Watch Out, Toyota . . .

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Toyota will probably be the next target. The first was VW.

VW was targeted because it was selling too many vehicles that made electric vehicles look ridiculous at the very critical moment when EVs were just beginning to be pushed seriously.

You may remember the so-called “cheating” – on federal emissions certification tests – imbroglio that resulted in VW pulling off the market its very successful (because very popular) TDI diesel engines, which had been available in practically every model vehicle VW sold until about 2015, right around the time the EV push really began in earnest.

VW’s TDI engines not only delivered 50-plus MPG – and 600-plus miles of driving range – they  They were also available in low-cost vehicles such as the Jetta sedan, Golf hatchback and New Beetle, which were all cars almost anyone could afford to buy.

And that could not stand.

Who, after all, would want to buy a $50,000 electric vehicle with a putative (not actual) driving range of maybe 250 or so miles that effectively forced the person who bought it to plan their life around recharging it –  assuming they could afford it – when they could buy a $23k diesel-powered Jetta or Golf that could be driven more than twice as far before it was necessary to stop for less than five minutes to refuel it?

The answer is – very few people.

More finely – many more people would have continued to buy VW’s low-cost, long-range diesel-powered cars and that would have made it clear that most people either didn’t want an EV or couldn’t afford one. It would have made it much harder for other automakers to justify making more EVs rather than more vehicles like VW’s TDI-powered vehicles.

It was not accidental that VW was singled out – rather than Mercedes or BMW or Audi, all of which also sold diesel engines.

The “cheating” VW was accused of was incidental because – in the first place – every vehicle manufacturer programs their vehicles to produce the lowest emissions (and highest gas mileage) on the tests. In real-world driving, the emissions are always a little higher and the gas mileage lower – because people will drive them in such a way as to override the programming. The government knows this. Everyone in the car business knows it. It has never been cause for a crusade – until VW.

In the second place, the emissions were in fact incidental.

As in fractions of a fraction’s difference. You have probably heard that VW’s diesel produced “up to 40 times” more than the allowable quantity of oxides of nitrogen. Note the mendacious “up to” (which should always be translated as much less than). And it was almost never explained that the “40 times” more was in reference to a fraction, not a whole number.

What mattered was the VW was selling affordable diesels, which meant it was selling a lot of them. The high-end brands – Mercedes, BMW, Audi – sold a few to the affluent and it didn’t matter because those diesel-powered vehicles were as expensive as EVs.

So VW had to be nailed to the cross for its sins.

Will Toyota be next?

Toyota sells a number of low-cost, high-mileage, long-range vehicles that also make EVs look ridiculous. Models like the ’24 Corolla hybrid I just finished test driving (you can read the full review here). This Tesla Model 3 sized sedan stickers for $23,300 and goes 53 highway miles on a gallon of gas. It goes 600 highway miles on 11 gallons of gas  – a full tank – which takes about three minutes to fully replenish.

The ’24 Tesla Model 3 stickers for $38,990 with its standard-range battery that might allow you to drive 270 miles in the city. If you take it on the highway – or out in the cold – it will go a lot less far than that. And regardless, when it runs low on charge you will have to wait at least 20-30 minutes at a “fast” charger (which is only “fast” in relation to how slow it is to charge at home, where it takes hours to recover a partial charge).

The whole thing’s absurd. More finely, hybrids like the Corolla – and the new hybrid Camry – make EVs look absurd. Just like VW’s TDI-powered affordable, long-range vehicles made EVs look absurd.

And that will not be allowed to stand.

The EV pushers – who aren’t really pushing EVs, per se, but rather using EVs to push most of us out of driving – will find an excuse to go after Toyota. Just as they found one to go after VW. The cretinous EPA apparatchik Michael Regan has already hinted at what it will be. Hybrids – especially the ones that have the ability to recharge by plugging in – aren’t being plugged in often enough. They are running on engine power too much. Their emissions are thus too much – even though (as in the case of VW’s TDI diesels) they amount to nothing much.

