VW Says: Thank You Sir! May I have Another?

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So why did VW “cheat”? Uncle?VW badge

That question hasn’t been asked enough. It ought to be.

Now we have the answer – confirmation of what I suspected and wrote about earlier when this “scandal” broke last year.

VW “cheated” because it had to.

Because “cheating” was the only way to keep on selling diesel engines that delivered the mileage buyers expected at a cost that made economic sense to them.

Satisfying Uncle – passing his Rube Goldberg-esque emissions tests, which among other defects don’t measure the totality of a vehicle’s output – grams per mile –  but rather sample parts per million (PPM) with the vehicle in a stationary test rig, would have entailed a noticeable reduction in fuel efficiency and a very noticeable uptick in the cost of the vehicle. Or rather, the cost of the additional hardware necessary to placate Uncle.

Now there’s proof of this.

European Uncles have discovered that diesel-powered VW vehicles “fixed” to comply with the tests use more fuel now – which is a problem over there because European Uncles also regulate carbon dioxide (C02), which is classified as a “pollutant” because Global Warming (whoops, Climate Change).VW TDI graphic

The more fuel used, the more C02 produced. You see the problem.

Which isn’t the displeasure of the European Uncles.

It’s the fact that you can’t have your affordable/high-mileage diesel cake and eat your making-Uncle-happy, too. There is a reason why there are no modestly priced diesel-powered cars available in the United States … now that VW’s cars are off the market.

VW was the only automaker selling them – and now, they’re not.

And not likely to, ever again.

You can make a diesel that makes Uncle happy. But you can’t make one that makes Uncle happy and which is also affordable to buy and delivers mileage high enough to offset the always-higher price of buying a diesel car vs. the equivalent gas-powered version of the same car.

This is why all the diesel-powered cars you can still buy in this country are expensive cars.VWs sitting

All of them well over $30,000 – which renders moot considerations of economy. People buy Audi, BMW and Mercedes diesels for other reasons, such as abundant low-speed torque and the ability to go 600 miles on a tank of fuel. But it’s ridiculous to talk of “economy” when the car itself costs so much that any savings you realize by driving it are negated by the cost of purchasing it.

It is worth a mention in this vein that GM has quietly stopped selling the diesel-powered version of the Chevy Cruze sedan.

Though it cost significantly more than its VW analog – the $21,640 Jetta TDI – the 2015 Cruze diesel’s MSRP of $25,660 was still plausibly affordable.

As Inspector Clouseau used to say – not anymore.

Not at all, actually.

The Cruze diesel sleeps with the fishes. And it’s not just because the car has been redesigned for 2016. GM is still selling the 2015 Cruze – leftover last year’s models – as the 2016 Cruze Limited.

But not with the diesel engine.

Because Uncle.

That leaves… no one.cruze ad

VW’s out. GM – which had its toe in the water – has pulled out. Mazda, which had planned to bring diesels to the U.S. – isn’t coming in at all.

And still, no one in the industry will say what needs to be said. That Uncle has made it impossible to sell affordable diesels by imposing tailpipe emissions standards – and tests – that are unreasonable and which cannot be complied with without watering down the main reasons most people consider buying a diesel-powered car.

The cars are not “dirty,” first of all.

The “up to 40 times” stuff you’ve been hearing the crows in the media squawk about is never put into context, never defined. “Up to 40 times” is a scare term, fundamentally dishonest – because it implies that the output is in fact “40 times” rather than “up to“… which is a hell of a spread.

What if the actual output of objectionable-to-Uncle stuff is just 2-3 times? And what if that “2-3” times more represents a fraction of a percent?creepy Uncle

Why can’t – why won’t – anyone in the car business call Uncle’s bluff and bluster on this? Explain the fact that the tailpipe emissions of news cars (all of them) are nearly emissions-free?

Literally.

The feigned wailing and gnashing of teeth is over percents of a percent … 95-plus percent of any new car’s exhaust stream having been rendered “clean” years ago. VW is accused of “cheating” on a percent of the remaining 3 or so percent of the exhaust stream that could – theoretically- be further “cleaned.”

The problem now is one of cost vs. gains.

To get at that remaining 20 percent of 1 percent (to toss out a number, or a fraction of a number) will not be inexpensive – or easy. The question that must be asked if we are not to leap over the cliff like out-of-our-minds lemmings is, simply:

Is it worth doing?   

By any sane standard, the answer is – no!

There comes a point called diminishing returns. It is the point at which people who aren’t crazy begin to throttle back, pursue more effective gains elsewhere.diminishing returns

For example, if we’re really sweating these minuscule emissions, why not relax the federal “safety” mandates that have made cars so got-damned heavy that even subcompacts now weigh on average 2,500 pounds?

Yes, they are “safer” to be in, if you happen to run into a tree. But they are also heavy and that means more engine to lug them around and that means you use more fuel and – wait for it – the resultant total emissions output of the car (grams per mile) will be higher, even if the PPM is low on the test stand.

All else being equal, an 1,800 pound car with a 1 liter  diesel that averages 60 MPG will produce less of everything (including CO2, Captain Planet) than a 2,400 pound car that needs a 2 liter engine to heave its bulk and so only averages 40 MPG.    

