kills a country’s economy. This affects not only the auto-makers, but the thousands of ancillary companies that support them. It’s absolutely freakin’ huge deal here. I can’t imagine even a really pissed off pol or EPA asshat who didn’t get their payola going all in like this – they are killing the goose … (or maybe I can ? I mean, if you are working for EPA “doing good”, then … well, my dog has a higher IQ and higher morality than you do.)

    It strikes me that at the same time this is all breaking loose – Germany is being overrun with criminals, I mean, uhh, “immigrants” who 1. hate Germany 2. hate Germans 3. hate 4. hate anyone who is non-muslim. 5. demand money, services, housing – you name it at the expense of the locals 6. are literally and truly raping, robbing, and pillaging their way across not just Germany but all the rest of the idiot Euro countries bringing them in 7. have no intention ever of assimilating into the euro cultures and, in fact, openly state how they will never integrate and intend to kill all the locals …

    Combine this now with the very real likelihood of massive – and I do mean massive unemployment of Germans as VW, the German economy, the German culture, et al, unravel – and the mix is beyond volatile. It’s like juggling with 2 sticks of TNT and a bottle of NitroGlycerin. I wager that even the completely neutered and liberalized Germans will quickly grow weary and a strong nationalist could potentially rise to power … (sound familiar ?)

    These are the sorts of things that destroy cultures and countries. These are the sorts of things that quite possibly will end up very bloody. But what I’m stumped on – is why ? What do those pulling the strings expect to accomplish with this ? I no longer believe this is all “just happening by odd coincidence” anymore.

    am I simply being over-dramatic ? or does anyone else smell a rat, as well ?


    • And BTW, those neo-Nazi’s who are arming Islamist “rebels” are not really neo, just plain Nazi’s. Nothing raising some serious money from various sources including the victim govt.’s (in this case the people of those govt.’s) of Europe won’t do for the Nazi’s in their effort to help the neo”cons” of the US start a war with Russian. And now we might have our very own Hitler(y) in power soon. Excuse me, I gotta go clean my pants. Jean’s answer sounds better every minute.

    • Bert,The best way for TPTB to destroy our cultures and economy is all at once. And all the things underway are likely pointing us straight to that.
      Germany isn’t the only one looking at a “strong man” (Sorry, don’t have the source – it’s a political strong man, and was used in reference to our favorite dictator-cum-world-conqueror).
      US is looking at the same type with Trump. (And I like what Trump says, and that he has balls, and isn’t a career politician of the normal stripe – though he IS a politician in the sense of, at that stature, he has to be a pol to keep going. Salesman, Politician, Whore, same creature, different name. Lawyer, too.)

      But what could be better? Putin on one side; Trump on the other; a fractious EU, facing civil war, with another dictator or three inside? WW3, population reduced, worthless muslim “useful idiots” left over as “worker bees” in TPTB’s Utopia, where they will be beyond challenge, living in the Outlands – and the rest of us will live in Megacity1, manufacturing things, dealing with endless warfare (gang and/or civil and/or police state), and starving to death while being poisoned (shite food, GMO + poison; daily “vaccinations” to poison us slowly with heavy metals, so we live JUST long enough to reach a peak level of productivity, and die quickly so we can’t collect on the Social Security, Disability, etc. payments we’re forced to make at gunpoint.)

      And I bet most people would just Bend over and take it.

      I overheard a conversation yesterday at work. One of the big mucketies was talking to the boss in our lab.
      They were discussing the money flight to our stock market. TO, mind, from the Middle East/ISIS-afflicted regions.
      There wasn’t an OUNCE of humanity in that discussion I was overhearing – and it went on for like 30, 45 minutes. All about how “we” (Das Boot, I mean Der Commisar, I mean, the Company – WTF are we, Weyland-Butandi?) were going to profit from it… With a subtext of, “Fuck the little people.”

      No interest in solving the problems – just profiting from others’ misery. (and they’re importing the misery here, too, I heard 80K “refugees” were headed to Boston alone!)

      I wanted to stab both the Muck and the Boss, who was being a good corporate stooge and – if he weren’t a brownish tone ahead of time – would’ve had to clean his entire head afterwards.
      Best comparison is the simpering of a classic movie “nigger”, though I can’t think of a good example – just, the sort you would call “boy” and you’d think of watermelon and cotton fields, basically. Disgusting, he was all but dancing a jig like a trained monkey.