The dirty little secret the EPA doesn’t want people to know is that “emissions” have been a non-issue for decades, since the late 1990s – by which time almost all (as in better than 98 percent) of the meaningfully harmful emissions had been eliminated by then. Which is now 30-plus years ago. To admit this would be to concede that further emissions regulations were unjustified because unnecessary. And that would imply the EPA, itself, is no longer necessary.

And that will never be allowed to stand.

So, “emissions” were reframed – to encompass carbon dioxide, which was never before regarded as an emission in the regulatory sense because C02 has nothing to do with air pollution. Or – for that matter – with “climate change.” You have to believe that increasing the 0.04 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere that’s C02 by a fraction of that fraction causes it  to believe that – which is as silly as believing that “up to 40 times” as much of something is actually 40 times as much – and that it’s not a fraction of a fraction’s difference and so meaningless.

Never mind. It’s the politics that have meaning. And Toyota is running very politically incorrect at the moment.

Hopefully, Toyota won’t cave and beg forgiveness – as VW did. And if it doesn’t, it will have an effect similar to Florida’s taking off the Face Diapers, which gave courage to other states to do the same.

. . .

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  1. The big 3, especially GM and Ford, have had it out for Toyota (and probably also Honda) since the gas crunch hit in the ‘70s.

    I think they think that if they get rid of them somehow, they will be able to recover their former market share.

    I think that if they somehow succeed in doing that, everyone will just buy Subarus or something.

    The reason people buy Japanese cars is, they are simply better. Better materials, better manufacturing, better reliability, better able to run for 20+ years (on average).

    I had a Corolla fall apart on me prematurely (~150k miles) but 1) it was union-made at Nummi and 2) it started life as a rental and at least one previous owner didn’t change the oil properly and 3) the engine & transmission were fine, it was everything around them that was rusting out or breaking faster than I could keep it fixed and 4) part of the problem was that the catalytic converter had gone out, I had to pass emissions, and the car didn’t like the aftermarket one that I installed.

  2. Anyone remember that scene in the first Cannonball Run movie, in which George Furth is part of an environmental group giving a speech in which they bemoan modern inventions, especially, as he says, “the automobile…the automobile…”, and as he’s about to go on bemoaning, the Terry Bradshaw chevelle crashes through the auditorium in which they’re giving the speech? It was awesome, and definitely apropos to today’s anti-automobile rhetoric

  3. 2024 Jetta 1.5L with manual can achieve over 50 hwy mpg I’ve read. That’s probably the way I’d go if I could afford it just to eliminate the possible hybrid system repair costs from the future.

    • Hi Ben,

      I respect what’s being done with hybrids; however, it could be done for less (and with more long-term durability) with diesels. But they’ve been effectively banned by the regulatory apparat.

  4. Yes. Correct, Eric. The original “emissions” regulations in the 1970s were intended to reduce unburned hydrocarbons, which caused smog. It was a genuine problem. Walk behind an idling classic car with no catalytic converters and get a lungful of exhaust and and you can immediately smell the difference.

    But, as you say, smog was successfully eliminated decades ago. What’s a federal bureaucratic apparatus to do if it wants to continue to justify it’s existence and it’s budget after the problem has been solved? Invent a new bogeyman — carbon dioxide — the “threat” of which is entirely based on hypothetical projections, unlike the smog that could be actually seen hanging over cities.

    “Our job is done, time to close up shop” said no government agency, ever.

    • Emissions…haha….

      The Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion ice diesel has emissions of 85g CO2 per is even cleaner (less emissions) than a Toyota Prius or an EV….

      A bloomberg article states, “A current-model large EV car with a battery produced and charged in an average European Union country emits about 88 grams of CO2 per kilometer,

  5. 20+ year old 4Runner and Tacoma models with the V6 engine will a lot of useful life left will be at the top of the Cash For Clunkers 2.0 list. Guaranteed.

    Just like the early-mid 90s Jeep Cherokees.

    What sucks is that people will turn those in to get a few grand off of an EV sale price.