But we live in an insane – and cowardly era.kick me image

Despite the cruel experience of the past several months – absolutely no mercy having been shown, the company kicked in the guts like a cur dog as it writhes on the floor –  VW is begging for more.   

It caves to every ridiculous demand. Challenges nothing Uncle says. Leaves the impression that Uncle was right, that VW deserves to be kicked in the guts like a cur dog for trying to build cars that would be what buyers were interested in rather than what Uncle was demanding they be.

The likely result of this will be the ruin of VW, which maybe VW deserves – though not for reason of “cheating” Uncle.

Rather, for not having the balls to tell Uncle to pound sand…

And for not going to bat for us – the people who buy the cars.

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Childhood memories being what they are ,I love the smell of Diesel(old style) ran through a Jimmy or a Cat running well into upper normal (Heck I even love the smell of coal burning ) of course this means nothing ,some of the most stinking exhaust I have ever smelled come from a poorly tuned gas engine ,running rich.I guess its all bad , ,we will notice a general deterioation in air quality as the 50 fold plus in Chinese increase in their heavy industries and auto population.
    Air pollution is a noticable fact of life and the simple fact is that are too many of us,when traveling you can notice how much sweeter the air is from the catabatic flow from the peaks and ridge tops.
    Air quality in major urban areas has gotten better as a rule , but even in the country there will always be some jerk trying to burn a couple of tons of plastic and old asphalt shingles by dumping gallons of used motor oil on them(it smolders for days and its bad )have a neighbor down over the hill who used to do this(we finally had a meeting of the minds on this subject)Our little piece of paradise is strongely Luddite(about anything that would help the general population,jobs etc) but nobody says a word about the so called “Luxury Cottages ” which will only make things worse on the rest of us.At the western foot of this ridge called “Warm springs mtn ” Truckers take note ,I predict along with the so called ?”security lights” blazing and polluting the Dark sky ,there will be a sign up lower speed limit and use of Retarder (engine brake ) prohibited.I dont like the wussies and greedy people ,I was here first so I think that maybe some of these Clovers could maybe accommodate me a bit,sorry about my dis jointedness

  2. Cruze Talk…

    The Chevy Cruze Diesel bits the dust thanks to Uncle Sam
    I thought I would post this article.
    Pretty sad. Would appreciate comments.

    What an idiot. That’s my comment.
    We have known since June 2015 that there will be a MY2017 Cruze diesel. 1.6 litre displacement.
    The guy who wrote that claptrap obviously doesn’t know how to use google.
    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story or espousing some illogical ideology.
    This, ladies and gentlemen, is what’s wrong with journalism today.

    The CTD met all the standards and was under that fool’s magic $30,000 figure. I suspect the real issue is it was a very low volume car that it simply wasn’t economical to build and sell. Supposedly we’ll see a new Cruze diesel in 2017 that runs a slightly smaller engine, but because the car itself is lighter the HP to weight ratio will actually be slightly higher.

    There’s a real simple reason NOx emissions are regulated – they are one of the two main components of one of the two primary types of acid rain. The other being water. Europe’s remaining forests have been all but killed by NOx based acid rain. Those forests are the “public common” and as we know from the “Tragedy of the Commons” you need to have someone enforce rules on “common” usage or it will be destroyed. Government is unfortunately the rule enforcer for the “common”.

    Time will tell. I also was under the impression that GM is planning on a 2017 CTD. They have a diesel Colorado on the market right now…so, this guy is not telling the truth either. Or is just ignoring the fact that since VW won’t sell any diesels in the near future, all affordable diesel is dead. Personally, I think the author is FOS…or is being paid by VW to make VW look like a victim.
    –That article reminds me of…
    “Quote Originally Posted by Abraham Lincoln
    If it’s on the internet it’s true.”
    Tomko, chevrasaki, MP81 and 1 others like this.

    Personally, I think the author is FOS…or is being paid by VW to make VW look like a victim.
    I can’t see that being the case. He doesn’t seem like a very reputable blogger.

    Meh,
    Read the article, smells like self serving B/S to me……whats with the go fund me sheat?
    The only thing the guy figured out was 2015 was the last year the diesel Cruze was marketed but since GM planned on the Limited being a short run, and there were enough Cruse diesels in the pipeline at the current sales rate, why make a 2016?
    Makes sense to me.
    The 2016 V2 Cruze is now in the pipeline for a short run as well……the 2017 build begins the end of August….so no economic reason for a 5 month build that includes the new diesel……and the expense that comes with certification.
    Chevrolet has never even hinted that the diesel option for 2017 would be changed, so………
    IMO, fear not…..the certification process for the 2017 standards likely has been completed, all the various component suppliers are geared up.
    This writer strikes me as a VW guy who has neighbors/acquaintances busting his bawls every time he starts the car.
    I have an acquaintance with one and I bust his nutz without mercy every chance I get……yuk yuk……kick a guy when he’s down say I.
    Anyways….chill for five months…..this will be a great time for Chevy to drop a clean sheet, emission COMPLIANT automobile to the diesel buying public.
    Rob
    __
    I don’t know. According to this it looks like back in January of this year there was already talk of one diesel being dropped in 2017 for the very reasons Eric was talking of. 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatch Diesel May Not Happen | GM Authority
    I have a friend that has a 2002 diesel Jetta that was stickered for 49 mpg on the highway, and he claims it gets better than that. Since then they don’t get such good mileage….wonder why? If such diesel cars getting such good mileage are supposedly a threat to the environment, maybe we shouldn’t have any of them and stick to gas cars…even though comparable cars burn more fuel?
    I guess his harsh tone merits such a response, but is their no merit to what he says?