      THAT is what we’re up against. No one did anything evil – but they can’t see the inherent evil in their actions, or, worse – they don’t care.

      It’s all, “How can I make more money?” I respect drug pushers and gun runners more, they are at least honest about destroying others’ lives.
      This Economic bullshit pseudo-warfare is dirty, to the point mustard gas is more merciful.

      I smell a LOT of rats, Bert.
      I see a LOT of puppets dancing on strings.
      Wish there WAS some “blood of caine” or SOME method of gaining power to redirect these things – but even if we had the powers of Hercules, or even immortality, it’s not possible to do things “honestly” – the system is in place to corrupt and destroy people.

      The lie is that you can work hard, study hard, and get ahead honestly. That we’re “equal.”
      Reality is, if you play by the rules, you get fucked. If you break the rules, you get fucked, IF you’re not connected. If you’re connected, you’re bullet-proof, as far as the system goes.
      Had Hillary been an evil Republican? That email server would’ve sent her to prison for 10 years, by itself. Benghazi would’ve been the end of her career, might’ve been the start of prison. Obama as a Republican? Would’ve been impeached many times over. (Another thing from yesterday, dumbass mucketymuck was praising the Democrats for “making jobs.” “the Republicans are good at making millionaires, the Democrats are good at making jobs.” I guess he’s stupid enough to think that two jobs slinging hash at McD’s equals one engineering job? No – I cannot believe that. It’s INTENTIONAL equivocation, that as long as someone has a job, the value of that job to society, the self-respect of that job’s status, the effort put into that job, none of it matters…?
      Let’s see Mr. CEO go work two jobs at McD’s to make ends meet, AFTER he’s downsized and sold everything he owned.

      This isn’t drama, man.
      We’re at war.

      *: I did talk up the Republicans above, but that’s not an endorsement per se. The discussion was comparing the two, so I went with that. I could also list a lot of evil the Republicans do – but the way things go, it appears that the Demoncraps spend us into oblivion, making social programs and taxes part of life; then, the people get tired of that crap, and the Rethuglicunts are given the reigns, to recover the devastation into something manageable, and they do a decent, semi-honorable job of turning things around, or redirecting, more accurately, while playing within and around the anti-“corruption” laws the Demoncraps erect – which, because the conservative type plays “fair,” are actually designed to exclude the “non-Slytheryn” types. Yes, reference is Harry Pothead. They THINK they’re smarter than everyone else – but that’s what got them fucked up in the first place. No different from HP’s stories, the “brains” want the back-room, behind-closed-doors, “we’re smarter than you are” deals to be the basis for what happens – but object if those “evil” (read, “not as smart as we think we are, and not part of the club”) people even close the door to take a crap.

      At the same time, the conservative side sees what’s working, and how the game is played, and – being not as dumb as the Dems would like to THINK everyone else is – find ways to make their own back-room deals. But there’s a different focus, generally – the focus on the conservative side is, “Fix the effing problem.” On the Progressive/Lieberal side, it’s “Get rich quick, who cares how.”

      Evil is always faster than good, for it takes the shortcut in everything. Or, as Churchill said, “A lie will be halfway around the before the truth gets its pants on in the morning.”

      We NEED eugenics, religion, SOME sort of control – against the immoral.
      Personally, I still like killing them. It’s final, it sends a message, and it inspires others to stand up against the system that seeks to enslave them.
      It is also immoral, but since the system is immoral to begin with?

      “Mickey: It’s just murder. All God’s creatures do it. You look in the forests and you see species killing other species, our species killing all species including the forests, and we just call it industry, not murder.” – Natural Born Killers, Mickey Knox

      “Mickey: You’ll never understand, Wayne. You and me, we’re not even the same species. I used to be you, then I evolved. From where you’re standing, you’re a man. From where I’m standing, you’re an ape. You’re not even an ape. You’re a media person. Media’s like the weather, only it’s man-made weather. Murder? It’s pure. You’re the one made it impure. You’re buying and selling fear. You say “why?” I say “why bother?””

