Tag Archives: VW

VW, Victory Gin and the Chestnut Tree Cafe, by Eric Peters

Totalitarian regimes take us backwards, not forwards. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

In the final pages of Orwell’s 1984, we find Winston Smith – the novel’s main character – drinking Victory Gin at the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He’s been released by the Party after years of torture for Thought Crime but rather than hate the Party for what it did to him, Winston has come to love Big Brother.

VW, too.

After $30 billion and counting in fines and buybacks for “cheating” on government emissions certification tests, the manufacturer of people’s cars sees that two plus two equals five… and committed to building nothing but high-dollar/short range/long-recharge-time electric cars, commencing with the ID3, a Golf-sized five-door hatchback electric car just unveiled in Germany ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Next will come the IDCruzz – an electric crossover SUV with a 110 MPH top speed (just slightly faster than a ’74 Super Beetle) and a range of 202 miles (less than the range of a ’74 Super Beetle).

For three or four times what a ’74 Super Beetle cost.

The People’s Car becomes the Politically Correct Car. And the Elitist Car – since most people won’t be able to afford one.

VW is trying to put a Happy Face on it all.

CEO Herbert Diess says the ID3 is “the world’s first carbon neutral car,” meaning it doesn’t generate any carbon dioxide at the tailpipe, because it hasn’t got one. True enough. This is what makes it a politically correct car  – because in the lunatic world of “climate change,” it’s only tailpipe “emissions” of C02 that are cause for “concern.” Those “emitted” at the smokestack are don’t-worry-about-that (well, for now).

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Cash For Not Clunkers, by Eric Peters

The government is forcing VW to pay people to throw away perfectly good cars because they do not comply with a regulatory pollution edict. Tragically, the cars that are destroyed will be models that because of their excellent gas mileage dramatically reduce aggregate emissions far more than the small increase in tailpipe emissions due to VW’s “cheating.” The cars that replace the destroyed cars will get worse mileage and thus emit more pollutants. This is rank idiocy. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform:

You’ve heard the saying that history repeats . . . as farce? Well, here we are. Not quite ten years after the government paid people to throw away perfectly good used cars to “stimulate” demand for new ones – the despicable Cash for Clunkers program – the government is doing the same thing again.

Only this time, the cars are not “clunkers” and the government is forcing VW to pay people to throw them away.

Almost 600,000 of them.

These cars are not high-miles and worn out, on their last legs. Many are only a year or two old. Nothing is wrong with any of them – other than their having been deemed “out of compliance” with Byzantine EPA emissions tests.

But only sometimes – and only slightly.

The cars were programmed to pass the EPA certification tests – required before they could legally be sold. They passed the tests, which incidentally is the same criteria Uncle insist on when it comes to the “education” of “the children” in government schools. Pass the tests (SOLs) and you pass on to the next grade. Kids are “taught” to pass the tests.

Uncle smiles.

But in VW’s case, it was later discovered that the programming was set up to run the engine differently – that is, better from the standpoint of the people buying and driving the cars – when out on the road and not connected to the EPA’s emissions test dynamometers. Under certain operating conditions – wide open throttle, for one – the calibrations were set to produce maximum performance.

Or, under other conditions, maximum miles-per-gallon.

Diesel-powered VWs like the Jetta and Passat TDI routinely delivered better-than-advertised (by EPA) mileage, out in real-world driving. I can vouch for this personally, having test driven every TDI-powered VW sold over the past 10 years. They all used less fuel – delivered higher mileage – than EPA said they would. Interesting. Less fuel used equals less exhaust gas produced equals lower emissions overall.

To continue reading: Cash For Not Clunkers

The EPA and the IRS… it’s the Same “Business”, by Eric Peters

The biggest scam is government, a fact once again admirably illustrated by Eric Peters, on a guest post at theburningplatform:

This VW business is a lot like the income tax business. And “business” is exactly the right word. It’s a business (albeit a perverted one) in both instances.scam-alert

The victim is compelled to fund his own persecution.

Yes, VW “cheated.” It is like me using a radar detector to “cheat” a cop out of his quota.

In both cases, the underlying law is ridiculous; the “cheating” nothing more than an attempt to evade the ridiculous. No one is harmed by “speeding” unless the car strikes another car or another person, which happens only rarely. Think about it. Almost all of us “speed” virtually every time we drive and yet accidents happen maybe a couple of times in a lifetime if they ever happen at all.

