Uncles Great and Small

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The assault on VW for “cheating” Uncle is metastasizing.VW lead

The little Uncles – state governments –  are piling on.

Five of them (New Jersey, Texas, New Mexico, Kentucky and West Virginia) have formally filed civil lawsuits over the TDI diesel emissions “scandal,” seeking millions of dollars in fines.

48 state-level attorney generals are “investigating” VW.

This on top of the federal witch hunt launched by the U.S. Justice (sic) Department in January that hopes to milk $46 billion out of VW AG (which includes Audi and Porsche).

Even for a major corporation, that’s a lot of coin. If the Feds are successful, it will likely mean der untergang for VW.

The Justice Department accuses VW of “violating clean air laws,” but the interesting thing about that is the “laws” at issue are actually regulatory edicts issued by EPA, which is not a legislative branch of the government. Not that this is of any importance, of course. The federal government long ago ceased paying even lip service to that “goddamn piece of paper” (as The Chimp styled it) called the Constitution that’s supposed to serve as the owner’s manual for the form of government we’re repeatedly told we live under but which we haven’t actually enjoyed for decades – if ever.VW graphic

What happens is, Congress passes vaguely worded laws – in this case, the Clean Air Act and its amendments – and unelected bureaucracies such as EPA are given wide latitude to divine and then “implement” their interpretation of what Congress intended. This amounts to giving bureaucracies such as the EPA de jure (as the lawyers style it) legislative power, something never authorized by the Constitution much less agreed to by the public.

So much for “consent of the governed,” eh?

That’s obnoxious all by itself.

But if the facts about the VW “cheating” scandal were explained to people, most of them would agree the witch hunt is just that.

A witch hunt.

And they’d be outraged.

The automaker is accused of embedding code in the software that controls the operation of its TDI diesel engines (about 580,000 of them) that enabled them to get through Uncle’s Byzantine emissions testing protocols while emitting “up to 40 times” the legally allowable maximum of exhaust emissions in real-world driving.

Note the weasel words.

Not “40 times.”

Up to” 40 times.VW graphic 2

You may be familiar with this sort of distinction.

One encounters it all the time in advertising. “Up to” to 40 times could be 40 times but more than likely is 2 or 3 times.

Maybe less.

As in, “You could earn up to $100,000 a month filling out envelopes at home!”

And you could. Anything is possible.

But probably, you will earn $10.

And the envelope-stuffing company didn’t defraud you. After all, they didn’t promise you’d earn $100,000.

They told  you could earn up to $100,000.

Remember this when you hear Uncles big and and small screech about VW’s sins.VW CEO

The other thing people haven’t had explained to them is that the “up to 40 times” thing is minuscule even if it were actually 40 times (and not merely “up to” 40 times).

How much is “40 times” a fraction of a percent?

It’s not a big number.

Or rather, a large volume.

That’s how you measure exhaust gasses. By volume. The diesel engines being crucified may emit fractionally more of the proscribed pollutant but their total output of potentially harmful pollutants is extremely small – as is true of all modern internal combustion engines, whether diesel or gas.

But this is particularly true with regard to diesels – which burn less fuel. And so emit less gas (all else being equal) than a comparably sized gas-burning engine. Which means their total output of whatever the at-issue byproduct is, will be less overall. Put another way, a 50-MPG diesel-powered car is inherently cleaner than a 30 MPG gas-engined car.

No one seems to be interested. Or care.

I’ve been trying, as an automotive journalist, to get the word out that literally 95-plus percent of any modern car’s exhaust stream is composed primarily of water vapor and carbon dioxide; that the diminishing returns being pursued at cost-no-object are the remaining 3-5 percent of the exhaust stream.VW graphic 3

VW is being mauled over this.

Rather, we are being mauled over this.

We are the ones who ultimately pay the price – in the form of diminished (or nonexistent) access to affordable, efficient diesel-powered cars. In the form of lost jobs (not just at VW; the ripple effects through the supply chain will potentially affect millions of people, ultimately).

And it won’t be you and I who pocket the fines filched by Uncles great and small.    

So – as the Latin saying has it – cui bono?

Who benefits?

I think we know the answer to that one.

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  1. Well, I’m to the point now where I wish the EPA, et al, would shit or get off the pot. Especially since the DSG trans in my TDI seems to have spit the bit last night. Now I’m kind of hoping for a buy back.

    • It’s official – $4k to put a used trans in my 09 TDI w/208K mi. Questionable value at best W/O the EPA cloud hanging over it.
      Went out last night and increased my slave debt, because w/o wheels, I can’t service the debt I already had.

      • Hi Phillip,

        Got-damn it. That sucks.

        $4k for a got-damned transmission… I think I’d roll the thing in the backyard and just start using it for target practice.

