A Sea of Forlorn VWs

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Thousands of “cheating” VW diesels bought back from their former owners sit ruefully outside the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan.

And now, there’s trouble.

The Silverdome, the former home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions and host of countless monster truck shows, is in violation of Pontiac’s building and safety codes, zoning ordinances and municipal code, in part for the storage of used cars on the lot, according to charges filed this week.

The complaints, first reported by the Oakland Press, were filed against Silverdome owner Triple Investment Group, based in Detroit, in the 50th District Court of Pontiac.

One of the zoning ordinance violations includes not having the necessary permit to park or store vehicles on the outside of a building.

Thousands of VW and Audi models with diesel engines are being stored on the north and west parking lots of the stadium in Pontiac, north of Detroit. Each vehicle is tagged: “This vehicle not for sale.”

VW said it is confirming with its “service provider” that all permits which allow the vehicles to be stored at the Silverdome are up-to-date, per their contract.

“We have not admitted responsibility to any of the citations,” said attorney J. Patrick Lennon, a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, which represents Triple Investment. “We recognize the city’s positions and have been actively working with them. At this stage, we are both currently trying to reach across the table rather than pound on it. We hope a resolution can be reached in the near future.”

As part of a sweeping settlement with U.S. regulators over widespread emissions violations, vehicles equipped with VW’s 2.0-liter TDI diesel engines have been repurchased from owners, removed from dealerships and stored at regional sites.

“These vehicles will be held and routinely maintained until it is determined whether an approved emissions modification becomes available,” VW said in a statement. “If approved, the settlement allows Volkswagen to modify affected 2.0L TDI vehicles so they can be returned to commerce or exported.”

Vehicles which aren’t modified will be crushed.

The company said it’s removed about 25 percent of 475,000 2.0L TDI vehicles from the road in the nearly fourth months since the buyback program began.

VW pleaded guilty this month to felony counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and introducing imported merchandise by means of false statements for its emission-cheating devices.

Seven VW executives have been indicted because of the emissions violations.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. It sucks that they likely won’t be allowed to export those cars. If they ended up in the third world, they would likely last far longer then they would have here. At least they would be used instead of wasted.

  2. What really pisses me off is that Trump could stop this crap in its tracks immediately with a memo. He has absolute control over the EPA and all of its actions. I know that this sounds like one of those “If the king knew how we suffer” statements, but it isn’t. I’m sure that Trump knows how totally wrong the EPA’s assault on VW is and that he just chooses to tweet about his status as a victim of surveillance last year instead of actually doing anything..

  3. What’s the irony of parking those cars in the lot of the Silverdome, a publicly owned stadium thrown away before its time? i wonder if taxpayers are still paying off the bonds for its construction, like they are for the now demolished Giants stadium in NJ?

  4. Why must EVERY aspect of government, be it federal, state, county or local, always be so FREAKING EVIL?!

    Destroying a car company for building cars which never hurt anyone (Well, at least their emissions never have…), and now punishing a property owner for not having der proper paperverk!

    Years ago when I read 1984 I thought “Wow!”. Anyone reading it today must think “Yeah, so?”.

    And ultimately, the problem is not the government- but the fact that the majority of people not only allow this to happen, but fund it and participate in it.

    • Hi Nunzio,

      Yup. It makes me sick to see all these perfectly good vehicles just thrown away.

      The more I ponder it, the more I come to believe we are at a point of irreconcilable differences. The people we know as Clovers – and people like us. There is no common ground. It will either be separation – or extinction (for one of the two).

      • Hi Eric,

        I suspect that most people who applaud the EPA’s punitive temper tantrum against VW believe that some environmental good is being achieved. But, the forced obsolescence of perfectly good vehicles actually produces negative environmental impacts. Is it possible to reach some of these people on those grounds? Shouldn’t an environmentalist be concerned about the “whole picture”?

        I realize that professional activists and bureaucrats are unreachable, but are the well meaning but naive also unreachable? I hope not.

