It’s Not Just VW…

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Usually, when a Porsche gets permanently parked it’s because it’s a treasured museum piece –  retired from heroic deeds on street or track (sometimes both). But the 1,500 Porsches that have been sitting for the past year-plus have been idled by Uncle.

1,500 brand-new but no-longer “new” 2016 model year Cayennes will eventually be sold (perhaps next year sometime) at a discount – as used cars – when Uncle finally gives Porsche dealers permission to sell them.

With Porsche dealers (and salesmen) eating the loss.

These are Cayennes powered by 3.0 liter diesel engines, marked – like Hester Prynne  – but with a scarlet “D” instead of an “A” for having cheated Uncle’s emissions tests. They join the entire fleet of diesel-powered 2016 model year VWs (Jettas, Golfs, Beetles and the Cayenne’s VW stablemate, the Touareg) that have been indefinitely idled by Uncle.cayenne-diesel-composite

In addition to the 1,500 brand-new Cayennes that never got on the road, there are another 10,000 or so 2016 (and older) Cayennes that are on the road – and soon to be taken off. In order to be “fixed” in exactly the same manner as one “fixes” a male puppy.

The puppy will never be quite the same after he is “fixed” – and neither will the “fixed” diesels, whether Porsches or VWs (there are about half-a-million of those).

Keep in mind that no one has been harmed by any of this. Regulatory standards have been affronted, that’s all. Porsche – like parent company VW – did the equivalent of making an “illegal” U turn at a deserted intersection in the middle of the night. Against the law, surely.

But a technical foul and no more.ayatollah

A reasonable cop wouldn’t even bother – or (at most) give the “offender” a warning. But the EPA – the federal agency (where, under the Constitution, do agencies get their lawful power to legislate?) which sees no humor in anything – and forget behaving reasonably – does not do warnings. That no one was harmed by this “cheating” business cuts no ice. There must be punishment! Off with their heads!

Meanwhile, how about the harm caused by EPA?

I’ve already written about the billions in fines that will come out of our pockets, ultimately. We being the people who own VW stock, or work for VW or a supplier of VW or who will pay higher local taxes because tax revenue that would have been raised from VW has been disappeared via the economic damage imposed on VW, which is to say on us. The new car and engine designs that will never see the light of day because R&D money that would have gone toward that end now goes toward Uncle’s end.


But let’s consider the effect on – yes – “clean air.” The thing the EPA’s ayatollahs insist they are preoccupied with.

How much more fuel will be burned overall as a result of the EPA’s excommunication of VW/Porsche/Audi (yes, them, too) diesel engines? Does it occur to the EPA’s ayatollahs that an engine which burns let’s say 10 percent less fuel will emit a lesser volume of exhaust gas overall? And – here it comes! – if the difference in noxious emissions between two otherwise similar engines is only fractionally higher, but one of the engines uses 10 percent (a whole number) less fuel and its exhaust volume is a whole number less, then its overall output of whatever the “pollutant” being screeched about is (oxides of nitrogen, in this instance) is – to put it in scientific terms – not a very big deal.uncle-pic

Meanwhile, the overall reduction in exhaust gas volume (and fuel used) is.

The diesel-powered Porsche Cayenne was (emphasis on past tense, as when speaking of other extinct creatures) capable of almost 30 MPG on the highway, the driving environment where diesels excel particularly. Those who own or regularly drive anything diesel-powered will already know that – as opposed to almost all gas-engined cars – diesel-powered cars routinely exceed the EPA’s rated mileage figures. I can personally attest that the TDI-powered VW Jetta and Passat could deliver 50 MPG on the highway, vastly superior to the real-world mileage any of these cars’ gas engines. This goes for the Cayenne’s gas engines, too.

In any event, even if you use the EPA’s official numbers as your basis for the math, we are dealing with whole number improvements in fuel usage, diesel vs. gas. Double digit whole numbers.

As opposed to the fractional, infinitesimal, picayune, how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin “cheating” that VW/Porsche/Audi is “guilty” of.  The “up to 40 percent higher”… of a fraction of a percent’s difference.

It is … a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury… signifying nothing.

Well, that’s not exactly right. It signifies economic destruction on a vast scale for the sake of nothing. The human cost of this idiocy is incalculable.

Maybe someday, someone will care.