        • Well it is being rolled into the back yard, but I won’t start shooting (or tearing apart) until the word final comes in from the EPA. It’s got 2 nearly new tires, and only 5k on the timing belt and water pump, so someone might be interested in the engine at some point. Just probably not right now.
          And the $4k is for a used trans.

          • PtB, I was going to say, sounds like a good price…….for a new rebuilt or new transmission and that’s a good deal. A used transmission may have more miles than the one you have though, a no-brainer.

            But a good car is a good car. 4k for a new transmission, installed, with guarantee is fine in my book. I wouldn’t have a used one unless I got it for nearly nothing and could use my own jack to get it in.

            • They wanted $6k for a certified rebuilt. Didn’t quote me new.
              They did say the used one would be inspected, and lower mileage than the dead one. But 30 day warranty, or some such.
              And we’re talking auto, not Allison or some such. I know, those are surely Megabucks. But should also last Mega miles.

              • Madness.

                For $6k I could buy four transmissions for my Trans-Am. Or, do a complete high-performance teardown and rebuild of the 455, with new alloy heads and the very best of everything and have a 500-plus hp monster… and still have a good pile of FRNs left over.


                New cars suck.

                That’s all there is.

              • PTB ,man that sucks ,but it would probably last the car out ,these new nanny traps are getting so expensive ,sorta doubt if I will ever have another.My olod Dakota has range anxiety among other faults ,why in the heck didnt they put the CRD in those things ? .
                Ram has turned me against them by their marketing strategy ,all of us didnt want these huge tin blimps and another thing that got me was that the Hemi got better mileage then the 6,wtf? Piss poorengineering and I would be very afraid to buy another ,the Colorado is starting to look better all the time .

                • Kevin, if they’d put that downsized Duramax in a Colorado that would be the ticket but I’m not even sure what engines they include. I know from the very first ones though they have stuff like electric steering, not my cup of tea and I don’t care how much fuel it saves.

                  Still looking for an early 90’s GM I can fix up.

                  • Well 8 ,the 2.8 4cyl Duramax is supposed to be availible soon(even has a retarder included )
                    The early 90s GM trucks are almost extinct around here (the frames have rusted out )like to get a flat bed and make a GM pickup frame run to the southwest (bet there is some money to be made there, be a good run to prevent a “deadhead ”
                    We got good motors ,transmissions,mediocre sheet metal ,but no frames,wonder what a good GM frame from the junkyard brings?

                    • Kevin, I don’t know but I’ll check out some places I know with entire pickups that don’t run for all sorts of reasons, maybe too much ruined sheetmetal, entire drivelines robbed(common), etc. Hey, we might put a load together.

                      I’m having fits trying to find a manual transmission cab for a 6.5, few left that are for sale…..and I can’t find a good one for sale. Everything on mine is good except the body. Real low mileage on all the coolers, great running gear, new clutch, new a/c condenser and compressor and dryer, it’s a shame.

                    • Cant say that I have ever seen a 6.5 manual(most of the 6.5s around here were govt,state or fleet vehicles )pre Duramax ,the 6.5s were starting to get there .
                      I would love to see a flat bed come in with 20 or so cherry frames ,light surface browning,lets hold the thought a little while who knows,that would be awesome,rather then that vintage iron going through the shredder .(have to do some homework and footwork ) 40K retail on the new ones leaves a little latitude to work on the classics.I hope the new GMs have more rust resistant frames .

                    • “I hope the new GMs have more rust resistant frames .”

                      I don’t recall ever seeing one rusted out. The frame on my one ton is so big and thick I don’t see how it could rust completely out. I think I measured it’s depth at 10.5″

                      The dealership shop told me the newer ones(at the time, ’08, ’09’s, would never take what mine had. I believe it. Don’t think I’ve seen a pickup frame as large on anything.

  2. I just got a letter for my Golf TDI. Saying how my car is a dirty diesel and is illegal in Va. Funny thing, that’s only true in NoVa, but not in Southern Va. So if you get a letter from James B Feinman, Attorney at Law. . . I want to write him back and tell him he’s full of crap. From: http://www.dmv.state.va.us/vehicles/#emissions.asp

    “Emissions Inspections Requirements

    Your vehicle must meet Virginia’s emissions inspection requirements if it is garaged in one of the localities listed below:

    Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Stafford
    Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas or Manassas Park”

    These people are killing me.

    • But frenchy, they make big bucks killing non-state employed people. Would you deny them their high life styles? Just so you could live a little? Some people just don’t get it. They’re better than you….. and everyone else they don’t call “boss”……and they’ll go out of their way to prove it……

      When will people understand? If you don’t work for the govt., you’re just chattel….or cattle…..or just taxable livestock.

      • We are NEVER going to understand what is being done to us if we continue to focus on the government.

        In doing so, we act as if soldiers start wars, or police make laws.

        Both groups are just armed thugs serving policies formulated by economic interests.

