Five Months In…

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It is almost halfway through 2016 and – still – no (new) diesels for you.VW lead

Not from VW, at any rate.

Uncle has still not given his permission for the sale of any 2016 model year TDI (diesel) powered VW cars. The entire inventory sits and waits.

Perhaps forever.

But another couple of months will be enough. Then it will be summer – with fall in sight, new model year-wise.

The 2017s will begin to appear.

At which point, the 2016s become like yogurt approaching its sell-by date. Good for buyers, perhaps – assuming they are allowed to buy. But terrible news for VW and its dealers, who will take an epic haircut that – by itself – could cause catastrophic financial damage to the German automaker. On top of that, there is the other problem – what to do about the roughly half-million “affected” TDI-powered VWs already in circulation.unhappy VW people

News reports say that Uncle and VW have come to an agreement of some kind. Very much in the way one comes to an “agreement” with the cop who “asks” you to buckle up. The details of this “agreement” will not be made public for months, however. Not until June 21.

Some details have leaked, however.

It looks like VW will be forced (whoops, agreed) to buy back – and crush – some of the “affected” cars… and perform (it appears) software tweaks to the remainder, such that they are brought into compliance with Uncle’s edicts.

It will be interesting to see just how many of the half-million cars will simply be crushed – with VW eating the cost.DEF pic

It comes down to whether a given car can be brought into compliance via the relatively painless (and not-too-pricey) reprogramming or even outright replacement of its computer, which controls the operation of the engine. Some cars will need to have major physical work done to them – for instance, installing a urea injection system in the exhaust, which also requires modification to the fuel system, as well as software/computer work). This looks to be too painful and expensive to be worth doing and so those cars will – apparently – be destroyed and their owners cut a check.

VW’s 652 U.S. dealers will be handling all of these transactions. You can imagine the paperwork.

And it’s the dealers who will have to deal with this even more so than VW itself. Each one is an independent franchise. When you buy a new car, it is technically a “pre-owned” car. The dealer you bought it from previously bought the car from the manufacturer (e.g., VW) and is now selling the car to you.VWs waiting

So, it’s the dealerships who will be refunding your purchase, or dealing with the fix-it.

VW – the company – will no doubt reimburse its dealers. But if VW should prove unable to absorb the cost… which is a real possibility, one that no one seems eager to discuss… then it is the dealers who will be left holding the proverbial (and very empty) bag.

Not to mention VW owners.

Their cars could be orphaned if VW retreats back across the Rhine and (eventually) meets its untergang as a result of all this mess. Parts grow scarce and expensive as the supply chain peters out.

It is likely their cars will be worth less as a result of all this. Damaged brands depreciate. And VW’s brand is badly damaged.

Remember: Uncle has unlimited resources (yours and mine, however long they last) while VW’s resources are finite.because Uncle

Uncle, of course, does not care about such things. He cares about compliance – at whatever cost.

But what if – let’s imagine – VW elected to not comply? Gathered the honchos and called a media fest and announced to the assembled press that its cars are in fact “clean” by any sane standard; that the point of diminishing returns with regard to further fractional decreases in tailpipe emissions was reached years ago and that the time has come for sanity or even just common sense…

That the sensible thing to do is build more 50-plus MPG capable diesels that are 97 percent “clean” at the tailpipe rather than more 40-MPG diesels that are 97.2 percent clean” at the tailpipe… and which cost more to build, on top of that.

Caving in to Uncle is not the right policy. It is exactly like apologizing – endlessly – for having made an off-color joke or “racist” comment. They will never forgive you. They will continue to kick you, the more you expose your belly.

The thing to do is tell them – pardon the French – to fuck off.

Uncle is not reasonable. His demands are unhinged and VW is foolish to think it can ever make peace with him.

I have a feeling that if VW manned up, the people would cheer. Look a Trump. Without endorsing his politics, his straight talk about unmentionable subjects has earned him an ecstatic following. Just imagine if a car company actually went to bat for buyers for a change, instead of being a cuk to the man in the red, white and blue. depends on you to keep the wheels turning! The control freaks (Clovers) hate us. Goo-guhl blackballed us.

