German regulators are ALL IN on cracking down diesel gate once for all. It hurts the German auto manufacturing reputation big time. And we now know it's probably an industry wide practice extends beyond VW.
"Between 2006 and 2014, the commission suspects that the “circle of five” carmakers ... colluded to limit, delay or avoid the introduction of selective catalytic reduction systems (SCRs) and “Otto” particle filters."
Not only that, it caused people to die. Diesel emissions are one of the most dangerous kinds of emissions from a public health perspective, especially in populated areas. Because of this emissions testing fraud diesel emissions pollution was worse in many major cities than it would have otherwise been, and the result has been unquestionably a vast loss of life (DALYs, if you prefer), no different than if someone had poisoned a water supply or sold tainted food. But because it has been so diffuse that aspect hasn't gotten quite the attention it deserves.
>I would hope VW puts into production some of their claimed Year 2020 EV models, if so, they will have restored my faith in the company.
As someone who already owned a couple cars out of the Volkswagen brands, currently is seeing them still very critical but following their news closely I am sure they will do.
The first ID model will maybe delayed, maybe not better than a Tesla in many points, but I see VW is going full in to EVs and this is something that would never happened so fast if there wasn’t this Dieselgate story. The other german car manufactors are way more conservative with their transition and VW will push a So this is maybe the happy end of all this.
The "requirement" for a fleet average of 95g of CO2/km in the EU is inevitably pushing many manufacturers to double-down on full EVs, as provided you can sell enough they can have a dramatic effect on the fleet average. (It's a requirement insofar as there are fines for being over, but there's no other consequences in the short-term.)
I have a hard time having faith in any auto manufacturer whose EV initiatives are compelled by regulatory interests. Tesla is the only automaker whose dabbling in EVs isn't for the most part motivated by meeting regulatory compliance.
The engine control systems were from Bosch, also german, so other car manufacturers that also used Bosch for the engine/fuel injection/emissions control subsystem may have also made use of the "test conditions" bypass.
So of all of the modern generation of passenger car diesels we're there any that achieved what they were supposed to? If Mercedes and VW were both cheating, who else made that type of diesel? BMW? The US never seemed to see many passenger vehicles of that type.
> While the actions of some of the men dates to 2006, Winterkorn was informed about the scam in May 2014, according to prosecutors. Six months later, he condoned a “useless” update of the vehicles’ computer software to help further veil the scam.
So, from 2006-2014 it was rogue engineers and then the CEO took actions to cover it up?
Seems similar to many scandals throughout history, like Watergate where Nixon didn’t direct the burglary but did direct actions to cover it up.
I know the sort of instructions you get to become a rogue engineer. I want x achieved by date y. I do not care how you do it, I don't even want to know that. But unless you manage that let nobody come back alive.
I'm surprised that managers are actually being held to account in Germany now. There initially was quite a bit of resistance to doing so; the government seemed eager to believe the obviously bogus claim that it was just a few rogue engineers perpetrating this crime.
This cheating literally cost thousands of lives, so I'd say some time in prison is perfectly fair. Fines are useless because it is not the executives who pay.
> There initially was quite a bit of resistance to doing so
I don't know why this impression is so widespread. The prosecutor's office started investigations immediately, there have been quite a few raids in offices and private homes over all this time, yet, online commenters always claim that Germany wouldn't prosecute (or would not prosecute managers).
When people are Outraged(TM) and they want someone's (metaphorical) head on a platter Now(TM), not after going through all those boring technicalities that come with the outdated concept known as due process.
The German government owns 25% of VW. It is reasonable to suggest they wouldn't want to do a real investigation and bring charges as doing so directly hurts their best interest. It is even reasonable to suggest that the immediate investigations would have been called off if the German government felt they could get away with it, but public pressure has forced this.
Of course reasonable doesn't mean it is the truth. I have no idea what the truth is, but the fears are reasonable.
