I didn’t see a thread on this. I’ve been following the story with interest. It appears to be a case of major premeditated fraud carried out by one of Europe’s most bluechip companies. The VW share price is down over 30% and I’m not sure if that is an overreaction or not. Inititially I was thinking that this could be a buying opportunity, but the more I hear about the scandal the more I think it could become another Enron. Certainly senior management will have to go I think. 11 million vehicles affected. Huge EPA fines and class action suits to come. Plus all the R&D expense sunk into ‘clean’ diesel over the past 20 years now appears to be wasted.
The other side of this story is the larger impact on the European motor industry. I think this story is the death knell for diesel powered cars generally. That is bad news for the German, French and Italian manufacturers and hence indirectly Nissan and Chrysler too. Good news for the other US and Asian firms. Or at least that’s my take on it. Any other views?
Well, the CEO has to go for sure, and perhaps other senior members in the company as well.
This won’t completely kill the diesel market in Europe; BMW etc. sell thousands of diesel cars too, presumably without fraud. Many of these are company cars too. As long as European tax regulations favor diesel cars, Europeans will still buy diesel cars.
However, the US diesel market is toast. People here already love hybrids and the next thing is probably electric cars. All those guys who have C&D subscriptions and think VW GTD is the best thing ever just lost all credibility.
I’m not sure what happens to VW. Certainly, they will need to retest their emissions in many countries. They will already have no diesel cars in the US for 2016 - zero market share in other words. If this continues to Europe, they will have big issues.
Not sure if the stock price change is justified, but this is clearly the biggest automotive industry scandal in recent memory - far worse than the Toyota brake “issue”, for example.
I’ve not followed super close, but do recall seeing that the potential fine is in the tens of billions in the US alone, so the extreme drop in share price could be justified. As the Obama administration has made clean air and the environment a priority, I could certainly see them going after VW with guns blazing.
The methanol market could hit in all of these places as well .Most cars developed after the late 90s have software to just turn on the ability to filter different fuels (any fules or combination of them) in the engine. However, currently its illegal in the US for car dealers to turn on this software, but they sell kits online where an individual can do an easy self install(self install is legal).
The actual vehicle exhaust would be OK with these VWs under testing conditions. The engine computer was designed to detect emissions testing conditions and run in a low emissions program mode. The cars are capable of meeting the targets, its just not capable in its standard operating mode. I wonder if this means all these cars are going to get reprogrammed down to lower HP/torque/fuel econ numbers in order to hit the NOx targets? That’d suck if you have a diesel. I’m really glad when I went for my Passat I chose the 1.8T gasser.
It’s strange to me that a 335d can pass and these VWs can’t. Wouldn’t surprise me if other companies were doing something similar.
I’m also not sure I understand what’s going on. Are trucks exempt from these emissions standards? I see wannabe ranchers driving double-axled diesel trucks to their office jobs every day, and they absolutely spew pollution. Is that ok?
Back in the day when I had to take my car to the state DMV inspection station, they would stick a rod up the car’s tailpipe to test emissions. I’m guessing the car cannot detect that and would continue to run in standard operating mode.
Is the gas station smog test the same as EPA test? I would imagine that the EPA would be a bit more comprehensive, given that they have to test just a small number of cars, and then probably apply some assumptions regarding the future use of these cars.
Anyway, yes, bigger cars like say BMW X5 or other passenger trucks pass EPA tests because they have a big urea tank in the trunk. This absorbs a large portion of air polluting substances. Perhaps there are different rules for utility vehicles like Ford F150. The VW cars that failed this test are the Golf TDI and similar small cars which are considered less polluting and thus do not have the urea tank or the plumbing to install such a tank.
I don’t know what the solution here is. Can VW recall all these vehicles and install a urea tank in each one of them? Or can they just reprogram the cars to have crappier performance but better efficiency (probably can’t get there with this method alone). Otherwise, how can the cars remain on the road?
^ From what I’ve read, VW will have to recall all the affected cars (in the US anyway) and reprogram them so they only run in “testing mode”, resulting in reduced performance. That is what precipitated my question about annual emissions testing because a lot of people who bought a Golf TDI might not take their car back to VW when they get the recall notice because they don’t want their car’s performance to change.