    Even the base Camry has been getting almost 600 miles of range on a tank of gas since the 2018 model year. Those will go on the list for Cash for Clunkers 3.0 in about a decade.

  6. Sans all the emissions nonsense, a diesel in most vehicles would be a smart choice.

    Had to buy a new heavy duty pickup and filtered out all the diesel models due to a few people I know having constant problems with the DEF system.

    I long for the day when we had choices. Thanks government.

    • It’s not just government to thank, though. These corporate institutions are just as heavily to blame. They know there’s always Federal bailouts at the end of the tunnel when they’re needed (not to mention all the government contracts when they play ball.) This isn’t just the auto-industry, though, arms manufacturers are just as guilty. They all tout there government contracts like it’s something to be proud of. As long as they all play ball, they’re in the game. That’s why (was it Remington a few years ago?) paid that huge fine? That was the federal government telling Remington “you do this and we’ll continue to do business.”

  7. The Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion ice diesel has emissions of 85g CO2 per is even cleaner (less emissions) than a Toyota Prius or an EV….

    A bloomberg article states, “A current-model large EV car with a battery produced and charged in an average European Union country emits about 88 grams of CO2 per kilometer,

    Ice diesel:
    The 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S.

    it has a 971 mile range, the perfect car.

    it weighs 1125 kg, 2480 lb, the new EV’s are over 4000 lb. it weighs 40% less.

    Energy density:
    In order to go 200 miles the EV had to carry around a 1000 lb battery (some tesla batteries weigh 1800 lb, the hummer battery is 3000 lb.)

    In order to go 200 miles the 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel had to only carry 9.52 lb of fuel.

    The 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion costs $24,355 U.S., EV’s start at about $45,000

    there is a $20,000 incentive to buy the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion…lol

    2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion for sale…buy one…

    • Oh in Europe they are everywhere even Porsche Macans come in diesel.. In Italy I had two VWs, a Jetta and a Polo. TDi both. The Polo turned 80mpg no matter how I drove the thing. The Jetta a solid 65-70

      In the states I have a Cayenne Diesel. An oddball in the US (but I still see them from to time) that does a repeatable 35 on the highway and never below 25 in mixed, and I have a lead foot. The bonus is the almost 30 gallon fuel tank.

      I took a trip from Jacksonville Fl to Denver and filled up once along the way.

      • You raise some good points: If the stated goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the only way to do that is to burn less fuel. Small EU-spec diesels do just that.

        But the real goal isn’t to reduce emissions—it’s to reduce driving.

  8. I immediately abandon any “climate change” bleating mouthpiece. I make sure to never interact with this sociopath again. Its the only win win as that sorta pathology is seemingly intractible.

  9. All 3/4 letter agencies need to be abolished, CAFE needs to be repealed and manufacturers who survive without bailouts should build what people truly want.

    Also, how feasible would it be to buy a Mk6 Golf TDI, register it in a state like SoCar or Florida without emissions testing, then after the emissions delete, daily it up here in Jersey, as again, it’s registered and plated somewhere without emissions?
    As for why, love the looks, they can make good power with mods, manual and also drive way too much to not want a TDI

  10. The TDI, while ok, is over hyped. My 03 Golf TDI got 38-50 mpg, and it was chock full of inferior German plastic and electronics. Germans make fine machinists and metallurgists, and over-engineer stuff. In my experience, the Golf got good mileage, on a more expensive fuel (admittedly only because of government), and being a computer controlled diesel it didn’t work as well with biodiesel and waste oil as my older real mechanical diesels. I switched to a 03 Honda Civic VTEC, which gets me 34-39 mpg on 25% cheaper fuel. And the plastic and electronics are standing up much better and maintenance is easy. Overall, the gas Honda is a much better car.

    Eric’s point about mafia government stands nonetheless. They will attack anyone resisting their lies and sick fantasies.

    • The 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S.

      it has a 971 mile range, the perfect car.