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  1. A few years ago I read about an American who took an extended European vacation with three friends in a rented VW diesel. After some driving, they were floored that their heavily loaded car was still getting around 70 miles per gallon. When the guy got home he went to his local VW dealer with all the specs and said “I want one of those.” No can do, he was told — Uncle won’t allow such high-mileage vehicles into the country because it would cost them too much in fuel taxes. So it’s worse than just having idiot bureaucrats in this country — we have idiot bureaucrats in competing agencies working at completely cross purposes and both of them costing us a fortune.

    • That sounds like me waiting for my car while touring the VW showroom in Stuttgart (Vaihingen). Seeing all those cars and just shaking my head, knowing that I cannot own any of them in the US. Wanted to get a Toyota HILUX (diesel). Nope. So many nicer cars over there in Europe.

  2. Congress set them up and Congress can destroy them with no funding.
    How do you go about firing a bureau?
    The two most needed to fire are the IRS and the EPA as it is currently set up.
    Can even a President fire these people off the job and replace them?
    I think we are about to find out, because the President-elect does not have any friends in either agency that I know of.
    There are things these agencies neglect to report to the public.
    In the case of the EPA it is likely the balance of gases in the atmosphere is changing and it is not good.
    In the ancient past this has happened. IF you have too much Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere then the temperature of the planet evens out all over the place. Suddenly enormous amounts of frozen water become available in the various oceans around the globe. We might be looking at a 60 foot difference in sea level somewhere down the road if all those gallons of water from Antarctica suddenly become available in the oceans.
    All because CO2 actually conducts temperature much better than oxygen does.
    Volcanoes have been known to export vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
    But 40,000 cars in a typical city going only forwards to work and back again might cause much more CO2 in the atmosphere plus Carbon Monoxide as well.
    It compounds rapidly.
    The only answer I have ever come up with for this is to use the same cars to convert CO2 back to oxygen. The engineering is the hold up. Even if that is possible, the balance may swing and temperatures at the poles might go far below zero F. The temperatures around the planet will also fall.
    It is damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.
    The damage to the rain forests of South America also contribute to the problem.
    There might come a time when we have to oxygenate our homes just like we air condition them and just like we heat our homes in winter. Otherwise the atmosphere itself might become unbreathable.
    The good news and bad is that nothing is going to change overnight. It takes time for all of the changes to occur and it will take time to bring the atmosphere level of oxygen back up.
    Currently I think the EPA has numbers they are not releasing to the public concerning what is going on with our atmosphere and probably for good reasons.
    For instance: if our scientists can predict when the critical oxygen will disappear it may be as little as 5-10 years from now. No one is talking about that.

    • Bullshark! CO2, BO2. It’s no threat whatsoever. This CO2 scare gives govts power. That’s all there is to it. The planet ebbs and flows, and there’s not much we are doing to it. Those hacked East Anglia emails proved that this whole climate stuff is nothing more than BS. And most O2 comes from the oceans, not the forests.

      I think I’m gonna go drink some DDT and poop cracked eggshells.

      • Hi Frenchy,

        Yup… the C02 con is just that… a con. A particularly devious one, too. Real emissions can be dealt with in one way or another. But C02 is a function of combustion and respiration and the only way to “control” it is to limit or eliminate combustion and respiration.

        I’ll buy in when I see the Dear Leader and other such trading in their armored limos for bicycles.

        • We have detailed sunspot records going back 400 years which show a close correlation between sunspot activity and Earth temperatures. A few years ago the actual mechanism was discovered and confirmed: More solar activity blocks incoming cosmic rays, which are what create the trillions of water droplet nuclei necessary for clouds. Less clouds=warmer climate. Quiet sun is the opposite: More cosmic rays enter the atmosphere, more water droplets form more clouds, the planet gets cooler. Now add to this the current research showing the sun to not be the nuclear furnace we were told, but is actually an electromagnetically created plasma discharge or electric arc powered by the staggering amount of electricity flowing in filaments called Birkeland currents through the universe. When this flow varies, the sun varies, and Earth’s weather varies. Humans, and CO2 have NOTHING to do with it.

          BTW, the sun is now extremely quiet. Enjoy your icy blast of Arctic air next week.

  3. What would happen if they were converted to Propane fuel instead of diesel fuel?
    Wouldn’t the pollution numbers disappear completely?
    The only problem with Propane is availability and if they are using barbeque propane then that is not really that much of a problem to exchange tanks.
    It would require testing. It would require the alterations needed to fire it up on propane instead of a liquid fuel.
    At some point, the gas stations would have to start providing an easy refuel situation. But it might be pollution free 100% of the time.