        Government is just the tool. We must see beyond government, as in the EPA and all the other alphabet agencies. We must see the money mongers that sweep up our resources.

        Remember, there are very few millionaires from their government paychecks (including graft). There are lots of millionaires and quite a few BILLIONAIRS from the policies they originate, but which are enforced by guns carried on government personnel.

        The EPA is a very destructive organization, but they do not dream up the stuff they enforce. Their regulations come from economic interests that are all in the private sector.

        This VW mess is economic warfare, solely. It is not grounded in hating Germany, but in the worship of Lucre. I object to EPA actions, but I know that they are just the thugs of the money mongers.

        Our legal and regulatory system is nearly all about who gets money and from where. It takes enforcers to make this work and they are deified by government: First Responders !

        Right…while the police arrive at a bank robbery, the bank has relieved its depositors of many multiples of the pocket change taken by the robber. It’s the same thing with our automobiles and all sorts of other issues.

        Hanover County, Va

  3. Think of all the kids that will be burned to death because they were in gasoline powered vehicles. And especially all the third world kids that will end up in very used and abused vehicles previously owned by Americans.

    “Diesel fuel is safer than gasoline because its vapors don’t explode or ignite as easily as gasoline vapors.” Demand OSHA or NITHSA or whatever do something about gasoline vapors.


    • Not sure if you’re trolling or just ignorant. IMHO we should take all the ‘there oughta be a law’ types and throw them in the woods.

    • I’m with you George. Demand everything to run on crude oil. That would only take some really hefty batteries and big extension cords for those nasty coal fired plants but do it anyway, in the name of SAFETY.

      I know I’m playing once again with child labor laws but why not just dump power sources and do it the old fashioned way like the Flintstones did. Yabadabadoo! Now we’re talking safety….and the AMA’s most sought after schools would be podiatry. And of course they’d need their own roads since that horseshit is tough to get traction on.

  4. this is industrial sabotage on VW to help the rotten GMC communists. we are to believe the garbage american diesels are cleaner then VW?? GM never paid the loans back took the money built plants in messico and china and put their burden of pensions and benefits onto taxpayer and STILL have to have the govt try to destroy Toyota and now VW. almost 60 people died with GM cars and NOTHING happened to the rotten corrupt GM bosses

  5. Deserve to get caught…WTF ?

    Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God..

    Here we go again !

    All this discussion about VW, diesels and pollution:

    While we are fighting about the alligators, we are failing to drain the swamp. The forces of our problems love it when we focus on the minutiae and completely miss their agenda.

    I speak of the banksters and their sycophant camp followers. What we are seeing in this attack on VW is nothing short of economic warfare, not the purported environmental concern. Screw the environment ! That is all a rouse to destroy our economic and social fabric. Think about the nuclear waste stored on site, the mountains of trash (euphemistically called Mt. Trashmore in Va Beach), the use of Roundup on our crops, and the applications of Bio-Solids on land, and on and on.

    Never mind GMO…

    Hewey on the environment ?

    All of these issues devolve on and redound to the benefit of the financial thugs who run the US money system. They issue fiat money as debt, charge usury, and love it when any economic activity occurs. They keep the “profits” of their usury, and when default occurs with the principal, it is “written down” and added to the fake National Debt.

    Bell rings, next round in the UFC financial ring.

    Stop looking down at things like this VW debacle. Look up at the Money Mongers that two millennia were thrown out of their own house of worship for finagling the lucre.

    2005 Passat TDI
    1988 Citroën 2CV
    Hanover County, Va

    • Well-said, Jack!

      I’m not entirely sure what’s truly behind the jihad against VW. It may be a political vendetta against Germany; it may be the usual vengefulness of Uncle. In any case, it’s us – ordinary people – who pay the price.

      • Yes,it is a political vendetta.If you remember VW announced that it would build a factory in China to make real electric cars and not long afterward all this stuff with emissions started.Than a while afterwards there was an announcement that VW will build those electric cars in US.What do you know of this.
        Also do you not remember Blue Wagon which toured US that was getting something like 170 mpg.
        And how can you forget The awsome XL 1 which could get 320 mpg.That thing would need to be filled up two three times a year.
        This is what happens when you live in a fascist country ( corporations in control).
        It is funni that Europeans have no problem with same diesels in Europe.
        Just my opinion.

        • I said sorta the same thing. I don’t think it’s just one player though except if you want to look at it as the entire bunch of fascist marching to the beat of the shadow govt. that does the bidding of the elite.

    • Right on Jack. The only ones being ‘cheated’ were the EPA, which has no right to exist, if you believe the Constitution. And even less if you reject it.
      But “the financial thugs who run the US money system” – aren’t they just a subset of “the financial thugs who run the world money system”?