    The diesel Cruze hatchback was never slated for production…..still isn’t.
    The hatch will be built at a different assembly plant and that plant does not currently have enough flexibility for multiple drivelines……IE, all the muckety muck that a diesel requires……different trans, wheels/hubs, all the emission hardware.
    Add to this, Chevy ‘Believes’ there is a market to justify offering the hatch in the U.S.
    If they are correct, and the hatch adds market share and does not steal sedan sales, along with respectable ‘Take Rates’ for the diesel, they may reconsider the diesel powertrain installed in the hatch.
    Probably be two years after the sedan diesel hits the streets if it was to happen.
    Rob

    There is no merit as there is no truth. He is full of bluster and half-truth. He should probably run for congress or something.
    The hatchback will not be diesel because it will not be assembled at Lordstown where the diesel has been assembled previously.
    We know this. This sad excuse for a journalist should probably stay in his mother’s basement. Or learn how to use google. But he’s a VW fanboy so there’s probably no hope in that.

    I don’t know. According to this it looks like back in January of this year there was already talk of one diesel being dropped in 2017 for the very reasons Eric was talking of. 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatch Diesel May Not Happen | GM Authority
    Keep in mind that the hatchback is being built in a different plant. Gearing up two lines for diesel is twice the work. I think they want to see the response to the sedan before doubling down on diesel.
    Edit: or for that matter, what the response to the hatchback is.

    And is there no merit in his statement: “For example, if we’re really sweating these minuscule emissions, why not relax the federal “safety” mandates that have made cars so got-damned heavy that even subcompacts now weigh on average 2,500 pounds?Yes, they are “safer” to be in, if you happen to run into a tree. But they are also heavy and that means more engine to lug them around and that means you use more fuel and – wait for it – the resultant total emissions output of the car (grams per mile) will be higher, even if the PPM is low on the test stand.
    All else being equal, an 1,800 pound car with a 1 liter diesel that averages 60 MPG will produce less of everything (including CO2, Captain Planet) than a 2,400 pound car that needs a 2 liter engine to heave its bulk and so only averages 40 MPG.”
    I’m not sure I know the answer…except I’m glad I bought the 2014 Cruze Eco. I think it is still the most efficient version of the Cruze when sticker price is taken in regard. I paid $18,500 for mine. I believe a diesel could beat it out in the future if they could get the price down. If they ever did…I would buy one. But I’m afraid something like the 2002 Diesel Jetta is a thing of the past.

    Huh. I didn’t even pay attention to the guy’s name. Eric Peters is not a small-time blogger. I’ve worked with him before, back when he was in charge of the Compuserve CARS forum. He definitely has a government critical slant, and that’s what he’s really writing about. To some extent, he may be right. If the Cruze diesel was selling like hotcakes, do you think GM would have taken a year off? How hard would it have been to do a 2016 Limited?

    And is there no merit in his statement: “For example, if we’re really sweating these minuscule emissions, why not relax the federal “safety” mandates that have made cars so got-damned heavy that even subcompacts now weigh on average 2,500 pounds?Yes, they are “safer” to be in, if you happen to run into a tree. But they are also heavy and that means more engine to lug them around and that means you use more fuel and – wait for it – the resultant total emissions output of the car (grams per mile) will be higher, even if the PPM is low on the test stand.
    All else being equal, an 1,800 pound car with a 1 liter diesel that averages 60 MPG will produce less of everything (including CO2, Captain Planet) than a 2,400 pound car that needs a 2 liter engine to heave its bulk and so only averages 40 MPG.”
    Hmmmm, how so? What he’s saying is everything is a trade off. If you’re worried about global warming, then you should be worried about CO2 per mile (which is pretty much MPG). A heavier car is going to have lower MPG. So is the balance point between safety and global warming?

    Huh. I didn’t even pay attention to the guy’s name. Eric Peters is not a small-time blogger. I’ve worked with him before, back when he was in charge of the Compuserve CARS forum. He definitely has a government critical slant, and that’s what he’s really writing about. To some extent, he may be right. If the Cruze diesel was selling like hotcakes, do you think GM would have taken a year off? How hard would it have been to do a 2016 Limited?
    I’ve read his stuff before and I’m no expert on Eric Peters but I found his stuff interesting…over my head at times…so I’m not overly confident about being supportive of him.
    I didn’t post the article to diss Chevy diesels and put in a plug for VW. I’m just expressing a concern that I would be interested in a diesel if it made economic sense for me…but at this time I’m convinced my 2014 Chevy Cruze Eco is still the “sweet spot.” I hope that GM will find a way to stay in the game and that they can come up with an affordable diesel.
    Some of the posts here got me to research this a little. I came across this article that seems to confirm that GM may be dropping the diesel all together. I will have to research it more…but here it is for anyone interested….General Motors Quietly Stops Production of Cruze Diesel in US | TheDetroitBureau.com

    Well I guess a Libertarian like Eric and myself would argue, “Let people chose, rather than be forced to lose mpg for safety we don’t want.” Why can I still buy a motorcycle, but not a light 2500 lbs Chevy Cruze…with a few less airbags? That is part of the argument I see him making.
    The part I don’t understand is all his talk about emissions output…grams per mile. I was hoping somebody would see some merit in what he is saying there and explain it a bit to me. It does seem higher diesel mileage could offset some of this higher tailpipe emissions. Forgive the amateurish verbage. I would be interested in some thoughts on that though.