Maybe you need to readjust your image of what happens. If it isn't for the vigilance of the people all of the above can happen. They happen in other countries. Corruption of those in powers is a constant in the world, Germany is doing okay now, but it just takes one blink and things can go bad - as they have in many other countries throughout history.
German prosecutors are not independent but have to follow the authority of the ministry of justice. So in principle, politicians can stop the prosecutors. They would rarely do so as that would be the bigger scandal in the end.
Not sure what made anybody think otherwise. There are strict laws such that any owners or upper management (CEO) if responsible for criminal offenses will be privately fined. That means their own fortunes are at risk here. This isn't the US. VW was already fined. They're done. Now Winterkorn and the others are being charged and any fines demanded by the court will be paid from their private fortunes. Also, there will be jail time and fines involved if they're found guilty.
It's extrapolation based on the effects of that type of pollution and the amount of pollution.
It's not wrong but it's not telling the whole truth either. More rigorous metrics like YPLL would be better. A 20yo that drops dead is different from an elderly person that dies of lung issues a few years before cancer would have got them and more meaningful metrics attempt to capture this. "Deaths" is just a number and it doesn't tell you much. Age adjusted metrics don't make for bolt headlines or effective emotional appeals so it's understandable why nobody uses them.
Yeah, that's what really irks me about people making direct death comparisons over air pollution, especially when the QoL factor is excuse enough. Calculating the decrease in life expectancy of at-risk patients and then somehow suming them up is much more honest than implying the death of an elderly lung cancer patient a month early is a life destroyed by pollution.
Excess diesel exhaust particles, multiplied by liters of fuel flowing through the cars over the years. (Edit:) The cars were allowed to emit a certain amount of dangerous substances, causing X amounts of deaths per year. Instead they in reality emitted a larger amount, and caused X + Y deaths per year.
So VW traded Y number of deaths for extra marketshare and profit.
As a former owner of 2 TDI dirty diesels that lost money on the resale due to these issues I personally feel VW has not done enough to make it right with the customers impacted.
Prior to the two diesel's I had owned 4 other Audi's over 15 years.
I test drove a 3.0L TDI and listened to the "green" propaganda (remember their across NA clean diesel tour?) and that is what was the decision makers to purchase.
I then find out the vehicle was not nearly as green as stated; and actually worse than a gasoline version. As the father of two young kids and someone who worries about how we treat our planet this was concerning to me. So I immediately got the "fix" performed when approved. I could not sell the vehicle while a "fix" was pending.
That fix that VW came up with has dropped heavy city (stop and go) driving from >24 mpg to under 10! Also 4 mpg on the highway was lost; as well as making the vehicle drive sluggish and lethargic compared to "dirty days".
My vehicles plummeted from >$30K resale value to being under $15K within 6 months after the "fix" was rolled out. VW paid me $6K in restitution.
Through the entire process VW, who is guilty, was in the power position dictating what they would and would not to solve the problem. It was not handled well. They got off very easy.
I now hope the entire management team involved gets significant criminal charges. It was massive in scope. It impacted our planet negatively. I also feel they should be banned, personally, from ever being in a position to make such decisions again.
I for one will never purchase another vehicle from VW/Audi group. They do not stand behind their products nor look after customers. What they did was a very serious crime and they can never be trusted again.
Only Gen-1 cars had the buy-back as they could not be fixed with software.
Gen-2 cars they came up with a way to reprogram them to get to pass; but as I mentioned it comes with a huge impact of mileage and performance. Us gen-2 owners got about 10% of the vehicle purchase price to make up for the loss of resale value as the vehicles are not what was advertised or nearly as desirable.
And I agree fully with you that they screwed everyone living on this planet the worst.
>I know several people who had diesel VWs and let VW buy them back for almost the same price they paid for them two years earlier. Why didn't you do that?