      • I owned a lower tech 2000 VW Jetta TDI 5 speed….

        stage one Malone tune…which gave 20% better fuel economy and 25% more power….i got about 60 mpg highway…40 mpg city….and no tune ups like a gas engine…

        with turbo back exhaust it was loud at idle….full throttle sounded like a jet taking off

        • Mine had straight exhaust but the automatic- when you swim in the shallow end of the beater pool you take what comes your way. And just straight piped it got 38-50 mpg, I have absolutely no doubt it would have averaged 5mpg better with a manual. Still, my points stand- I find the Honda a better work car. The honda has no flakey electronics problems and I haven’t even had to read a code, unlike the Golf which I had to use my VAGscanner on every other week.

          • this is the key….

            there is way more power and fuel economy to be unlocked with a tune….but…you have to get it tuned…..

            I got stage one Malone tune as soon as I got the car….…which gave 20% better fuel economy and 25% more power…you can go all the way to stage 4 tune or more….

            people get huge power and torque out of those VW diesels…..that 4 cylinder engine is one of the best two 4 cyl. ever made….

            • Seat…owned by VW since 1986…

              Here is a SEAT IBIZA 1.9 DIESEL…a VW Golf with a different name….

              600BHP SEAT IBIZA 1.9 DIESEL -….. buy it and beat a Porsche 911 GT2 RS…..

              This is a very fast diesel…it runs 10.19 @ 136MPH 1/4 mile….
              and 60 to 125 mph…- 100 to 200KPH in 5.22 sec….how quick is that?….

              100KPH to 200KPH times….

              9. 600BHP SEAT IBIZA 1.9 DIESEL 5.22 sec.
              10. Billj747 09.02.2021 McLaren 720S 5.2 sec
              11. PorschespeedModified Porsche 911 Turbo 5.3 s
              12. teamwwr 10.06.2021 McLaren 765LT 5.5 s
              13. Goins2754 06.02.2021 Challenger SRT Hell.. 5.8 s
              14. rayray 19.12.2021 McLaren MP4-12C 5.8 s
              15. Climat 03.11.2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS 5.8 s
              16. mharvey 17.07.2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S 6.0 s
              17. teamwwr 15.11.2020 Modified Nissan GT-R 6.0 s
              18. komotec Modified Lotus Exige Cup 430 6.1 s
              19. nikkoritter Modified Audi TT RS Coupe 6.1 s
              20. Billj747 09.02.2021 McLaren 600LT 6.2 s
              21. teamwwr 12.04.2021 McLaren P1 6.2 s
              22. Billj747 09.02.2021McLaren Senna (P15) 6.3 s


            • Who knew a VW Jetta or Golf diesel was a tuner car?

              These are very cool sleepers…good fuel economy plus huge performance….

              You can get huge power from these engines….

              These diesels are also swapped into small, mid size, 4X4’s and Pickup trucks…..

              In theory a diesel has unlimited power….a gas engine does not….detonation is why….

    • full of inferior German plastic and electronics….total bs….

      Starting with the Mk3 Golf/Jetta the interiors were upgraded from the Mk2 Golf…more luxury and Audi like high quality interior….

      In 1999/2000 the Mk4 Golf/Jetta came out….the platform was so refined that Mercedes had to back and redesign their small car…it was so inferior….

    • Those Mark IV Golfs and Jettas (’97 – ’03) had some of the worst interior build quality in automotive history. The rubberized buttons turned to goo and all of the plastic and door panels disintegrated.

      • bs…have ever owned one?…lol…

        I have owned a number of M1, Mk2, Mk3 and Mk4 Golfs and Jettas…still own 2 Mk3 GTI’s….

        People talk about cars that they have never owned or even driven…lol….

          • Yes my MK1 Caddy has a very good interior despite being 40 years old. The 03 Golf had broken glovebox, broken door panels and arm rests, broken center arm rest, failed power window switches, etc. In spite of all that I liked the car but got tired of it and afraid of its reliability on a cross country trip.

            • Yes, I forgot about the fragile Mk IV glove box. I remember spending a long time trying to cobble it together with silicone caulk. I later had to buy a cheap Chinese replacement and just had to glue it shut so it at least it wasn’t an eyesore.