    • Korea has been doing this for decades. Europe has been selling it as well. The work is already done. The main problem will be govt bureaucracy wanting to weigh in and those who would stand to lose dinero going to Congress *itching about how this readily available fuel is, “Oh so dangerous! Think of the rear end collisions!”

    • djohn, I’ve driven propane powered vehicles my whole life. The conversion is simple and cheap. Although propane doesn’t contain the same amount of power per gallon as gasoline, it does burn cleanly. Cleanly enough I’ve gone 20 years at a time on one set of plugs in my 4020 John Deere propane tractor. The engine are so clean they seem to last forever and the oil stays clean for a long while. The problem with tractors and other equipment is the engine needs to be larger than a corresponding diesel for the same power. This might be solved by turbo-charging although I’ve never seen such except for propane kits added to diesel pickup engines for increased performance and mileage(so they say). But propane just recently cost me fifty cents more per gallon than gasoline so I’m in no hurry to change the car over. Back when propane was cheap cheap, it was a good deal in some peoples eyes. The only conversions I ever saw that lasted for any time without engine problems were the GM pickup engines that had sodium filled exhaust valves. Other brands tended to need valve jobs frequently. Of course that wouldn’t be a problem for engines designed to burn propane but that fifty cent hicky is certainly a problem.

  4. God I hate the EPA. Owner of a 2012 VW Golf TDI. Wrote the court in this case to demonstrate the stupidity of the EPA’s findings, and to throw the case out…but to no avail. I guess showing them that cow farts and cow manure are the greatest NOx offenders was not convincing enough.

    Drove to my uncles’s place for Thanksgiving with four people in the car. 614 miles on one tank of gas. I think that’s about 41.5 mpg. Discovered that somewhere between 60mph and 65mph was the sweet spot for maximum gas mileage. 70-75mph started to eat it.

    Still ticks me off that when I would be in the VW showroom in Stuttgart, GE, to see cars that got 60mpg (Up!), and a van called the Transporter, that would never see the light of day over here. And then there was the Amarok, and all of those variations of the Golf. 🙁

    I’m keeping my VW. Screw the EPA.

    • “Government is not reason or eloquence, it is force! and like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearsome master.” — George Washington

  5. Yes, this whole VW/Porsche Dieselgate is a travesty. Nobody disagrees.

    But how many more articles beating the same dead horse do you plan to write?

    If we can’t have more new car reviews, how about some fresh rants on new and different topics? 😉

  6. Dear Eric,

    Please quit insulting Ayatollahs. They are acting in was that they think are commanded by God (or Allah). Unlike the ditlows at the EPA, they do not consider themselves, gods.

    Keep up the otherwise good work.

      • I love it when so-called “conservatives” who claim to value property rights get up in arms over flag burning. Whose flag is it? If I buy one at Wal-Mart do I not own it? Do I not have the right to treat MY property as I see fit? When they start shouting about “our flag” it reveals their collectivist soul to which they are clueless.

        Now, if I take your flag and burn it I should be prosecuted. The scream about desecration but, kneel to this

            • Some of that Rothbard explains in one of the on-line videos I have seen. To paraphrase Oldsmobile, “These are not your father’s conservatives.” At some point, the old-line was replaced by the neo-cons. As he says, the great bulk of their theoreticians were ex-Communists and ex-Trotskyites. Throw in rich ex-CIA folks like Bill Buckley, and things change.

              Freedom and Liberty? They’re all for it. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

        • There’s this guy off of I64 East right after you get off of I295–where I295 merges into I64E–that has this huge Confederate flag. It used to fly by itself for a very long time.

          Now, he’s got what I think is a POW flag along with it, as well as…wait for it, a thin blue line flag. Good Grief!

        • Mark, if you burn my flag you owe me nothing if I say so…..but even at that, I can’t imagine a flag so valuable I’d demand recompense and certainly not incarceration. My prosecution of you would probably be a cold beer(for bofus) and an admittance I understood your angst.

          If I demanded restitution for everything I’ve had take from me I’d have extra roofs, parts of houses, many acres more of land, guns, knives, cash and too many other things to remember although I’m owed 3 lives and may take them or not….at a time of my choosing. But a flag? Hell, I have one I’d give you and you could do anything you should choose…..after all, it’s just a piece of cloth and some grommets.

    • Many of the regulators and their followers believe they are doing divine work. There are many faithful in this religion just as there are in any other. The number who grasp the scam are relatively small as always.


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