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  1. Interesting news on the diesel front – Ford has announced their new EcoBlue engine. It’s a 2.0 turbo-diesel and will show up first on their Transit and Transit Connect utility vehicles.

    Oh, wait. This is Ford of Europe. Not Ford US. We get *nothing* in the way of new diesel motors.

    • Given Ford’s historical relationship w/Mazda, this may very well be the diesel that they have not even tried to sell in the US.

  2. Look deep into the April face
    A change has clearly taken place
    The eyes take on a certain gaze
    And leave behind the springtime days
    This ain’t no game of kiss and tell
    The implications how you know so well
    The time has come and they must go
    To play the passion out that haunts you so
    Remember love how it was the same
    We scratched and hurt each others growing pains
    And still I stand this very day
    With a burning wish to fly away
    I’m still looking
    Looking for the summer

  3. The sad thing is I was in the market for a new vehicle when this shit hit the fan.

    I was considering the tdi sportswagen. I wish I jumped on it sooner.

    Can I buy a tdi privately used?

    • Hi C_lover,

      Yup! No law – yet – against buying a used VW from a provate party. But if it’s one of the “affected” models, your state may require that it be be “repaired.” This may or may not be avoidable. We’ll know the details in June.

  4. We have no access to a store of value in our day to day transactions. Our wages are paid in trinkets. Our savings are denominated in trinkets.

    We are every bit as screwed in every transaction as the original natives once were.

    We will be easily herded to large urban areas because that is where the debt financing still flows. There just isnt much capital in the country these days.

    Nearly everything you can purchase with fed trinkets is itself a trinket that only has value if they allow it.

    Follow your family history sometime and see for yourself. Every generation owns less and less real property and more and more electro hydrocarbon frivolous trinket property.

  5. “Take traffic tickets. A broken California a few years ago jacked up the fines as a way to raise revenue (the majority of residents do not pay income taxes; the top 1% pays half of all state income tax revenue: the best and worst place to be an income taxpayer). Yet those who are most likely to be punished for unsafe driving or defective vehicles are often precisely newcomers without capital, without legality, and without familiarity with U.S. driving laws, and who would not or could not pay their fines. Suspending licenses as a result of unpaid fees soon became a political issue, with all the hallmarks of the modern social state. As a result, for a while longer, you can have up to 80% of your fines reduced, but only if you make less than a state-specified income. The law assumes the following: A state or local official understands that if he were to pull over an illegal alien, for example, he would waste his agency’s precious time and money writing tickets that either would not be paid or would be amnestied. Far better to target a soccer mom, who most certainly will pay promptly and help to pay state employee salaries and pensions.”

    Is this not the same beast?

  6. I’m a bit surprised that VW isn’t trying to negotiate the reclamation of these cars for other markets instead of having to crush them.

    They could run a program to ship them off to Canada or Mexico in their “as is” state and at least recoup something.

    • “I’m a bit surprised that VW isn’t trying to negotiate the reclamation”
      They probably realize that Uncle would not be amenable to such an idea. Which just further proves that this is about control and punishment, not health and saaaaaafety.

  7. It would be great if a brave politician would come out and demand that the EPA produce a single victim of VW’s “crime.”

    • Hi Jeff,

      Yup. And that principle ought to apply generally. Produce a victim in order to demonstrate a crime has been committed. If a victim – an actual person actually harmed – cannot be produced, then by definition no crime has been committed.

      • Yeah. I wonder where such greats like Rand Paul, Justin Amash and others are on this. They incessantly talk about “liberty” and such nebulous concepts as “auditing the fed” (which I agree need to be done), but never about practical stuff like this or bringing the TSA’s activity to light. That’s why I have stopped contributing to groups like the Campaign for Liberty. They aren’t campaigning for shit.

        • Ditto, Swamp.