      • You are still being way too generous about the intentions of the Republican party Jean. In many ways they are worse than the democrats.
        It is chiefly the Repubs who want permanent war because it is so profitable to the military industrial complex. Apparently they believe in the broken window fallacy just as much as the Demos do. Who can predict how well off our economy might have been had so much money not been invested in destroying property via unnecessary offensive wars?
        Americans spend far more money for offense than any other country in the world; yet offense cuts remain completely out of the question. The Repubs are the main reason that the U.S. has the highest number and percentage of people in prison than in any other country in the world…including communist ones; yet they want even more people to get caged in the for-profit prisons!:
        How can _any_ of these things be considered as “decent, semi-honorable job of turning things around”?
        At least the Demos are open about many of the evil things they intend to commit. The Repubs claim to value CONstitutional law and the Bill of Rights; yet they violate them with nearly every bill they pass. Notice that they treated Ron Paul far worse than they treated any Democrat presidential candidate during the last election. They committed all out fraud in order to keep him from winning. Here is a recent example of what happens to a Republican candidate who actually tells the truth during a convention: Notice that many of them start walking away from him, then he drops the “F” bomb, then the remainder of them use that as an excuse to shut him up!
        They claim to be pro free trade and to support small business and farmers; yet only big business/ agriculture get the corporate welfare funds that was stolen from our paychecks, and benefit from so-called free trade deals.
        In conclusion: Both branches of the same Socialist party are incredibly evil! Millions of innocent civilians have been murdered since the end of WWII under the leadership of both branches! This country has bombed other countries nearly every year since WWII! And now they want WWIII!
        Statism is a curable mental disorder!
        I tried to include a few links for reference but WordPress thought my message might be spam, so I deleted them.

        • Brian, you’re so right. The links between the neo-cons and Israeli’s couldn’t be tighter. The neo’s want to be on top when the Israeli’s destroy this country via WWlll so they’ll be part of the world govt. ruling body.

          They won’t honor their cabal with the Saudi’s and the Saudi’s never expect them to do so. But the Saudi’s are willing to take a split, something they believe they’ll get….and they’re wrong. When nukes start raining down the neo-cons and Israeli’s expect to be in Israel, the only place they expect to be spared except for various powerless places worldwide.

          You only need to go back to the report by the FBI about 911 and the huge amount of redactions that caused a rift between the neos and the FBI, an agency that’s never been forthcoming with the American public.

          Depending on how it plays out, the Israeli’s most likely don’t intend to honor their deal with the neo-cons. They want the entire ball of wax so to speak.

  10. This entire debacle stinks in many ways. Do these cars have particulate traps? The big 3 pickups did at one time, probably still do and use DEF to burn them clean.

    So, you must wonder what sort of hoops VW had to jump through the Big 3 didn’t with their pickups.

    When it’s a straight up deal of filling a particulate trap during the entirety of a vehicle emissions test and then having the computer dump so much fuel it goes unburned into the trap to clean it, how is that a “legal” test when other makes and models don’t have this luxury? Was it only on light trucks?

    It would be interesting, to say the least, to hear what the EPA has to say about the various results to be met by different manufacturers on different model diesel powered vehicles. Oh please EPA, set me straight.

    BTW, I often(daily, often many times a day)see chipped light trucks spewing hell out of soot using some different program than stock to gain a few HP. I have seen light trucks in “spew” mode that were making less power than in regular mode. I had to buck the wind in my semi one day so a 3/4T pickup could make it in without overheating using my draft. That’s when I knew all aftermarket chips are not the same.

  11. > And will a $50 “credit card” make up for it?

    If I were an owner, I’d keep driving. 3-4 better mpg over the lifetime of a diesel motor is worth way more than that. If the EPA or state DMV mandates that I get the fix, then I’d make sure I was first in line, to ensure there’s still money behind that card. I’m not sure how VW can pay both the fines and the incentive to the owners.

    They’ll likely have to sell a division to raise cash. Anyone want to buy Lamborghini, Ducati, or Bentley?

  12. The longer this goes on the more depressing it gets. I sold my 2011 TDI before all of this came out. It was a great car; comfortable, quiet, good mileage, and fast enough for what it was, but I got tired of being snowed in and picked up something with 4wd to replace it. I would have loved to have picked up one of the Golf SportWagen AWDs in 2016, but I guess that’s not going to happen now, and even if it did, I wouldn’t buy it simply because the fix is going to be awful.