And when it does happen, the cause is more likely to be inattention or some other thing. Not velocity.

In the VW case, no one has been harmed. Not a single flesh-and-blood victim has been produced.

A guy by the name of Daniel Becker with a pompously named outfit called Clean Climate Change says “more pollution means more illness, more premature death.”

Ok, show me one.

Just one.

It shouldn’t be difficult.

The “affected” diesels go back to the 2009 model year, which is almost eight model years ago (the 2009s having been sold in 2008). Surely, if Becker and all the other sky-is-falling-mongers are right, they ought to be able to produce someone who’s been demonstrably afflicted by the “affected” VWs’ fractionally greater output of “harmful” emissions?

Maybe a bad cough that can be attributed to the fractionally higher emissions Becker, et al, are wailing about?

Nope.

Instead we get: “…regulators estimated the cars could emit as much as 40 times the permitted amounts” of the proscribed compounds (chiefly oxides of nitrogen, acronymned “NOx”).

Well, okay. I estimate that I could run a six minute mile. I estimate that you could be a thief.

It ought to be necessary to prove actual rather than estimated damages before being able to collect actual compensation… don’t you think?

It’s not unlike the IRS claiming we “owe” a sum of money for “services” we never asked for and don’t want, but which we’ll nonetheless be made to pay for anyhow.

Thus VW will be forced to fund “pollution reduction projects” – to the tune of $2.7 billion. And “clean energy development” – to the tune of $2 billion.geldscheisser

What is “clean energy development”? It is anything not powered by an internal combustion engine – a Tesla electric car, for instance.

Put precisely, VW will be forced to subsidize Tesla and other “clean” rivals.

Which aren’t really.

Electric cars are not powered by Zero Point energy emanating out of the quantum vortex. They are powered by electricity which is produced by utilities that burn coal and oil to generate it. If VW’s allegedly toxic diesels are such a dire threat to human health, how about the emissions produced by these utilities?

They are of course subject to regulation as well – but it’s less draconian than the company-killing fatwas hurled at VW. Which makes one wonder whether the real object of this exercise isn’t emissions but rather the cars themselves.

Specifically, VW’s affordable, efficient diesel-powered cars.

To continue reading: The EPA and the IRS… it’s the Same “Business”

VW Says: Thank You Sir! May I have Another? by Eric Peters

From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

So why did VW “cheat”? Uncle?

That question hasn’t been asked enough. It ought to be.

Now we have the answer – confirmation of what I suspected and wrote about earlier when this “scandal” broke last year.

VW “cheated” because it had to.

Because “cheating” was the only way to keep on selling diesel engines that delivered the mileage buyers expected at a cost that made economic sense to them.

Satisfying Uncle – passing his Rube Goldberg-esque emissions tests, which among other defects don’t measure the totality of a vehicle’s output – grams per mile – but rather sample parts per million (PPM) with the vehicle in a stationary test rig, would have entailed a noticeable reduction in fuel efficiency and a very noticeable uptick in the cost of the vehicle. Or rather, the cost of the additional hardware necessary to placate Uncle.

Now there’s proof of this.

European Uncles have discovered that diesel-powered VW vehicles “fixed” to comply with the tests use more fuel now – which is a problem over there because European Uncles also regulate carbon dioxide (C02), which is classified as a “pollutant” because Global Warming (whoops, Climate Change).

The more fuel used, the more C02 produced. You see the problem.

Which isn’t the displeasure of the European Uncles.

It’s the fact that you can’t have your affordable/high-mileage diesel cake and eat your making-Uncle-happy, too. There is a reason why there are no modestly priced diesel-powered cars available in the United States … now that VW’s cars are off the market.

VW was the only automaker selling them – and now, they’re not.

And not likely to, ever again.

You can make a diesel that makes Uncle happy. But you can’t make one that makes Uncle happy and which is also affordable to buy and delivers mileage high enough to offset the always-higher price of buying a diesel car vs. the equivalent gas-powered version of the same car.

To continue reading: VW Says: Thank You Sir! May I have Another?

The VW “Fix” Just Got a Lot More Expensive, by Eric Peters

From Eric Peters, a guy who knows a lot about the automobile industry, on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Better hide your diesel VW.red barchetta pic

Turns out that some of the “affected” models will require more than just a quick, easy (and free) software adjustment to placate Uncle.