          Why audit the Fed? This does not address the fundamental illegitimacy of the thing itself. Money should a fungible thing of tangible value like god or silver that can’t be inflated.

          • Very true, but that’s not what I’m talking about either. I agree that we should have silver money, etc. The issue is, though that most people are trying to make it day to day without being hassled. The end of it is, auditing the fed and substituting silver currency won’t take care of immediate problems like the diesel scam or the TSA or any other of the fed governments bullshit. When was the last bill to address these concerns? I’m sick and tired and sick and tired of these idiot politicians. That’s why I voted Trump this year. Not because I like or agree with him, but he represents a big middle finger to the establishment. And in the long odds he became president, you never, know, some of these issues just might get addressed through federal rulemaking. Reagan got rid of FMVSS 127 in 1982. That was the 85 mph speedometer rule.

            • Agree, Swamp… it depressed me perhaps beyond hope when the masses of this country simply accepted the TSA when it was trotted out. Weren’t willing to take the small stand of declining to fly, until the Blue Goon Squad was disbanded. All it would have taken was maybe 30 percent of the people who fly regularly to cripple airline revenue – and that would have been it for the TSA.

              But Boobus Americanus couldn’t be bothered…

              • Since the new rules went into effect in November 2010 forcing body scanners, I have flown 3 times. Prior to that, I flew 3 times a year or more. Each of those three times were necessary trips for business or for family emergencies. I still seethe with anger when I think about it. I want to deck the morons ahead of me and behind me in line. I always opt out of body scanners. Never take a scan. Never. At IAH, the TSA gives you a body scan and then they wand you after you have been through the scanner. It is thoroughly useless. It turns me red and then blue with anger

                • I read somewhere that Israeli security at Ben Gurion airport doesn’t use the scanners, because they are too easy to trick.

          • Eric – to me the purpose of auditing the Fed is to bring to light what they do, that very few of us know about. Yes, we need to abolish it, but that won’t happen until a lot more people get a clue.

            • Auditing the fed is a great idea, but the path to improving peoples lives after an audit isn’t clear at all. How about some congressmen and senators sponsor bills to get rid of the TSA, get rid of the EPA rules on gas and diesel emissions, rewrite the regulations on crash standards or do something that will immediately benefit the average American instead?

          • Theoretically, any money/currency can be inflated, including silver and gold. If the lost city of Eldorado were discovered or if the dwarfs took back their homeland, the amount of gold put into circulation would have an inflationary effect if other goods and services were not increased by an equivalent amount. I saw in a video that stated the silver the Spaniards were able to retrieve from Bolivian mines had an inflationary effect on the Old World. Precious metals can be inflationary. It’s just many magnitudes more difficult than running a printing press or depositing electronic $$$$$ in bank accounts.

      • Tackling this issue is like shooting fish in a barrel. One of our esteemed “libertarian” politician could easily point out that the diesels in question met the emission standards of the VW diesels that were sold in the late 90s to the mid 2000s. Many of these cars are still on the road. Were VW diesels sold during this period cause any human suffering? Also point out that the EPA arbitrarily decided to ratchet up emission standards (as they always do). The public did not demand these emission standards. They were decreed by unelected bureaucrats.

        By the way, it looks like Mitsubishi also shrugged

  8. I nearly bought one fo the evil TDIs last week. I’ve always liked them and drove the wheels off of a Jetta TDI wagon when I lived in Germany. The price was unbelievable but to be honest I’m very worried about what Uncle Clover will do. In any buy-back scheme I’m sure TDI owners will lose money. Any modifications would ruin the car and thusly I wouldn’t want them done. There’s no emissions testing for diesels where I live but I get the feeling that the .gov might deny you your Papers if you don’t get the car fixed. The car was $4500 off of the mid KBB price and in great shape. It’s a shame I have to even consider what the government might force me to do with my own property…then again I suppose that in Soviet Amerika no one really owns anything.

