Wtf vw?


LA Times says:

Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years 2009 to 2015 have the software, which uses an algorithm that automatically detects when the vehicle is undergoing pollution tests and changes the way it performs.

The EPA said the device senses the testing environment by analyzing a variety of data — steering position, speed, duration of engine operation and barometric pressure.

“These inputs precisely track the parameters of the federal test procedure,” the agency wrote in its notice of violation to VW.


We should get a pot started on the fines here.

500,000 cars at $1,300 tax credit per car plus penalties? I’d say a clean $1 billion settlement? And business as usual, no one goes to jail?


NYT says up to $37,500 per vehicle, total of $18 billion. But that never actually happens. And it’s a newspaper, and as I have experienced first-hand they rarely if ever get this sort of thing right. Let’s talk in 3 years or so once this plays out…I say about $5 billion.

This is serious mojo if it is true. EPA sends people to jail for willfully and repeatedly going out of their way to violate their laws. Although this being a foreign company, I don’t know enough about EPA / DOJ’s abilities to prosecute citizens of other countries.

I would hope more money goes to the buyers of these cars and less to the government, in addition to the inevitable recalls for “repair”. I suspect fuel economy will noticeably drop once the software patch is made, and that’s not what buyers signed up for. I have been surprised over the past few years about how foreign diesel passenger cars have been promoted as “green” both from an emissions and MPG perspective. I’m not in automobiles, but balancing NOx emissions and power output has always been an issue in what I do (boilers).


I guess the main problem that VW has is that none of these cars are equipped with Diesel Exhaust Fluid chambers or injection systems. That’s how every other manufacturer now keeps their 4-cylinder diesels in line with EU and US regulations for nitrous oxide emissions. Presumably, these VW models employ a more mechanical system which saps efficiency and only engages without the defeat devices.

So what VW is looking at is:

  1. Cars that no longer perform with quite as much pep and more sluggishness, or

  2. Very expensive reverse-engineering to add DEF systems to each.

Since choice 1 has “class action lawsuit” written all over it, and choice 2 seems pricey as hell, I’m not sure which way they play this.


What has two thumbs and owns a VW diesel?

I presume they’re going to give me a new car, right?


That LA Times article is daming. VW was honing this technology over several generations of engines.

And the quotes from customers is not good if you own stock in VW. They’re livid.

Speaking of which, looks like their stock tanked 4.5% today.


Don’t worry the market will regulate itself.


Don’t forget class action lawsuits for being sold a clean car which wasn’t clean. CA drivers (er, I mean Lawyers) will have a field day. There’s also this from the LA Times article:

Berman said he is already preparing a lawsuit on behalf of a Marin County, Calif. owner who bought a VW because it was marketed as a clean car and “now they find out it was polluting the environment at 40 times standards.”
[U][B]VW also will face what is known as a “diminished value” lawsuit [/B][/U]because the vehicles are likely to lose a portion of their resale value because of the problem, he said.


Man, I love my (gasoline) GTI. I’d love an R. Makes me wonder what weirdness they’ve done to their other vehicles, though, and how this might affect the rest of their business. I mean, once you start doing crap like this there’s no reason to screw with all sorts of things elsewhere I guess.


Me too. I’ve got a gasoline turbo Jetta, and it’s nicely designed, reasonably economical (well, on the highway, anyway), and a hoot to drive. I have no special love for VW as a company, but I do like their products. Fucking idiots.

Back in 2008, I was actually considering waiting for a 2009 TDI. Being impatient doesn’t usually work out in my favor.


In case if anyone was still waiting for an official response - other than the recall and the removal of all relevant ads on their Youtube channel:

Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation after U.S. regulators found software the carmaker designed for diesel cars gave false emissions data, its CEO said on Sunday, adding he was “deeply sorry” for the violation of U.S. rules.

“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Martin Winterkorn said in a statement published by the carmaker on Sunday. “Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday the software deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions, adding Volkswagen could face fines of up to $18 billion as a result.

“We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law,” Winterkorn said, adding the company was fully cooperating with the relevant agencies.

He gave no details on who would carry out the external investigation.

The feature, which the EPA called a “defeat device”, masks the true emissions only during testing. When the cars are on the road they emit as much as 40 times the level of pollutants allowed under clean air rules meant to ensure public health is protected, Giles said.

“We have admitted to it to the regulator. It is true. We are actively cooperating with the regulator,” a spokesman for Volkswagen said on Sunday.


It seems kind of weird, like they are suggesting someone secretly did this and VW somehow didn’t know about it. But this was a major design feature of a while line of cars. It’s not possible that it was the work on one rogue engineer in the company.


That’s not how I’m reading it. It’s a huge organizational failure, and now they have to look into exactly what happened, when it happened and how it happened. I don’t think anyone expects there to be that rogue engineer given how rigorous the internal testing is.

Saying that they have to look at it and analyze what went on is standard corporate response.


Yes, but I think what Timex is getting at is that their internal investigations are likely tainted by the fact that the people supposedly in charge of the investigation are the very same people who probably had a large hand in driving the policy.


And again, hiring external investigators–as VW promised–is the standard thing corporations do for that exact reason.


It would not be impossible I guess that one group within VW did something that the rest of the company wasn’t aware of. I don’t know enough about their internal structure–how VW of America for instance relates to VW in Germany, or whether the folks doing diesels were separate somehow from the folks doing other things, for instance–to know whether such a thing was possible, but it seems at least within the realm of possibility. Still looks horrible for upper management though.


So, the German stock exchange opened this morning. At this point, VW is down 22 percent.


Wow this is just crazy. I almost bought a 2014 Passat last year, decided to go with a Mazda 3 hatch though, thank goodness.


All sales of VW and Audi Diesel has ceased in the US as of now it seems, according to danish newspapers. Thats going to hurt VW!


Yep, JD and Razgon’s info is confirmed, per this CNBC article:

But that’s not why I posted that. Towards the bottom of this article you get a quote from the CEO of Daimler, another German car maker and the parent company of Mercedes. He’s apparently asked about Volkswagen’s bogus claims on their diesel passenger cars and says this:

“I have a rough idea of what is happening and that it does not apply to us,” Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said on Sunday at an event in Hamburg.

“But it is much too early to make a final statement on this,” he added.

That does not strike me as a chortling Nelson-on-the-Simpsons “Ha ha!” statement I’d expect, but rather an executive soaked with sweat tugging on his own collar.

Surely Mercedes is in the clear, right? They’re the ones who meet US requirements for NOx emissions by using urea injection, which is already kind of a pain in the butt for owners. Still, his comments are…interesting.