    And as Eric said, it doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of competition. I wouldn’t put the Chevy in even the same universe — it’s engine is unacceptably noisy, and I’ve never had much luck with Chevy cars in terms of maintenance and build quality (the trucks are a different story). And no way am I buying some $50k+ luxury car just so I get an a diesel. Oh well.

    • John, it’s always “something” with diesel cars. Merc’s were sooooo slow and sooo expensive, not even a thought for me. Others were expensive and had a lot of upkeep non-engine related. GM came out with those things in the 80’s that looked good till I checked into what the engine was. A SBC with different pistons and heads does not a diesel make. It was always the same story too “boy, I liked that car….up to the day the crank broke”. It was a boon for the pleasure boat set though….we all half a crank for an anchor, easy to come by.

      I missed out on a good diesel pickup, the LUV. In 4WD they’d go anywhere and use nearly no fuel. In this country they were all fueled at the rig off the 10,000 gallon tank so fuel costs were virtually nothing. Same for the 80’s GM cars and pickups.
      I’m considering using my 6.5 Turbo Diesel from a C 3500 in an El Camino. Neither had any smog crap. I wondered about it till I saw one done. What’s not to like? That mechanical diesel pulls that Elco with no effort so using about a 2:1 rear gear has one using about 1200 rpm or less on the road. My Elco only has a 10 gallon smaller tank than the pickup and putting a fuel cell in the back would keep you running for thousands of miles. Just make sure to paint the fuel cell so the red doesn’t show. I keep looking at the IRS 4WD on a half ton Chevy and thinking that would be fairly easily done.

  13. Right now, the focus is on VW diesel engine. I believe that the “cheating” is far more widespread than anyone will admit. It probably encompasses gasoline as well as diesels from other car makers as well. I get a sense that the Tier 2 Bin5 emissions requirements are impossible to meet. The only reason that it hasn’t been looked at is that people have yet to ask the question. This debacle has the potential to wreck the entire car industry worldwide. If I were VW, I would have been preparing a case to take to the WTO. I don’t personally believe in the WTO, but it would be interesting to set up a battle whereby the WTO would decide that the US emissions regulations are too difficult to meet and represent a defacto trade barrier. I think that VW’s case is winnable.

    • I doubt the WTO would work.
      Like Microsoft vs. Apple, you technically CAN buy a machine that doesn’t run Winblows – so it’s not a monopoly. (Which is why M$ will GIVE money to Apple if necessary, to keep the illusion of competition alive.)

      I think they’d do an end-run around the spirit (and meanings) of such laws, by pointing to the US auto manufacturers as “proof” it’s not a Trade Barrier.

      When the words don’t men what you want, you redefine them, after all. (Babylon, A.D. Literally, that’s the fall of Babylon of the Old Testament.)

  14. I’m already ticked about the mileage my 09 TDI gets. It is significantly less than the previous generation. I average close to, but less than 40 mpg, while the older models get more like 50. Of course this is the fault of the EPA, not VW. As will be any further decrease if I get it ‘fixed.’ But the EPA cannot be sued. Even though very few, if any people have given their consent to be ruled by them.

    • I saw an ad last night for a Chevy Malibu showing 36mpg. Didn’t catch the price. 40 doesn’t seem enough more for a diesel. I recall 20 years ago when friend’s Jetta got high 50’s.

      • Hi Eight,

        Yup, it’s a real problem. You can buy a gas-engined car capable of 40 on the highway and close to 30, average. This is too close for comfort, diesel-wise, given the much higher up-front cost of the diesel and the higher cost of the diesel fuel.

        For a diesel to make economic sense, it needs to deliver 50-plus on the highway and average mid-high 30s, at least. None of them deliver that.

        • eric, I didn’t look at the fine print. It was one of those tiny ads on my phone but I thought it was overall mpg but still, 36 is laudable for highway mpg and esp. for a car that size. It looks to be pretty spacious. Or maybe it was that structural photo of all the “safety” steel parts added. Naw, I saw one on the road and was surprised at the size……but GM makes a big rear drive car now don’t they?

          Not that I’m interested. The only likely GM I’ll buy is one of those square things with a box on the back…..quite literally a truck……when you have nearly as much power as a C 10 Cat.

    • My 2013 Passat TDI gets significantly better mileage than my 1997 Passat TDI did, even though it is a larger car (the ’97 was a wagon though, which does take a small hit). I am averaging 50mpg doing 80% highway miles.


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