    What an idiot. That’s my comment.
    We have known since June 2015 that there will be a MY2017 Cruze diesel. 1.6 litre displacement.
    The guy who wrote that claptrap obviously doesn’t know how to use google.
    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story or espousing some illogical ideology.
    This, ladies and gentlemen, is what’s wrong with journalism today.
    Excellent analysis @Tomko , but more accurately:
    ” Never let the TRUTH get in the way of a good story or espousing some illogical ideology.”
    There is is no basis for EricPeters to say that Chevy and/or Mazda has pulled the plug on their diesels, although Mazda is now 3 years late to the party.

    Hazlitt – I’m a liberatarian myself. But what this Eric fool is spewing is circular arguments that attract a particular mindset.
    He is a carnival barker. You are a part of his audience. You can choose to sit – or to walk away.
    But do try to develop some critical reasoning skills to make up your own mind and not phone it in by blindly believing him or coming here because you’re not sure.
    Do you believe everything that trump or Hilary say?
    From what I have read…and I shared the sources…it looks like there will be no diesel Cruze next year. And Eric Peters is encouraging us to ask why. He makes some valid arguments.
    I would like to have the freedom to purchase a car that is less complex and therefore less expensive and lighter and with a diesel. But that choice seems to have been taken away from me.
    I don’t see you addressing anything Mr. Peters wrote other than making quite a few ad hominem arguments. So I don’t know what to say.
    Until we the consumer speak up, I’m afraid our choices will become fewer and fewer.
    It’s worth contemplating.

    From what I have read…and I shared the sources…it looks like there will be no diesel Cruze next year. And Eric Peters is encouraging us to ask why. He makes some valid arguments.
    I would like to have the freedom to purchase a car that is less complex and therefore less expensive and lighter and with a diesel. But that choice seems to have been taken away from me.
    I don’t see you addressing anything Mr. Peters wrote other than making quite a few ad hominem arguments. So I don’t know what to say.
    Until we the consumer speak up, I’m afraid our choices will become fewer and fewer.
    It’s worth contemplating.
    Ad hominem – you’re probably right. But you did ask for was comments – and that’s exactly what I gave you.
    But as a libertarian you already know that it is the legal system in America that has driven the weight and cost of cars up.
    In a country where you can get $h!t-faced and get into your airplane and fly it into a mountain killing yourself. But then your window successfully sues the aircraft manufacturer because no where did they write in the owners manual that you probably shouldn’t fly it while impaired.
    Being a libertarian means taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. It means not blaming others or the big bad government for your inaction or human inadacquaies.
    Just like being a conservative means to exercise care and caution when using things like money, resources (including human resources) and the environment. But if you only listen to Fox News you only think that being a conservative means voting republican, secretly moving jobs to China and strip mining Africa.

    The part I don’t understand is all his talk about emissions output…grams per mile.
    Ok, it’s a different way of measuring the tailpipe emissions. PPM (Parts per Million) is like a percentage – what percentage of the exhaust is a pollutant. While grams per mile is talking about the raw quantity of pollutant. For example, a moped has a terrible exhaust from a PPM point of view. Very dirty. But it’s so small, the quantity produced (and the net impact on the environment) may be less than a “clean” full-sized pickup.

    Sounds like time for a history lesson.
    In the 1970s Europe and the US both realized they had an air pollution problem. In the US it was NOx emissions, which are the main component of the brown haze that sits over large cities and the major source of acid rain which was killing the forests in New York and New England. Europe decided their problem was with COx emissions. The result in the US was a cap on NOx emissions while Europe started capping COx emissions.
    Gasoline engines have lower NOx emissions but higher COx emissions.
    Diesel engines are the opposite with lower COx emissions but higher NOx emissions.