              I agree that mechanically it was a good car though.

    • gas Honda is a much better car….bs

      The VW diesel will last twice as long as that high revving gas engine….Honda engines were high revving….they would wear out and start burning oil……

      VW 2 liter na gas engines were low revving, low end torque engines……easier to drive… would outlast Honda gas engines by miles…..there is a market for used Honda engines because they wear out and start smoking….there is no market for VW 2 liter na gas engines…they never wear…last a very long time…best 4 cyl engine ever made….

      Back to tune ups…..Gas engines….needs tune ups….diesel…no tune ups…real engines have no spark plugs…lol…

    • The 2003 HONDA CIVIC has a worse record compared to the VW

      2003 HONDA CIVIC

      Transmission Problems 66 NHTSA complaints: 81
      Body / Paint Problems33NHTSA complaints: 26
      Electrical Problems20NHTSA complaints: 53
      Exterior Accessories Problems14NHTSA complaints: 11
      Interior Accessories Problems12NHTSA complaints: 26
      Engine Problems11NHTSA complaints: 67
      Seat Belts / Air Bags Problems8NHTSA complaints: 157
      Exhaust System Problems7NHTSA complaints: 7
      AC / Heater Problems5
      Cooling System Problems4NHTSA complaints: 7
      Fuel System Problems4NHTSA complaints: 20
      Windows / Windshield Problems4NHTSA complaints: 10
      Lights Problems3NHTSA complaints: 23
      Brakes Problems2NHTSA complaints: 39
      Suspension Problems2NHTSA complaints: 12
      Clutch Problems1NHTSA complaints: 4
      Drivetrain Problems1NHTSA complaints: 17
      Miscellaneous Problems1NHTSA complaints: 20
      Steering Problems1NHTSA complaints: 15
      Wheels / Hubs Problems1

      • 2005 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA…same as a Golf….


        Engine Problems18NHTSA complaints: 73
        Interior Accessories Problems7NHTSA complaints: 6
        Brakes Problems4NHTSA complaints: 17
        Body / Paint Problems2NHTSA complaints: 12
        Electrical Problems2NHTSA complaints: 49
        Fuel System Problems2NHTSA complaints: 22
        Transmission Problems2NHTSA complaints: 25
        Windows / Windshield Problems2NHTSA complaints: 6
        AC / Heater Problems1
        Cooling System Problems1NHTSA complaints: 4
        Exhaust System Problems1NHTSA complaints: 3
        Seat Belts / Air Bags Problems1NHTSA complaints: 37
        Steering Problems1NHTSA complaints: 2

    • Rust proofing….very important…

      2003 Honda Civic….only partial body rust proofing….rust problems

      2000 VW Golf Jetta……full body rust proofing……no rust unless damaged…

      rust problems = no residual value…too expensive to fix….

  11. The EPA has proven itself to be as much of a corrupt government agency as so many other alphabet soup government agencies. For example, has the EPA gone after Norfolk Southern for the MASSIVE environmental damage that resulted from that train derailment (and subsequent decision to burn toxic chemicals in some of the cars) in East Palestine, Ohio last year? They also don’t go after Pfizer for massive leaks of ethylene chloride into rivers, but they WILL go after automobile manufacturers and small farms for alleged “environmental destruction”. And the EPA certainly hasn’t gone after current and former Presidents who’ve launched endless wars, which itself causes environmental damage. Instead, we’ll hear BS like “If we don’t stop so and so, so and so will do X.”

    People who STILL believe the narratives coming out of these government agencies (whether it be on face diapers, mRNA “vaccines”, automobiles, small farms, ordinary citizens, guns, food, etc.) are some of the biggest chumps ever.

    • ‘endless wars, which itself causes environmental damage.’ — John B

      ‘Research by social scientists [sic] from Durham University and Lancaster University shows the US military is one of the largest climate polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more CO₂e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) than most countries.