  6. My take on this was VW was to cheap to license the ad blue tech from Mercedes ,so they decided to cheat ,anybody that cheats deserves to get caught ,other companies can meet the standards,why not VW ? .
    You are mostly correct on the ICE engine emission fiasco,Diesels are said to ” burn air ” so they emit as much or more hot’ gas ” then a gasoline powered engine (ever wonder why the exhaust pipes are so huge on a diesel engine ) the land of the Diesel {Europe } is starting to phase them out in major metro areas because of the emission of things called “nanoparticles ” which have been linked ( more then casually ,to an increased incidence of heart attacks -believe or not there is science to back this up.
    aS GOES vw ,so goes most of the rest .I suppose ,there are good diesels out there ,but after watching the Powerstrokes around here ,I wouldnt have one unless ,I had to pull a load you shouldnt pull with a pickup to start with .
    .I for one think regulations on emissions are good unless they are ridiculous ,make of it what you will, most times cheaters are Bullies and I have zero respect for Bullies.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Yes, but the key thing here is just that – affordability.

      VW was the only company selling affordable diesel-powered cars.

      And now there are none.

      • The reason why the cars are affordable is because VW simply cheated the regulations and didn’t have to add additional equipment to meet emissions. While we may not agree with the regulations the EPA pisses on all of us (true pollution??), it is hard to refute the fact that VW committed extremely unethical practices, at best.

        Also, by using MPG between two different fuels in two different combustion processes to indicate which is ‘cleaner’ is extremely misleading.

        • “VW simply cheated ” – if they were cheating, they were doing so on my behalf. I never consented to the EPA.

        • dren,

          What is misleading? If I understand what eric is stating: Per distance traveled diesel is cleaner (as by number of pollutants emitted per distance traveled) than gasoline, since less diesel is burned than gasoline to travel an equivalent distance.

          To travel 100 hwy miles with a 2001 VW Golf TDI I would need ~ 2 gallons of diesel.(~49mpg hwy)
          To travel 100 hwy miles with a 2001 VW Golf 2.0L gas engine I would need ~ 3.6 gallons of gasoline. (~28mpg hwy)

          I do not have specific number of pollutants per fuel, this site from the UK:

          it would depend on which pollutants are a greater issue: Diesel is higher on particulate and oxides of nitrogen on a per/km basis. Gasoline is much higher on carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons on a per/km basis.

          The article below states

          New Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) petrol engines for cars emit more cancer-causing particles than modern diesel engines, a new study by independent vehicle researchers TÜV Nord revealed today.


          This may not be current if today’s GDI engines use a filter to trap the cancer causing particles.

          • So what is done with the particles collected? Do you empty them each day into the trash(wow, going into landfills, don’t tell anyone)? Or does the car go into the same mode as diesels and inject huge amounts of excess fuel into the particulate trap to “burn”(ha)them in a short period? What’s the advantage in collecting the stuff if it’s going to be released into the atmosphere anyway? It passes the short EPA cycle? Even though they know it wouldn’t pass if the cycle were long enough? Shit!

            • they get broken down into gov’t approved happy little (nano?)particles which go out into the wild and make rainbows and unicorns (or not).

              • Oh yeah, I’m such a ninny. I do enjoy the colors of rainbows and the groovy little unicorn farts, esp. right after a rain when you get them simultaneously. It’s a relief knowing they’re not a source of pollution.

        • Hi Dren,

          But who was cheated? Was it car buyers? How so? VW sold them great-performing, efficient and affordable diesels.

          Uncle may have been “cheated” – but huzzah to VW for doing so!

          The only thing I fault VW for is not aggressively defending what it did. VW should have explained that it did what it did to give buyers what they – rather than what Uncle – wants.

          I stand pat on the emissions aspect of it. No new car – gas or diesel – emits a significant amount of any harmful pollutant; further reductions will be very slight but very expensive. The low hanging fruit was picked years ago.

          We long ago reached the point of diminishing returns.

          • “But who was cheated?” Well, you know who they will claim was cheated – all those who thought they were being protected by Uncle/Big Brother/Nanny Sam -Clovers, don’t ya know.

          • I don’t understand why VW even fessed up to what they did, they should of just denied it. Did someone actually go through VW’s software code and find the “offending” code?

            • Hi Adam,


              But, I know the corporate mentality. It is – cave immediately at the first accusation of having caused offense to any political orthodoxy.

              “Clean air” is one. Here’s another…

              There is this racialist publication, “African Americans on Wheels” (How About “Honkeys in Hyundais”? Or perhaps “Jews and Jeeps”?) run by a race-baiter whose signature move at press conferences was to harass auto execs with manufactured grievances about the company’s supposed lack of sufficient bowing and scraping before the Black God – and the execs would reach down, grab their ankles and practically beg for more instead of telling the shyster to piss off and take a hike.