    • Because of the initial emphasis on NOx in the US diesels never had a real chance here. They were more expensive, louder, and dumped out a lot of soot. In Europe gasoline engines became the underdog because part of Europe’s response to COx emissions was to give diesels major tax subsidies relative to gasoline engines. In addition, Europe’s higher population density also makes Europe noisier than the US so the extra noise of the diesel engines of the time wasn’t as noticeable.
      Now fast forward to the 2000s where the US and Europe are starting to push lower emissions standards on NOx and COx. Gasoline engine technology has improved, largely thanks to the Catalytic converter and cleaner burning engines, to a point where COx emissions are almost non-existent. NOx emissions have also gone done due to improvements in combustion chamber management. Diesel engines, on the other hand, are just starting to go through the learning pains of reducing NOx emissions. During this time period senior VW leadership made the decision to turn on a special test mode for static emissions testing so their diesels can pass emissions tests. VWs then turn off this mode when the car is actually moving, allowing their diesels to pass emissions and not pay a performance and fuel efficiency penalty while on the road. GM decides to go a different, but more expensive route and use a newer technology that uses urea to chemically combine with NOx to reduce NOx emissions. Diesels have also benefited from improved combustion chamber management so their COx emissions have been lowered.
      Added to the regulatory pressure against diesels in the US was GM’s aborted diesels of the 80s and you can understand why GM chose to only produce a relatively small number of CTDs. The CTD is, at it’s corporate heart, a demonstration and test vehicle for passenger diesels in the US. I guarantee everyone else, including VW, has been paying close attention to the GM Cruze CTD experiment. If it does well, and we don’t know what the definition of well is here, we’ll see a second generation of Cruze diesels as well as other car manufacturers bringing diesels to the US. If you don’t think VW, Ford, FCA, Toyota, Honda, et. al, haven’t all purchased a CTD and torn it apart for study you’re smoking something that’s only legal in a few states.
      Those of us who remember the advent of the Catalytic converter should recognize the teething pains of a new emissions. These have shown up in the form of a high rate of sensor and other failures. Catalytic converters also had a high component failure rate for the first few years.
      Bottom line – GM built two experimental cars on their Delta II platform – the Chevy Volt and the Cruze CTD. The Volt experiment was obviously deemed a success – look at the second generation Volt. We won’t know the outcome of the Cruze CTD experiment until the 2017 model year.
      The argument that governments are killing the diesel passenger car ignore how European government regulation gave diesels a competitive advantage. Government subsidies in Europe created the environment where diesel passenger cars became economical (relative to gas) while the US, without those subsidies, never saw an equivalent boost for the diesel passenger car. Europe had actually started to reverse the subsidies for diesels – VW’s actions have simply accelerated this reversal.
      For those of you who say “what about diesel trucks in the US?” I say trucks in the US have far higher pollution limits than passenger cars have. This is a result of how trucks were used in the 70s and the fact that the auto manufacturer’s lobby has fought tooth and nail to prevent light duty trucks, which include SUVs, from being classified based on how they’re advertised and sold

      • Thanks Tor,
        whether people want to admit or not a lot of this fiasco has to do with emissions and there is another people are not considering(a bit more on that later ).
        I have noticed here in the Appalachian highlands we are losing tree species at a rate that isnt mere coincidence,there is simply to much junk being spewed into the atmosphere .Everything is relative ,some will argue that its insects and stuff like that destroying the trees ,yes,but the root cause is the soil chemistry being affected by the acidity of the soil(which causes more metals to be leached out and absorbed by plants,which weakens them,most metals are toxic to plant life) and it goes on, the root cause is too many people wanting a good standard of living .
        Back when people wanted a decent diesel pickup ,Ford motor company grudgingly started co production with Navistar (International ) what people had to suffer through with in those days,Ford apparently didnt really want to do it (and they seem to still have that mindset ) I think that this Diesel resistance is another one of the reasons that its so hard to get a decent one now,the gas engines now have good economy as well as old diesel power (of course the diesels have improved correspondingly too ) what I am really trying to say is this ,economics drives the market place first ,then govt mandate second.
        As far as Erics politics go ,I for one would follow Him into the maw of danger,I endorse and respect most of what He represents,nannystate chokes us so we need to be ever vigilant (who watches the watchers ?)
        Besides Folks , if you really want a simple last forever Diesel truck ,get a 50s something and put a mechanical injected 4BT in it(good luck with getting license though) seen this yellow studebaker tooling down interstate with a slight diesel plume behind it ,wonder what He or she had on board . Its doable people ,go for it .

  3. Yep Eight its true ,anybody with a nose can tell the difference ,I have pumped diesel that smells like asphalt .Good kerosene doesnt smell that offensive,some of these OTR trucks smell like smouldering motor in the exhaust .It makes me wonder ,have we burnt the quality oil stocks already ? Gasoline sure doesnt have that pleasant aroma it used to.The interstate now smells like shellac .

    • Kevin, I too have noticed a strange exhaust smell to new trucks, more like gasoline exhaust. I think it has something to do with the Blue DEF. I think DEF means “before we put this shit in, it ‘did everything fine'”.

  4. “Why can’t – why won’t – anyone in the car business call Uncle’s bluff and bluster on this? ”

    Fear and intimidation – they don’t want to be the next shakedown victim. Nobody wants to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

    • “Fear and intimidation” – including the irrational fear that if someone – anyone – stands up to the gunvermin,it will collapse and we’ll end up with anarchy! (Gasp! The horror, the horror!)

    • “Nobody wants to tell the emperor….ANYTHING !”

      April 9th is right on top of us. This is the anniversary of the biggest spanking every administered by Uncle, at Appomattox. That lesson is not lost on corporate America and hence, VW. Kick sand in my face, Uncle says, and I will ruin you. Or worse, my uniformed thugs will kill you.

      We are nearly underwater in Fascism, and this is well known to business, government and some regular folks. Hence, the emperor still wears the crown.

      Lastly, all this is propped up by the Fiat Money people. They make unlimited funds available to Uncle, all the while every financial transaction redounds to their enrichment.