        Jeremy

        • “are the well meaning but naive also unreachable?”

          Yes, they are a lost cause. These people are so completely dull-witted….many have that gaze, with their mouths partly open and their tongue resting on their bottom lip…they are not small in numbers.

          They are not bad people…most are quite pleasant. But, attempt to get into anything more intellectual than stupid ass NFL stats, or what Oprah babbled about, and you’re left there staring at that tongue resting on the bottom lip.

          I am truly a Misanthrope. And I sleep well.

          • Hi Aljer,

            While I’m sympathetic to your view, I know far too many people I would classify as “well meaning but naive” who are not at all dull-witted. Through discussion I have, at the very least, convinced many of them that there are serious problems with the coercive approach. If we don’t try to reach these people, what are we doing?

            Jeremy

          • I have discovered it takes too much cognitive energy to be like us. The investment is huge and most people don’t make it. Their daily lives consume all they have. Then there are the social consequences.

        • I view people who irrationally hold ridiculous views like those of the climatards as neither well-intentioned nor naive. I see them as malevolent control freaks who’d better keep their mouths shut around me lest they catch a beating, or at least as much of a beating as I can manage these days. 😉

          • Hi Ed,

            I share your view about those at the top, pushing “action”. It is clear that these people are disingenuous. Their goal is power and control, spreading fear is the means they use to attain it. As I’ve said before, climate hysteria is to the left as Muslim “terror” is to the right. These fears are cynically manipulated towards an end that has nothing to do with “saving the planet” or eradicating terrorism.

            However, most people do not see the State with libertarian eyes. They cannot comprehend the venality of those who seek to rule. My father, probably the smartest person I have ever known, was one of those well meaning but naive people. He employed, quite rationally, his prodigious intellect solely in pursuit of his medical research. His political beliefs were formed through culture and emotion, not reason. But, as with many intelligent and rational people, he did not see that this.

            He was a typical liberal; opposed drug prohibition but favored gun prohibition. He donated money to the “right” institutions: ACLU, Greenpeace, Southern Poverty Law Center, etc… He read the “right” magazines: Mother Jones, Harpers, The Economist, etc… Hopeless, right?

            Toward the end of his life, as his active research days were waning, he took more interest in my thoughts. While he never became an anarchist, he did start to “get it”. He began to doubt those pushing climate hysteria (he was shocked when he learned that Freeman Dyson was on “our” side and that, as a result, he has been dismissed as a senile old crank) . He realized that the SPLC is a fraudulent, fear mongering, money grubbing institution, dedicated to self promotion, not justice. He began to realize that his belief in political authority may have been akin to religious dogma, which he rejected.

            He stopped donating to Greenpeace, the SPLC and the ACLU. He began donating to the Institute for Justice and the Drug Policy Alliance. He was neither malevolent nor a control freak. He was a kind, intelligent man. I miss him.

            Jeremy

            • Jeremy, Ed, eric, Aljer, et al, just off the phone with a trucking recruiter. I’m suffering the fate of incompetence of the system and can’t do anything till the state rectifies a mistake on my previously unencumbered Class A CDL brought on by one of it’s minions checking the wrong little box.

              The recruiter not only correctly identified the problem as being unaccountable incompetense, sorta like spellcheck, no matter what part of govt. is involved. We both touched on healthcare, or lack thereof, due to being mandated and a couple other over-reaches of the state.

              Whatever subject is involved, it can easily become worse, instantly worse, by having the state control it. Of course that now means everything.

              As soon as the state via EPA can figure out how to implement a wifi cam into my body I won’t even be allowed to piss in the pasture without providing some state approved urine depository. Depository, reminds me of an old clip with Vern lying in a hospital bed with an entire leg(and most everything else)in a cast and elevated with a weight and pulley system. Ernest leans on his leg(Vern moans in pain). Ernest picks up the chart at the end of his bed, looks it over and say Hey Vern, it says right here you’ve had 50 depositories…..where you putting all them things? I do miss Jim….RIP.