Actually, it is most of them.

Of the 482,000 diesel-engined VWs identified (so far) for the High Crime of end-running Uncle, 325,000 of them may require physical alterations; that is re-engineering of their hardware. Specifically, they will probably have to be retrofitted with urea injection – a “feature” VW diesels up through the 2014 model year uniquely lacked – and which was probably among the reasons why people chose to buy a VW diesel.

More on that in a moment.

Urea injection is a chemical (catalytic) exhaust treatment that sprays a fluid – urea – into the exhaust stream. This alters the composition of the resultant gasses issuing from the tailpipe, making Uncle happy. It has become unavoidable to have this system, in order to placate Uncle. Every diesel-powered passenger car sold in the U.S. now has it – including all new VW diesels.

But it requires a secondary tank (in addition to the fuel tank) to store the urea – a couple gallons of the stuff, typically – and all the plumbing to get the urea into the exhaust. Plus the electronics to control the operation.

A retrofit will therefore entail costly physical as well as software modifications to the vehicle.

Probably a couple thousand dollars’ worth of parts and labor for each “affected” car. Holes will need to be drilled, cuts made in the car’s sheetmetal, to accommodate the urea tank, the filler neck and so on. The exhaust system will have to be altered, perhaps wholly or partially replaced.

It will also be necessary for the car’s owners to buy urea – commonly marketed as AdBlue or just Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) for the life of the car. VW will probably have to subsidize this for as long as each car remains in service – even if that’s for the next 30 years – as the people who bought the cars arguably did so at least in part because they thought they were buying a car that did not require periodic urea refills.adblue pic

Surprise!

You can see that is serious – and seriously expensive – business.

When the owners of the “affected” vehicles find out, they may revolt. May demand that VW simply buy their cars back, at full sticker – plus something extra for the hassle.

Which they are likely to get.

Because this mess differs from the usual recall, in which a component, a design (or even the car itself) turns out to be defective. That can be attributed to someone dropping the proverbial ball, or unforeseen consequences, even poor workmanship. But VW is accused of what amounts to a willful, deliberate fraud. Of knowingly selling people cars that were – in the eyes of Uncle – “polluters.”

The company has in fact admitted to doing exactly that.

Did you just hear something?

It’s the sound of the mortician tape-measuring VW for a casket. Or maybe it’s the sound of lawyers beating feet to file their papers down at the courthouse.

To continue reading: The VW “Fix” Just got a Lot More Expensive

Dirty Laundry, by Eric Peters

The VW scandal is not as cut and dried as the press tries to make it. From Eric Peters, on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Remember that old Eagle’s tune about the bubble headed bleached blonde who comes on at five? She can tell you about the plane crash, with a gleam in her eye.

The song neatly describes the vacuous but vicious nonetheless media feeding frenzy over the VW diesel “cheating” scandal.

What could be better than raking a car company over the coals for having tried to give its customers a better car as opposed to a government-compliant one?

Now the same finger-wagging is being directed at other car companies – among them Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Honda. The accusation isn’t “cheating” per se, but it amounts to the same thing.

According to the Guardian – a British paper/web site – diesel-powered models sold by these manufacturers emit more than they’re supposed to (see here).Or rather, they emit more when driven in – muffled cough, now – “realistic” conditions.

This is interesting because it ties into the VW debacle.

Here’s how:

Yes, VW “cheated” in the sense that it programmed its diesel cars to emit within government standards (extremely, almost impossibly strict) while hooked up to a diagnostic machine – the machines they hook your car up to when you take it in for an emissions test. When unhooked – and on the road – the software re-adjusted to make the engine perform better and deliver better fuel economy, too.

This latter (italicized) is the key point.

By delivering better fuel economy, the vehicles at issue used less fuel. Let that sink in for a minute.

They used less fuel than they otherwise would have (if adjusted to meet the government’s insanely strict standards).

What does this mean?

It means the total volume of exhaust produced when “not in compliance” was less by dint of the fact that less fuel was being consumed. Put another way, in realistic conditions – as opposed to being hooked up to a government emissions testing machine – the VWs being crucified in the media may actually have emitted fewer of the emissions at issue.

The truth, though, is that no one really knows. The tests measure output under given arbitrary conditions. Car stationary (usually not in gear) hooked up to a machine. Under other conditions, the cars may emit less … or more.

To continue reading: Dirty Laundry