      VW is the latest Goat. Global Warming and its illegitimate red head stepchild, Climate Change are the modern version of the Geocentric view of the universe. Shake hands with Leo XIII. Don’t go along with the prevailing consensus reality, too bad !

      The first big resistance to Uncle cost in excess of 800,000 US lives, ruined a giant productive sector of the US for 100+ years, and gave birth to the government that now drives VW into the ground, if they do not play ball.

      Still do not remember April 9 ? Think 1865 !

      Hanover County, Va
      2005 Passat TDI
      1988 Citroën 2CV

      • Great comment. Demonstrates you understood everything Eric was explaining in a general way, and then you added a dissertation that explained how long these very types of insanities have been being inflicted on this populace.

        Someone will have to find a way to reduce the aromatics in diesel exhaust.

        It’s that sour smell of diesel exhaust that enrage the clover. On some simian level, he is sure gas is better because it burns without much odor.

        There is no reasoning with clover madness. Like Zaius inPlanet of the Apes, once he knows something that isn’t true, he will never uncover this error. You’re only chance is to find a solution that works while also not upsetting the clover Zaius’ “wisdom”

  5. “carbon dioxide (C02), which is classified as a “pollutant” because Global Warming (whoops, Climate Change)”

    oh you are SO hopelessly behind the times.

    it is now EXTREME WEATHER.

      • don’t get overly accustomed to that term, Eric, it will be supplanted by another soon enough. Just about the time some intelligent folk wake up to the new scam and begin calling it what it is.

        • Hi Tionico,

          Yup.

          Incidentally: I’ve been reading a biography of John Adams and several times, mention is made of “extreme” weather.

          No evil cars or utility plants back then, though.

          Maybe it was the wig powder?

          • Dunno, but the latest I’ve seen on der TV is….
            New “bad medicine” lawsuits…
            Drum roll please…
            TALCUM POWDER can be linked to ovarian cancer.

            Methinks the damage from wig powder became genetic, and has been inherited ever since… Congenital deformity of amygdala, frontal lobes, and total lack of a spine….

    • and they’re trying to use the same tactic to disarm the law abiding masses, too. Except that enough folk are aware, and standing up and saying NO WAY.

      How much more of this carp will it take before folks begin standing up to the cretins in the EPA and callling for reform?

  6. Few have mentioned this anywhere, but my suspicion is that the crappy diesel fuel sold in North America is the reason for VW’s decision to cheat. I work for Mazda at a very low level and speak only for myself, but I’ve heard suggestions along these lines as one reason the Skyactiv-D diesel has not been brought to this market.

    North American diesel fuel cannot legally be sold in Japan or Europe because of its poor cetane rating. Roughly speaking, cetane is to diesel fuel what octane is to gasoline. Diesel fuel here needs to have a cetane rating of only 40. In Japan it’s 45. In Europe it’s 51. Even the state-run PEMEX diesel fuel in Mexico has a higher rating at 48 (though legally the Mexican requirement is also 40). Higher-rated diesel fuels are available at a few stations in North America, such as 50–cetane at Southern States co-op pumps in Virginia, but all the truck stops typically sell is 40.

    So a car company has a diesel engine designed to use the better diesel fuel at home, only to discover that the US–spec fuel is lousy. Emissions controls and engine software were designed around a much better grade and cannot readily be made to work on a fuel with a 20% lower cetane rating. I’ll bet that was VW’s problem. As was said in statements to the media a couple of years ago, Mazda could meet US emissions laws with the Skyactiv diesel, but it did not have the desired driveability. Well, here’s one probable reason (in my opinion).

    You have to wonder how much better fuel economy and how much lower pollution would be among big rigs if US diesel fuel met the European cetane spec.

    US gasoline isn’t much better. In Japan and Europe the Mazda Skyactiv-G gasoline engines use a 14:1 compression ratio. In North America the spec had to be reduced to 13:1 because of our 87–octane regular. Crappy fuel requires ugly compromises.

    No one I know at work seems to be enjoying VW’s predicament. No, instead the word “cringe” comes to mind…

    • A dozen years ago, my cousin(RIP)and I went to Mexico to visit friends and family. Bofus being truckers from old, the first thing we noticed was the smell of the exhaust from the trucks. It smelled like kerosene…and that’s what it was, #1 fuel instead of the shitty stuff we get in the US. i’ve always bought #1 when I could find it even though it’s more expensive. It’s a tune-up in the tank.

    • “my suspicion is that the crappy diesel fuel sold in North America is the reason for VW’s decision to cheat”
      Interesting theory. There may be no way to prove it, but I for one find it reasonable and even likely.

    • I’ll go along with that theory. I know there’s a big difference between fuels at different filling stations, and it manifests itself in MPG. I got very excited when I saw that our local Costco has diesel, until I filled up and lost about 3 MPG on their “bunker fuel.” Meanwhile, the Kum-N-Go has higher prices but a much higher cetane level and that translates to higher MPG than anywhere else. For a while the local Kum-N-Go was in a price war with the supermarket gas station (which is somewhere in between) and I was getting the best of both worlds.