          • Have to agree with Eric on that ,if I do something that others may not like ,I will defend it till I am run off or fired . or be convinced I was wrong .If VW had a good reason to do it ,then they should have defended it and what Eric said about the Diesel VW s was true ,they are about the only affordable diesel cars you can get in the US ,I dont want to bear the cost of a Beemer or Mercedes . As far as the EPA is concerned,the POTUS CIRCA 1973, had a lot to do with that,after all he felt he was above the law .
            Someone mentioned that Europe had no problems with Diesels ,currently that is not true ,however any ICE engine will always emit something ,the question is what is a reasonable ,tolerable ,economically viable limit .I do know one thing follow a classic 63 Ford Falcon down the road and tell me what it smells like,then follow a 2016 Focus a ways and tell what car has a cleaner exhaust .

    • There are two main reasons diesel exhausts are so large – many diesels are quite large displacement wise (big motors need big intakes and exhausts) and most diesels are turbocharged which negates the need to size the exhaust to aid in scavenging (tuning effect).
      Lots of interesting info/disinfo out there on nanoparticles, one can draw their own conclusions….

      • DBB, another reason on big rigs is the “look”. Many cheaper trucks have a simple 5″ exhaust which I sometimes wonder if that’s enough but since it has a great deal to do with the DEF, EGR bs it probably isn’t an optimized solution.

        If you see a Peterbilt without twin 5″ or now, 6″ stacks from behind you might not know what it is from any angle except head on or to the side. KW is now even cashing in on the “look”, using the stacks in front of the sleeper instead of behind.

        Also, bigger exhausts are quieter than smaller ones, contrary to what many believe. Many of the larger engines bell out to a single 8″ right off the turbo that splits into two 5 or 6″ stacks and have no mufflers.

        I once had a DOT doing a level 2 inspection on my rig. The guy asked “where’s the muffler?”. I pointed to the turbo and said “right there”.

        I sometimes am forced to drive an Eagle with twin stacks(4″) and it needs the mufflers I’m guessing but probably wouldn’t with 5″. A Volvo I used to drive had a 5″ with muffler on a 400 Hp Cummins ISX that was quieter than any truck we had. We turned it into a dump truck with no room for a muffler. I wish it still had the muffler.

        When I say something needs a muffler, I’m speaking purely from an operator’s stance since whatever noise it makes outside I can’t hear is neither here nor there.

        Using an engine brake the larger pipe is a plus for less DB.

        Better cabs have resulted in fewer mufflers in equipment such as loaders, backhoes, graders, etc. The weight of a muffler is a strain on the entire exhaust system.

    • Kevin, one reason diesel exhausts are so large is there is no advantage in having a smaller tube to help bottom end torque like on a gasoline engine. Many performance cars have exhaust(and intake((throttle)) that effectively change size as the need of more upper band power is needed. This isn’t a factor for diesels since a diesel has the same size intake and exhaust, made for ultimate power and the only thing that changes to make more power for a diesel is simply the amount of fuel being delivered. When a turbo on a diesel spools up it’s because you are applying more fuel but the intake and exhaust sizes never change and don’t need to as a gasoline engine does. Everything’s a trade-off on a gas engine whereas a diesel is an engine made to run full on for the most part and without valve timing changes and the need to change the exhaust size to increase low=end torque and to increase full throttle(there’s that word again, throttle, something a diesel doesn’t have), the diesel simply uses the same size tubes since the only change is the amount of fuel delivered. A diesel doesn’t have a throttle as gas engines do. When you press on the go pedal for a diesel, you are simply opening a fuel supply whereas a gasoline engine is changing air intake, exhaust size and air and fuel ratios. It’s the reason fullout gas engines don’t need any backpressure, things such as dragsters.

      • Someone said gummint approved nanoparticles,actually I do not think the govt approves of such things (when you get to the world of the nano ,things are different ,these things can slip in anywhere.Probably the reason they are a problem now is because the strigent pollution controls create more of the same ,combustion in a diesel engine ,creates complex chemical reactions with problems unique to the app.I very much agree about the particulate filter nonsense(might keep the lungs clear and statuary clean-but uses more fuel)but I also remember back in the 60s living near a state route(not a heavily traveled one either)You could take your finger and write on the mailbox due to the soot coating and black grime on it .I think most people that live in LA are grateful for the EPA and its a shame we cant voluntarily clean up our act,been by Mt .Trashmore many times and the pile of crap will be there for many centuries,the obivous answer to all of this is less people ,the Earth like anything else ha a carrying capacity with provisions for a decent standard of living,As someone pointed out a lot of the profit evaporated for the owners of steel mills etc (and we had the cleanest ones producing the best product ) so instead of our cleaner ,well regulated mills ,we have the the factories in the Orient belching out filth into the atmosphere and turning the air opaque to satisfy our lust for commodities we scarcely need.Go look at the products produced in the early 20 th Century and contrast them to the plastic junk we have the option of buying nowadays (even the plastic gets cheaper )
        Thanks Eight that is a very good explanation,I used to shake my head at the Guys who on the endless quest for a little extra power would spend hundreds of dollars on their low rpm street machines most of the time they would just make more racket (but a small displacement SBC with a 2.5 inch exhaust sure had a sweet non offensive tone )anybody who wonders about the exhaust system fiasco should read what Bob Lingenfelter had to say about it.