      ‘If the US military were a nation state, it would be the 47th largest emitter of GHG in the world, if only taking into account the emission from fuel usage.’

      As a lifelong mogaku scholar, I laugh derisively at soi-disant social ‘scientists’ focused on lesser disciplines.

      But on Red Guard Regan’s own terms, the US military ought to be fined a trillion dollars, have all its engine-propelled equipment confiscated, then forced to ‘motor’ about in pink-painted EeeVee tanks and planes.

      Victory in Ukraine! /sarc

  12. I never buying an EV period. I’ll be an outlaw before I give in to this tyranny. I own (3) Toyotas and Toyota as a company is on borrowed time.

    When the motor laws are enacted and the fight is on full steam, it might be like 1776 to some extent, not full shooting war but half the country refusing to go along and the other half pushing and enabling the tyranny like East German communists turning in their neighbors. My wife and I might have to move to another state. The democrats will be we’ll call then Loyalist to Marxism. Some will be family members and former friends. Are we mentally prepared to deal with the Loyalists to Marxism?

  13. I wonder if for a regulator there’s anything worse than a problem solved?

    Remember when cars would burn too rich? Usually in the morning before the car warmed up you’d get that smoky exhaust, like a CAT backhoe warming up on a cold Tuesday morning. I can almost smell it now. Being behind one was nauseating. Fuel injection fixed that, once and for all. Oh, I’m certain no one around here ever drove with a misadjusted carburetor, but there were plenty of people who did. And lots of (French, IIRC) engineering went into fixing the problem.

    The regulators came along after the fact and started requiring all cars have proper mix ratios. This meant pretty much everyone went with FI, and the rich/lean burn problem was handed over to simple computers. Problem solved. No more smelly exhaust in the morning, or ever. No failed emissions tests, unless you had oil bypassing the rings or a bad spark plug, a pretty rare event. But the regulators remained. The testing stations remained. The laws remained on the books. Even though just about everyone was in compliance.

    If you were in the emissions testing business, and testing was voluntary, the solution of FI would put you out of business. But it isn’t and regulators aren’t businessmen, so the testing stations are still busy places, dutifully performing their now unnecessary task.

    But regulators know better. They know there’s not much actual work being performed at the testing center (they see the numbers of course). So why not add a few more tasks, “while we have you here?” So start testing more stuff. Or ratchet up the standard to untenable levels. And then there needs to be auditing and accounting to justify the budget, and auditors of the accountants too. Lots of people’s phony careers are on the line.

    Just to make sure your vehicle won’t burn rich on cold mornings.

    • ‘I wonder if for a regulator there’s anything worse than a problem solved?’ — ReadyKilowatt

      One word, Ready: no, not ‘plastics.’ ‘NATO.’

      ‘Nuff said …

      • Exactly, NATO passed its expiration date when the Berlin Wall came down. Of course then all those brass hats and bureaucrats would have had to get real jobs so they managed to keep it going. All government agencies have eternal life.

        • NATO was designed to prevent the members from fighting amongst themselves. Recall that both WW I and II weren’t fought over Russia/Soviets until it was attacked.

    • How could we forget. We’re getting the same religious zealotry regarding Carbon and Climate catastrophe. With no evidence to back it up. The melting of the near global glacier was climate change, and thank God for it. What we are getting is called weather, and sometimes it sucks. But a mentally ill teenager can make a buck.

      • The Climate Cult idiots are active on the local level as well. Local news had a story on the failure of a petition to the Yakima (mid size town central WA) city council “to address climate change and social justice”. Some sixty something women spoke to the council “it’s obvious you care nothing about climate change!” This is a conservative area of WA, so heads up small midsize America they’re coming your way too.

        • The correct response is, of course, that nobody cares about climate change. Humans can’t do anything about it anyway.

          And just is always personal and individual, never social.

          F@$k leftists.

    • Roscoe: I so appreciate it that you stay on this Obstetrician like a dog on a bone. Never stop and never forget! I only wish that you could directly haunt him to cause him the public shame he so deserves.


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