      There’s no requirement, nor motivation, for posting the cetane rating at the pump (and I’m sure many stations just use whatever comes in the truck), so it’s mostly trial and error for the consumer. I know better than to ask the clerks about it, I’m sure they know nothing about such things, so it’s all hit or miss.

      • Eric_G, I fuel nearly every day. Since I’ve been doing the same type of hauling for a while with the same trailer and being as close to 40 tons as possible, I think it’s possible to sort the good from bad. There is a glaring loss of .5 mpg using the T/A fuel that has a “as much as 10% biodiesel” sign compared to a place that does not.

        I realize .5mpg isn’t a deal breaker for people with pickups or cars but 6-700 mile per day and 120-140 gallons of diesel it begins to deplete the cookie jar.

        • point five mpg difference when you’re likely getting maybe five MPG that’s a ten percent hit on fuel mileage. Almost exactly the same hit I get with my big Ford 7.3 Powerstroke when I get the cheaper biofuel. Just as with the Uncle Stupid Imposed alcohol mandate… ten percent EtOH results in a ten percent drop in fuel mileage. And Uncle Stupid is mad at VW? Whatzit gonna tayke to dump those goons?

  7. Hey, how about you make a film documentary?

    “Who killed the diesel car?”

    It can delve into the bullshit trade protectionism of Uncle and the reasons for it.

  8. Sure enough, it looks like Chevrolet’s inventory tool can’t find any 2015 Cruzes and the 2016 Cruze limited has no Diesel class.

    Fuck you, GM, Fuck you right in the ear.

  9. An example of a company that did things right was Mobil Corporation in the 1970s. Mobil launched a multi year public relations campaign against price controls that were in effect throughout the decade. They remained in effect long after Nixon lifted his ill conceived wage and price controls in the 1970s which caused shortages of many products to include paper, textiles, and oil. Of course, with the oil crisis, oil companies were blamed for the lions share of it. A good number of people were under the notion that the oil companies were part of some conspiracy to keep prices high and shortages going until they got their way. There was large public resentment of the oil companies during that period. Mobil sought to counter it. See here. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324251504578581962396194832

    Instead of cowering to Uncle and somewhat misguided public opinion, Mobil Corporation launched a nationwide public relations campaign against price controls. As a result, long term public reading and consumption of the “advertorials” as they were called resulted in a meaningful change in public policy. I am convinced that the ads were at least partly responsible for the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, who decontrolled oil and gasoline as his second act as president.

    Mobil took advantage of the political climate to affect policy to their perceived advantage. The car companies needed to take a page from that playbook a long time ago. You can’t underestimate the power of advertising and getting the word out. Mobil had teh platform to do it. The car companies could have spend some of their advertising budgets on putting out ads to counter what has been going on for 4 decades.

  10. They can’t raise taxes on diesel fuel because the trucking industry would raise hell. They’re losing tax revenue on all fuels because efficiency is up and miles driven are down (although cheap fuel this summer could change that). Short term solution? Get rid of diesel automobiles. That way Uncle can increase gasoline taxes and keep diesel tax low for “the economy.”

    If electrics ever get past the technological limitations, look for Uncle to come up with a surcharge/tax on electricity. Might be a second meter on your charging station, or more likely a tax on electricity used above a set average amount based on some made up statistic. And a whole army of bureaucrats meddling in your affairs to make sure you’re paying your “fair share.”

    • They can’t raise taxes on diesel because there’s a depression that the MSM won’t speak of but everybody feels, or at least, most of us feel. When the banks slammed that vault door to the oil patch shut a year and a half ago, it resounded all the way through the country even though the govt. won’t admit it. Peabody Energy among others is going bust.

      And the truth of trucking is very few ever make more than a living and it’s a hard one to boot. I carry my phone from room to room and have it with me outside at all times. Somebody might call and need me to haul something and I don’t take a chance I’ll miss it.

      All my owner/operator friends used to ask me why I didn’t own a truck. Cause I’m old enough to remember when you couldn’t make a living with one and not just once.

      When that money supply died, I walked away from Step Child glad it was paid for and I didn’t own it. It’s sitting right in front of me, fueled up, tires aired, full of lubricants and ready to go. Yesterday I was told I might get a call today. tick tock tick tock

      • I’ll be damned. I got that call not five minutes after the comment. Just a day and a half job but another one right behind it and maybe start on drilling pads next week. No, it’s not love, but it’s not bad.

      • “there’s a depression that the MSM won’t speak of” – and why is that, do you suppose? Because no one among TPTB, but especially the Fed, dares admit that the great “Bailout” did not work to end the recession of 2008 that they had brought down on all of us.
        Just look at how they keep jiggering the employment figures. They say unemployment is down, because they don’t count those who have settled for underemployment or part time, just for survival. Let alone those who have given up. You don’t count as unemployed if you are not ‘actively seeking employment.’ But look at the total employment numbers from 2007-2015, and then consider the increase in population.
        I am still employed, but have only had 1 raise since 2008. And that one only because the boss took pity on me and gave me enough of an increase to cover the initial increased insurance cost due ‘Pelosi Care.’