              And eric, here’s to your recovery….and everyone else’s too. We all need some relief.

      • You’re absolutely correct, Eric, about the irreconcilable differences. It’s been that way for a long time, it’s just that as the various sides become more and more extreme, the differences are becoming more and more stark, for those of us who can see, or care.

        There’s no fixing it at this point; nothing good can come of what this system/culture/society-as-a-[w]hole has become. It has been built over the course of many generations, and is so entrenched in the minds of people; and has such power.

        It’s getting to the point now, where they’re essentially saying ‘You’re either with us or against us”, -and those of us who are against them had better find a place to sit back and watch the flames from a distance, because we will counted as public enemy number one, while the real fiends and crooks and destroyers, like Hillary and that ilk, continue to sip champagne.

      • In environmental discussions it is almost always the literal consumption of things that is celebrated. Throwing stuff away. Ultimately it’s about destroying the old and replacing it with the new. Who do environmentalists attack? Those of us that preserve the old, do well with the old, those of us who fix and don’t replace until absolutely necessary.

        The environmentalist movement attacks the independent. The people who tread lightest upon the earth. Be self sufficient and they’ll attack you. They do everything possible to make you consume instead of being self sufficient.

        As a side note, ever notice they hate salvage yards and other junk businesses? The people who were recycling before it was cool and do a better job at it.

        The VW thing is in line with this. These are very useful cars but they have to be destroyed. As is they are far less polluting than what people are using in much of the world. The settlement bars even giving them away to people who could put them to use. It’s criminal, a crime against humanity and the planet to simply destroy them. How many people’s lives could be improved by selling these cars cheaply or giving them away? Ok they are punishing VW, I get it, but if it there was any concern about the environment they wouldn’t be committing this crime of destroying useful things.

        • Exactly correct Brent. I am trying to buy a ’93 Chevy Ext. cab, long bed, turbo diesel 4X4 . Those environmentalists would be all over me, an old technology(mechanical injection), dirty exhaust by their standard but still, better fuel mileage than a new one…but don’t take that into account. They also don’t want you to take into account that pickup was built 24 years ago and only has occasional parts, mainly filters and such that has to be replaced, a bit more often(if it weren’t me using Amsoil products that have extended change intervals). In other words, the maintenance is about the same or a bit less depending on the bs crap on the exhaust system, none of which I have to buy. So, for a bit more soot in the air when it’s used, very little of anything else besides filters needing to be replaced, that 24 year old pickup isn’t using up all the resources a new one would require. Nobody could show or at least nobody wants to show how much less energy it would require to replace that pickup. It has two batteries, no computer, weighs less than a new one, uses up tires at a less rate and has no precious metals besides the batteries mined to produce it.

          Now who’s polluting less? Me or the guy who has to have a new, spiffy one every two years, not because he even uses the added load capacity or the pulling power or a myriad of other things lost by trading every couple years? He’s staying current with technology that’s deemed best by demanding a new vehicle every couple years.

    • Hi Todd,

      I’ve done a search for environmental impact of the VW recall and have yet to find a single piece on the impact of fixing/destroying and then replacing these cars. Plenty of articles about the supposed impact of the “extra” pollution, but nothing else.

      It is almost certain that destroying and replacing these cars will have a greater negative impact on the environment than simply letting them be used for their normal life. Assuming, falsely, that the EPA is legitimate, should it not be required to address this question? It is infuriating that nobody in the mainstream media seems to think so.

      Assuming, again falsely, that the purpose of the EPA is to “protect the environment”, it is necessary that the environmental impact of the recall be weighed against the supposed environmental impact of letting these vehicles stay on the road.

      One way or another, these vehicles will be replaced. There are costs associated with that. My friend just “sold” his car back to VW. He now drives a 12 year old Subaru that gets half the gas mileage and undoubtedly “pollutes” more than his TDI. If these EPA bureaucrats were actually concerned about the environment, such trade-offs would matter. Of course, they are primarily concerned about making a show of force and virtue signalling.

      Jeremy

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