  9. My dad owns TWO vw diesels. A Touareg and a Porsche Cayenne. Rumor has it that there will be at least $5k compensation per vehicle on top of any buybacks plus the inevitable class action. He couldn’t be happier since he got screamin deals on both of them and is essentially getting paid to drive the cars.

    He agrees its all BS especially after I explained to him the details of the scandal. He is actually upset that he might have to turn them in since each vehicle averages almost 30 MPG’s and emits zero diesel odor. He refuses to do any sort of modification or “reprogramming” since it will cause a bug drop in fuel economy and performance.

    • Hi Pedro,

      It’s so sad, isn’t it? The gratuitous wastefulness, the stupidity of it all. It makes my teeth hirt to think of a half million excellent vehicles simply thrown away.

      • And they have done it before, with the equally stupid “cash for clunkers”. The low end of the used car market still hasn’t recovered from that.

        I know a few dealers near me that rescued a number of cars from the claws of the government by eating the cost of the rebate. One dealer friend recused a mint 1970 Buick Riveria that the widow of the original owner had brought in. She was amazed when he told her it was worth more the the rebate and did a regular trade in.

        But it took many serviceable 1990’s vehicles off the road long before they should have.

  10. Looks like divide and conquer from here.

    Dominoes set, then nudged.

    Qui bono?

    What can be extracted from Germany? Qui bono?

    That previous post re: GM et al renting, rather than selling cars?

    Qui bono?

  11. If they are down 44% and have to make any repairs to existing vehicles – they should shut down their American factories. You know, so Obama can give them a bail out …. 🙂

  12. If VW hasn’t got the gonads to stand up to the psychopathic criminal gang called US government, then its up to the owners to do so en mass. Just say no to anything that is not mutually agreed upon, which would include any kind of modification to my TDI. If necessary to evade the above mentioned predatory criminals, it seems there may be a nice business opportunity forging any “necessary” papers. In sufficient numbers with enough resourcefulness we can overcome them with near impunity.

  13. Crushing the cars is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. If they have to buy them back, part them out and wholesale them out to parts warehouses. People are going to be needing parts for their cars down the road. You can’t tell me the transmissions are worthless…and I bet those leather seats will fit in many other models. They ought to be able to recoup a substantial amount of their loss by doing something like that.

  14. It’s clear that US wants all carmakers out of business. This VW affair is just the spark needed to ignite the plan. Then US will have the total control of people’s lives which is what this is all leading to. Has nothing to do with emissions, fairness (none), justice, liberty (US want to take yours), protection of green agenda (oops, totalitarian control), and US’s way to wage war on everyone.

    US = Uncle Sam, Uncle Sucks, Utility Stolen, U Suck, Uncle Steals…….

    • “I simply can’t understand why VW simply lays down and takes it.”
      Perhaps it has something with the corporate origins under Der Fuehrer. Or maybe just conditioning.

  15. The ratchet strap of tyranny just keeps on a clickin’.

    I pardon you, Eric, but that’s not French. I don’t speak French and I can read and understand it just fine.

  16. We are just at the beginning of this “scandal” IMHO. And it involves nearly all of the automakers. But the scandal isn’t the automakers per say. It’s the regulatory bodies of the world, not just the US, that started it all and are the problem. Maybe if more companies are drawn into it, it will be exposed. But in this clover run world, it will more likely destroy a number of (smaller) car makers and make driving more annoying. The regulators will likely look like the good guys to most people……….

    In Japan, Mitsubishi has been accused of falsifying mileage claims. No, not by Japan’s “Uncle” (though he probably will get involved), but Nissan. But Mitsubishi stock price tanked when news broke. I won’t be surprised if Mitsubishi throws in the towel and quits the automotive business altogether to protects its other businesses.

    I am guessing nearly all of them are lying on something to get around some rule. Rules that have now become so ridiculous it may not be possible to even comply.

    When laws become so onerous, the respect for them goes away, and even ethical people begin to disregard them when they can. Have we gotten to this point yet? Doesn’t seem like it yet, but we are getting there because the screws keep getting turned in.

