23 September 2015

VW Emissions Update

Anyone for a new VW car? I hope not

A few days ago I posted about alleged falsified emissions for VW Group diesel engines (it can be seen by clicking here), but under the broader subject matter of honesty. It's now clear to anyone not living under a rock that VW did indeed do wrong. They have admitted it and apologised. Anyone who loves cars must be disturbed. Anyone who loves VW products must be deeply affected.

It seems it goes far beyond the USA, where the falsification was discovered. About 11 million Volkswagen Group vehicles worldwide have diesel engines with software “irregularities”. The company has initially set aside 6.5 billion euros but that may end up being peanuts compared to what it will ultimately cost. In addition to paying for a massive recall, fines could - and must - add up to billions of euros. Then there may be criminal charges for VW executives.

Why take such a risk? Meeting those stricter exhaust emissions requirements means reduction in fuel efficiency and performance, making diesel powered cars less attractive. This cheating makes improves performance, while also still appearing cleaner environmentally. Many European countries have systems where the cost of purchasing and/or running the car is based on emissions. How much tax has been stolen from those countries? What about customers who find their car's value depreciates heavily as a result? Will owners now have to pay more tax to keep the vehicle on the road?

Large cities with pollution problems (causing premature death to citizens) and large numbers of VW Group diesel cars on their roads will be badly affected. It is sickening that anyone would think this was a way to conduct business. I hope other car makers didn't feel compelled to follow suit in order to remain competitive, if it was known by them.

I have never bought a VW product as I have always felt they are over rated. I can add to that VW's morally reprehensibility. In my disgust in what VW Group has done, I cannot see myself buying a VW, Audi, Škoda or SEAT (which are all involved in it) anytime soon.

4 comments:

Jaroslav Mikolášek said...

Hi Ray,

I believe that the story is about something different. Yes, the results were falsified... but what does it mean? It means that the VW cars were driving in reality better than on the paper. In other words, the customer received something better than promised... At the time, when other car makers were willing to accept ridiculous regulations made without knowladge of basic physics principles, the VW was the only carmaker that said "FUCK YOU". VAG just didn't want their products to be the same scrap as french, italien and other shit....

For this approach I would condratulate and thank VAG... instead of its punishment, I would rather investigate, why the "enviromental" regulations were put in place, and who profited from it...

Best regards,

Jaroslav

RayCee Smith said...

Hello Jaroslav,

VW made many believe that they had a car that had good performance, good fuel consumption and clean burning. By cheating the system they delivered the first two but failed miserably in the third. OK, on the inaccurate test, the engine wasn't performing well so you reason that was a bonus. However on a customer test drive they got the good performance, thinking they were also driving a green car. In that sense customers were not getting what they thought.
Also society cannot work on the principal that if the rules don't suit, then break them.
As to whether the rules went too far in reducing emissions, people living in a polluted city would say no.
Finally while your comments are always welcome Jaroslav, swearing isn't, if you could bear that in mind next time. Thank you.

Jaroslav Mikolášek said...

Hello Ray,

first sorry for the impolite expressions I used.

comming back to the issue, I would like to be very carefull with any conclusions. The reason is that we do not know (and we will never know), what is behind this public linching... and there always is something. Remmember the reasons for US intervention in Iraque - the hidden weapons, dictorship... today everybody knows that anything but hiden weapons were the real reason.

Going through many articles on the subject, I have noted following:
- in the past, also Honda and Ford were investigated by EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency) for the same practice in US. Surprisingly, it was not reported that widely... why?
- these days, also Mercedes and BMW are "pushing" sales of diesel engines in US. According to past independent measuring, their engines behave in the same way as those from VW. The question could be - why only VW engine was chosen for the official measurement?
- why the handling of engines with urea was not checked as well?....

and so on... basicly confirming the same practice for all diesel engines manufacturers

In other words - we do not have information of what is behind. I would not be even surprised, if it were part of the Piech-Winterkom fight....
what I would like to know, is why law that is agains common sense, against laws of nature and physics can come into force.... And please, do not say that even ridiculous law has to be respected... :)

RayCee Smith said...

Hello Jaroslav,

Yes, other car makers like Honda and Ford have been caught doing it and others that haven't been caught too, no doubt. However, the difference here may be the scale and time frame. To get away with it for so long and then be caught probably worked against VW.
Now the EPA has caught someone in such a conclusive and large scale way, they want to make an example of them and a warning to others who may cheat in this and other ways. I don't believe the EPA is targeting VW.
As for cheating generally, it goes on in all societies and industries. Rules are needed because without them commerce would be out of control. Money has such a grip that some companies will do anything to make more money, even if it hurts or kills people.
I hope this is a wake up call to industry and all of us to have a moral standard that is higher than self interest.
On the final point, I didn't say we will like or respect laws that are poorly thought out, but breaking laws at our discretion is slippery slope.