        • Of course Keynesian ‘Bailouts’ never work, because they are just a larger dose of the poison that caused the problem in the 1st place. If Herbert Hoover had reacted to the Crash of ’29 the way Harding did to the ‘Panic of 1921,’ (i.e., doing nothing) it might have been over before he lost the ’32 election to FDR. Franky Boy ran on a platform that Hoover had been mistaken in his actions, then once he got to 1600 Penn. Ave, he doubled down instead. Thereby extending the ‘Great Depression’ which did not really end until WW II ended and wage and price controls were lifted. Many think ‘the War’ ended it, but it just masked some of the symptoms. E.g., when you take a million men out of the productive work force by drafting, it does funny things to employment numbers. And the wage and price controls masked the production shortages

          • Right as rain PtB. Just the number of people who haven’t been able to pay their probation and have been incarcerated, as if that’s going to put money in their pockets, is simply staggering. Just yesterday I was reading how so many probation officers are simply revenue collectors who admit to such(I already knew this)and their main way is of course, threats of jail. Of course a probation officer is supposed to help find their probationers jobs but they don’t. I haven’t had one do anything FOR me, To me, yep. The best one I had simply let me do what I wanted as long as I paid up. They always have a program to collect more by letting you buy your way out of community service that a judge always throws in for more dollars. We traded food bank donations for community service, something we did at least once a year anyway. We give to a home for boys too since that’s a really good cause……boys who simply aren’t wanted, not orphaned, which is really sad.
            But govt. doesn’t count those who have been taken out of the system while trying to find a job.

            • No surprises there, 8. I used to subscribe to Downsize DC, but not of ‘my’ representatives give a rodent’s rectum how I feel about anything. So I no longer waste time emailing to them.

    • They are already working on taxing cars by the mile. Oregon has a ‘test’ program in place. This is surely the future, and will eventually replace the gas tax. Or maybe they will have both! If there is one thing govt. excels at, it is figuring out new ways to fleece the rest of us.

      • I would not object to paying by the mile – if the roads were privately owned. And the charge/mi. was based on the weight of my vehicle and thus the amount of ‘wear and tear’ I put on the roads. But it better also be proportional to the amount of time/mi. I have to spend on said road.
        I object strenuously to the gunvermin having access to all my travel records.

        • That is the difference between statism vs. the profit motive.

          Most people don’t know the difference. They only see the corrupted statist-cronyism we have today and most blame is set on the profit motive, not the statist system and it’s crony that are creating the problems.

          In a true free market system, abuse and outright fraud of your customer base would result in severe consequences. It would also make corrections far faster then any statist court system.

          Its quite simple, how much to provide good service, and a profit. Period. Varied fees for varied vehicles and miles run. If the cost are too high, adjustments are made or the company goes broke and goes away.

          A government owned road wants to collect fees. Period. The road itself is immaterial, just a means to collect. Favored groups will get better rates then the not connected. So you end up not collecting enough to even cover maintenance in some cases (like the Indiana toll road which lost money for decades under state ownership). So the user ends up with something that is of poor quality, only insuring no one will be willing to pay more. Because they will never get more, no matter how much the cost goes up.

          The statist will always abuse the information it collects on you too. Why, because it needs too, since no one trusts it, and they need to be able to see when you are trying to abuse it back a little.

          The only reason why there are so many scams now a days is entirely due to the statist crony system. They create the “criminals”.

          Its the easiest way to make a living for many people. You can get away with it for a long time if you know what your doing or if your connected. And it may be the only way to make a living due to the bottom scraping economy. You may not even have a real “choice”.

          Probably the only reason why its not worse is that most people still have some moral left.

          Imagine once that is gone. It’s going to get really bad when people start getting desperate.

    • My local electric company already has the second meter for your electric car. Right now other rate payers (known as chumps) are paying for that electric (it currently “free” to the electric car owner), but they really don’t have to do anything to start up fees etc for those meters. Just start charging fees (maybe the “electric” would still be “free” even).

      Though a meter tax on the electric used, since different vehicles would get different mileage, would be a somewhat less of a privacy loss then the by the mile tax, many are proposing. Though all they have to do is compare registered vehicles vs electric consumption. Only incompetence would prevent that comparison.

      I am guessing by the mile will be difficult to do, and there are still privacy proponents out there that will fight it. And the states will fight over who gets to collect when and how.

      My guess we will end up with drastically higher license plate costs on all types of vehicles (since it would also help get more low income motorists and nominally used hobby cars off the roads). They will even be “nice enough” to spread out the payments, to monthly since most people would not be able to pay a lump sum once a year. Since we have been conditioned so well to accept monthly payments, even ones horribly not in our favor.

      • “Only incompetence would prevent that comparison.”
        You do realize we are talking about the gunvermin here, right?

        • That would be the only reason why they WOULDN’T know, their own incompetence. They would need a good computer system, and government sucks at IT.

    • Supposedly Tesla will loose its subsidy because they will sell more than 200000 cars, assuming the pre orders pan out.

      • Hi George,

        I am looking into this one. Initial info is that each one will retail for about $35k – so about the same as the Volt. Or, from another perspective, about the same cost to buy as a Lexus ES or BMW3.

        To me, this is still oxymoronic economics (leaving aside the functional issues). What is the point of a $35k electric car? It can’t be “saving money.”

        So… what is it?

        Being “green,” I guess.

        But how is that any different than buying a Porsche because it makes you feel cool for some other reason?

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