    It sucks that most people won’t realize it until its too late. And that the wimps at VW that now ask for forgiveness instead of backing those at their companies that decided to buck the system and put their customers first. At least there are some at those companies that were willing to buck the system, I thought those had been beat out of most of the large companies of the world long ago. So maybe there is some hope.

  17. Hey Eric,
    Something weird just happened. When I tried to post the comment below, I got a WordPress error saying I needed to enter a name and email, even though I was logged in. The fields to enter them in were not even showing. I had to log out, then back in.

  18. People are talking about buybacks like they’re going to give me the sticker price for my A3, or at least it’s going to automatically be the high-side price on That might happen, but my experience with dealers (who will be the ones estimating the “fair market value” of the vehicle) is that they’re going to offer the least they can get away with, and keep the price they’re going to get from Audi close to the vest. That’s what they do to maximize profit. I’m sure they’re going to offer a higher buyback price if I replace it with another Audi too. Never let a crisis go to waste.

    Uncle has completely screwed me out of my vehicle. I had planned on keeping it until the wheels fell off. Now I have an automobile that runs great, performs the way I like, and is paid for. There’s no upside to any action I have to take at this point. Any modifications done will reduce the performance of the vehicle, either by increasing maintenance costs (if the fix is to leave the DPF and EGR open longer or running all the time, for certain it will destroy things and reduce fuel economy). And now there’s no market for the vehicle, with exactly one buyer (VW). One buyer is not a market (see also: The defense industry).

    The way this should have been handled is to make VW pay a fine and that’s it. Just leave the existing cars alone. There’s no reason to get me involved. We’re talking about 500,000 vehicles out of 258 million. That’s 0.1% of the vehicles on the road. You can’t tell me that my vehicle (which, as Eric has pointed out time and time again has LESS stuff overall coming out the tailpipe) has ANY affect at all on the air quality of anywhere. It’s like pissing in the ocean. Even if you could really detect the increase in NOX, it isn’t like destroying a perfectly good vehicle isn’t going to have a much larger impact, along with having to build a replacement. I’m not going to stop driving just because the manufacturer did something epically stupid. Except that any replacement vehicle will get much worse fuel economy and emit far more stuff out the tailpipe. And no one will notice the difference, except me… I’ll be spending more time at the gas pump, and sending more money to the bank.

    • The diesel equipment to crush the car, or transport it, will emit more than the car itself would have throughout its entire life cycle.

      But it’s clear: The witch hunt is on. They’ve got Mercedes and FIAT now in their crosshairs. But clovertopians can’t see far enough ahead to figure out that this is just the beginning. Tomorrow will be gas cars. After that, hybrids. And then, yeah, you just need an electric and you WILL pay the electric companies to drive.

      • I often wonder if anyone in the mainstream or the drones I see driving Prius’ will ever realize just how horrid to the environment making the batteries for their cars are. Those same self-serving tweed munching government acolytes sneer at me in my diesel all the while their little Prius battery has and still is causing Earth rape ( full credit to Eric for the term “Earth rape”).

    • “The way this should have been handled is to make VW pay a fine and that’s it.”
      No, the way this ‘should have been handled’ is not to have been handled. The EPA has long since outlived its usefulness, if there ever was such. In fact, (sotto voce) the entire national gunvermin has outlived its usefulness, for there never was such.
      Federal, maybe. National, never.

    • I would say, just keep the car and stick to your plan of driving til the wheel fall off, if your doing that, resale value doesn’t matter.

      Just don’t let them do the “fix” if you are in a state that won’t give you a hassle about registering it. If your in a state that will, avoiding the “fix” will be much harder.

      • Well, there’s the issue. I don’t know what Colorado will do at this point. iLife in a county that doesn’t do emissions testing, so there’s that. But the state requires automobiles to be in proper working order (bad daytime running lights are a good way to draw attention from the Enforcers), so they could just declare the car undrivable until the modifications are performed.


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