        • “I think most people that live in LA are grateful for the EPA” LA is a unique situation due to the geography and the weather patterns. Maybe they needed to do something. But gunvermin solutions are always ‘one size fits all.’ Why should all the rest of us have to abide by the same standards?
          And regarding your comment about population, Kevin, Robert Erlich has been saying similar for about 50 years. And Malthus was saying it hundreds of years ago. The problem is that we don’t have a society free of gunvermin interference that respects private property. We have survived despite gunvermin, not because of it.

          • Eric had a good idea about the airbombs , PTB , of course you are right ,we have survived in spite of govt,Remember when the children of Isreal started having real problems ?It was when they elected a King ,I think it was through Samuel ,that God warned the Isrealites the problems that having a King would entail .

  7. Even for a major corporation, that’s a lot of coin. If the Feds are successful, it will likely mean der untergang for VW.

    Hopefully it will mean nothing more than VW saying “Fick dich!” to the Amerikan market, cutting its losses, pulling out, and focusing its marketing and development efforts on those (few remaining) parts of the world where it isn’t going to be taxed, regulated, sued, or legislated to death.

  8. I have to wonder if those other states have the same stringent emissions guidelines as California? Also have to wonder if the populations of those states would like to know their government is siding with California?

    I’ve been to Kentucky and New Mexico, and I don’t think there’s much love for California in either state.

    • It doesn’t matter. There’s always going to be some pointy headed lib money grabber who wants to rip the public to make a buck and impose his lib ideology on the rest of us. I would like to lock up these hyenas.

  9. I think VW should fight the validity of the EPA’s existence and open all of the Pandora’s boxes related to the federal bankruptcy of 1934/38. They have nothing to lose now, and they’re big enough that they might just win.

  10. People don’t know math and they don’t know science and they can never understand the intersection of the two, engineering which applies both.

    There is a federal emissions test cycle that has a standard which must be achieved. There is the real world driving done by other researchers where they measured the output of the regulated compounds. This test showed VWs to be unusually high. Down the road the cheat was uncovered. The media takes the result of the second test regime and compares to the standard of the first, the EPA standard. The screams 40 times!. No you fing government schooled morons, these are two different tests. You can’t compare the results of test B to the standard of test A! We have no idea what the standard for test B should or would be. It hasn’t been established. The work to establish it hasn’t been done.

    I assume by now VW has done the testing to see what happens in the EPA test with the cheat mode turned off. That data isn’t public to my knowledge. The EPA might not even have it. What is it? Probably in compliance with the previous standard. But they’ll never phrase it that way because people will shrug. Oh the cars meet the standard of the year 2000 or whatever. Most people will shrug say that’s not so bad or good enough and go on with their day. It can’t generate outrage.

  11. As long as the rent seeker Elon Musk is the benchmark for green, nothing VW does will be good enough. The government picked the winner and it ain’t small internal combustion engines.

    • Elon Musk? Isn’t he the guy who claims to have invented the Subway. Oh wait, the intercontinental subway! Is that the same one Gene Roddenberry showed in his show from 1973 called Genesis II?

    • Their market cap is $65.2 billion, and the projected US lawsuits are said to be in the $90bn range. Declaring bankruptcy is something they ought to seriously consider.


      German law apparently doesn’t allow class-action lawsuits, so they’re being filed in the Netherlands (EU law apparently allows this). Damages from these aren’t likely to be anything like the US suits – merely tens of millions.

    • Oh the fines? Those are liabilities of the old VW.

      Somehow I don’t think fedgov is going to allow that. To screw regular people sure, but to hurt their pockets? Not a chance in hell.

  12. Man…. I was checking prices on new VW’s here and they are practically giving them away! I bought a ’14 Jetta wagon for $19,200 & two years ago, and the same car is now just over $17,000!!! Rats! Bare bones 1.4 (is it turbo?) Jetta sedan was $14,600!!! Although 1.4L seems small for how large the Jetta car is. If it’s turbo, I guess that would provide enough power, but I’m leery of turbos in general. (Have turbos gotten any better regarding longevity?) When they first started coming out (in the late 80’s early 90’s they all stunk. Could hardly get 4 years out of one…)

    • Turbochargers have improved. Probably not to the extent that makes them bulletproof over the life of the vehicle but certainly light years better than the turbo variants of the 1980s. As GM diminished diesel’s reputation trying to make land yachts fuel efficient, Chrysler diminished the turbocharger trying to make small engines powerful.

      I’m skeptical of the long term results of squeezing big displacement power from tiny engines. The math sounds wonderful on paper but physics in the real world is a different story.

    • If you use full synthetic motor oil, run about 5k miles between changes, warm it before you hammer it, cool it after you hammer it, you can get good life from a turbo. I have an S4 with the 2.7 twin turbo and a 6 speed that I got almost 200k out of before an impeller went rogue and those were not easy miles. A lot of owners cooked theirs earlier, but usually by cheaping out on the oil. The heat a turbo produces cokes the oil in the oil lines at the bends, which leads to a slow build-up of sludge eventually restricting flow to the point of no return if the above advice isn’t followed. That said, turbos add complexity regardless of how well they’re taken care of and naturally aspirated is almost always going to be more reliable.

      • As an equipment operator and truck driver, I see engines go forever without any turbo problems. It seems to me car builders try to cheap out on cooling.

        There’s a reason that big rig blows black after a gear change. Their relief tube lets the turbo spool down just as soon as any amount of fuel delivery happens and then closes when fuel delivery is increased. They get “hammered” all the time but with huge intercoolers and exhaust cooling. They’re not crammed into a tiny space either.

        Two women showed me how they intended to destroy a Powerstroke one day. They had a really big trailer on a one ton dually and were hammering it down the highway and lost little speed going into a speed zone in town. They blew by me at 30 over, slammed on the brakes, whipped into a convenience store and turned it off. I pull up after they’re already in the store, highly animated and talking a mile a minute, totally unaware. I walked by the abused truck and heard it tink tink tink, just sitting there in the really hot Tx. air…….cooking.

        Look at a Banks setup on a truck and then the stock model and you’ll see the big difference in cooling of everything including the oil. Auto makers stuff all this into the same area as a non-turbo engine. Don’t worry, it’ll make it through warranty.

        While I totally endorse the use of synthetic oils, I rarely see equipment or big rigs using it. I recently looked at a new Detroit Diesel that had a nominal life expectancy of 1.2 M miles. That ain’t bad.

      • Hi DrOtto!

        My default on turbos is they’re fore diesels and high-performance sports cars… and a generally not-great idea for an A to B car, because they add complexity and cost. It strikes me as much more sensible to go with a larger displacement naturally aspirated engine, even if it (nominally) uses more gas.

        Actually, the turbo engines usually (my experience) use more gas. The whole idea being “on demand” power… means if you demand power, the engine is functionally the same thing as a larger engine and will use more fuel.

        • Eric,
          Not a gearhead, so please correct me if I’m wrong…
          Doesn’t the turbo spool up form engine exhaust? So, you need to rev the engine, to build the airflow, to spool up the turbo, to speed the engine to higher revs, to obtain the power increase.

          It would seem to me (and was backed when I had my WRX) that you end up using MORE fuel. The v6 Buick is normally-aspirated; it gets about the same mileage, better on the city side, than the WRX. (Don’t recall highway, but a full size LeSabre vs. a WRX? Hit 28 highway in the WRX, even 30 once! LeSabre I think is more like 25.Talking weight, power, etc – once the WRX was on the highway, it was gold. On the 95 corridor, or commuting to work on the PA turnpike…? No Fing good. Too much 20 mph and idle time.)

          Buick is more like 18/25, WRX was like 17/28 (peak, and the 30 was ONE time early on.)

          Anyway: You need to burn fuel to get the turbo going, to burn more fuel, to get the necessary power for acceleration.
          Normal aspirated engine, I push, it goes. Even with an auto trans and more mass, steel block. Even when it was choking on coolant. The Kia Soul stutters more (tuboed 4, IIRC.)

          So, long way about, the turbo adds complexity, decreases fuel economy, is generally mistreated by most people (myself included, and I know better), and yet the V6 has better pickup (torque) and HP across the spectrum, for minimal gains in fuel economy – which, for a city drive, disappears.

          If I’ve got the logic wrong, please correct me, but most people will end up in stop-and-go, commuting. I think that’s a BIG problem, and the tests never seemed to fit real-world use. (Car and Driver in the 80s and 90s is my basis; after reading their stuff, I found the cars never met their commentary.)

          Is that what you were saying in your second paragraph there, and I’m just too dense to get it? 😉

          • jean, a turbo is simply an exhaust driven supercharger but unlike a gear drive charger, it depends on the power you’re asking of it and has no parasitic draw(belt, gear). It is whatever you want of it, more power for sure but only what you ask for. It derives it’s power above the naturally aspirated engine by compressing the intake charge but once again, without the parasitic drive of a supercharger. It’s really the best of both worlds with only the sophistication(or lack thereof) of the system as being a potential downside.
            Keep your foot out and it’s nominal boost can save you fuel but heavy feet have the ability to make a great deal more power at the expense of more fuel(no free lunch). As I said in another comment, turbo’s are great when properly applied and if a car were originally designed from the ground up bodywise to be turbocharged, they’d be much more reliable just like equipment that’s used hard every day.

            The main problem is not large enough intercoolers, oil coolers and air flow around the engine and like someone else said, too sharp bends in some lines although they said in the oil lines. The main problem is in the blowdown line for the turbo where it should de-spool instantly when less fuel is sent to the engine and then re-spool as quickly as possible when fuel is given to it.
            Auto’s mostly use waste-gates for that and it’s a good thing but they don’t always work as intended and the main part of what I’m trying to say is they aren’t designed for that half million mile life they could have….or twice that if made properly.

            I could ride under the hood, as long as I stayed away from the exhaust on my extended hood Peterbilt and that’s a big plus when it comes to heat surrounding a turbo or simply having the correct amount of room for the proper coolers.

            Here’s an example of how you get proper cooling via two different designs. Volvo’s, which are pretty good trucks but nanny out the wazoo and designed originally for Europe aren’t well suited to construction work. Their coolers drop way down low in the front and not wide, good enough for a highway truck but it sucks for anything else. American made trucks, for the most part, have their coolers all above the frame, not as aerodynamic but much better for getting pulled and running over stuff. The new style cabs of all companies now have that same type of Volvo design for pure OTR trucks and it pays off with a very narrow front that acts as an air wedge but it sucks in getting to the engine and my other big gripe, being, sitting nearly over the front axle.

            Some 10-15 years ago Ford was designing their diesel pickups with coolers that dropped down beneath the bumper, a horrible idea for a work truck and a truck exposed to large animals such as wild hogs and deer and various livestock. My buddy at the body shop was making a killing on them though as a strike that should only have injured a bumper would cost thousands in coolers, a very bad design flaw they remedied with that new square “super-duty” look, another Ford boondoggle they used to play off the ignorant for sales, people thinking they were getting something extra heavy duty when in fact, they weren’t. There was a time when Super Duty meant just that. It was a 1.5 T version with a straight front axle and lots of big springs and brakes and the like meant for doing that heavy duty work beyond a one ton. In fact, they didn’t sell many as you needed a commercial license to operator one.

            • “you needed a commercial license to operate one.” – Well, legally anyway. The gunvermin required you to have one. I’m sure it wasn’t that much different from a ‘regular’ truck that Joe Sixpack couldn’t drive it w/o ‘special training.’

            • Thank you for the clarifications, 8South.
              I understood the exhaust gasses driving the turbo, but all the rest was missing in my understanding.
              For me – a leadfoot – normal aspiration would be better then. And would ensure a longer life for the engine…

              Things like the Ford fiasco there make me wonder about my fellow “humans.” I think that intelligent people have always had it rough… Something where “any idiot can see…” somehow gets overridden by a business decision, usually in the “saves 5 cents per hundred” sort of thing. Like putting an intercooler at bumper level, on a truck advertised for offroad service. Did that placement even save the designers money on pipe or tubing…? Or was the “planned obsolescence” part of the design consideration? Like making a washing machine that’ll last as long as the warranty, or until the belt breaks, whichever comes first. Meantime, 1950s washers need a belt replaced about every 5 years… $15 a pop or so, instead of $3,000 every five years…

              I think I know who was Caine and who was Abel in the parable. Cain is Clover. Vegetarian, meaning “bad hunter.” Rage for being Inferior while believing one’s self to be Superior. “Me Smart, me use ROCK to hit you.” Not even willing to face what is happening, the rock magically assaulted Abel from behind. It was an evil black assault rock, dontcha know…

              And allowing that sort of weakness in the pack or herd destroys the pack or herd. But humans, being stupid as a species, feel sorry for the weak and indolent… The incapable, deformed, etc. So we allow them to live, and reproduce, and now that we’ve all but repealed Darwin’s Law…. We’re drowning in The Stoopid. And it drags us all down further into oblivion.

        • You are correct on turbo thirst vs. bigger displacement N/A engines in the real world, but while we live in the real world, manufactures are building towards the EPA test world, which is where turbos are slightly more efficient under nominal acceleration compared to EPA nominally accelerated N/A engines. Uncle logic – never let the real world interfere with your delusions!

  13. Governments at various levels are the only ones defrauded here. And since they are not supposed to be players but referees, who cares?

    If I operated VW, since I am unable to let the market decide if what VW did was soo horrrrible, I’d simply cease doing business in the USA, take whatever jobs exist here, and do my thing elsewhere.

    • Too many stockholders and bankers and traders. Wall St. would shit a brick as well as the German govt. itself. The ramifications of all those dollars NOT coming in would be enormous. As is, they’re desperately seeking the least loss scenario. Heads have already rolled and there will be no end to it till a final resolution is had.

      I didn’t mention Americans unemployed since they could care less. There’s always plenty of those as well as the “tide” from that southern member of NAFTA.


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