Parent made the wrong choices. I can tell because they talked about using the car in the city. It's the wrong vehicle for city driving. FWIW I bought a 2012 VW Golf TDI for around $25k out the door. Drove almost 200k mi before it was bought back, received $18.5k or so back on it from VW, Bosch payments and the initial 'we're sorry package'. It was my second TDI after a 98 Jetta TDI. There was simply no other competition on the market for efficient long distance highway travel, which is what I used it for... and for people that asked me about its mileage, I would tell them... it only makes sense if you drive highways for at least a half hour each day. I was personally responsible for 2 Golf TDI's, a Passat TDI, and a A3 TDI being purchased by friends and family. All but one were bought back for values that were over market. The one that wasn't was because he sold it before the scandal broke.
So no, I don't understand the butthurt on lost value. It lost value because that's what vehicles do after a few years (or even after you drive them off the lot), not because of the scandal. You can speculate all you want, but the fact was once the buyback happened you had three options to replace the car left in the market segment. 1. A pre-2007 Benz or VW that overnight became impossible to purchase 2. A 2016 'fixed' TDI that had all the issues of the DPF. 3. One of the few Chevy Cruze diesels that were ludicrously overpriced and had poor option choice (no hatchback and standard trans: did you not want to capture some of VW's market?)
I would still very much expect that even in their dirty state, TDI's put out far less carbon emissions than gas vehicles do. NOX emissions, while a problem are less of a concern for long distance rural trips. Had I done it in a gas car I'm quite certain the longterm effect would be worse, even moreso if I flew in a jet for those trips.
And yeah, absolutely charge the people involved for covering up the testing. They are responsible not just for the pollution they caused while the cars were produced, but for the future pollution caused by the void of more efficient small vehicles that electric isn't ready to fill yet (outside of burbs). I'm pro electric, it just wouldn't work for my use case. For example, I tell people with a 5mi commute to a train station to buy old Nissan Leafs, because it's ideal for their use case. It doesn't make sense owning a diesel for that because they soot up and have issues when they aren't run enough.
It depends on the country they are in. They were not so generous here in Germany, cause our government still protects VW. Prosecutors have none of it, but that takes time and so far they don't really feel the heat.
I would assume it also depends on the emissions and fuel regulations in the country. The US has always had shitty diesel fuel at the pumps and it wasn't until around 10 years ago that you ultra-low sulfur diesel was ubiquitous everywhere. The 500ppm low sulfur diesel would screw up the catalysts. So the US answer was always to de-tune the vehicles, Germany had better configurations due to what I assume were higher fuel quality standards and less stringent emissions. Oh, I found a source confirming my suspicion: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/58733... check page 16 for an overview.
Sounds like you enjoyed your diesel hot rods for a good long while. You really should consider foregoing your martyrdom at some point; the well of sympathy for you isn't bottomless. Some of us can recall the years of self righteous VW owners lecturing the world about their little miracle cars.
You bought into a fraud. An honorable person finds a little shame in that, even when they can claim innocence.
> So, if someone falls for a pyramid scheme they should be ashamed of themselves?
A little, yes.
Detecting 'too good to be true' is an important aspect of judgement. Blithely inculcating every claim when it aligns with self interest is at the root of many evils.
You can see it in the post; the test drive sold it. This isn't an anomaly. VW buyers cite that same observation over and over. They liked the performance; they were buying performance.
When some yob brings a gas powered V8 pony car home from the dealer we're all granted permission to sneer at the selfish fool. Yet somehow the millions of VW buyers that learned about the kick in the pants product with the respectable badge are all mysteriously exempt and entitled to absolution.
I would hope that their wealth was confiscated. Years in a minimum security prison is certainly punishment but if you want to strike fear into CEOs around the world, make an example where you force the convicted CEO to live on only a couple hundred thousand dollars a year with no savings, trust funds, or other sources of wealth.
I know, but if you are used to having millions in the bank and living at that level, having to do your own shopping? make your own beds? How about using the same room where you eat dinner to host your cocktail parties? Driving yourself places, flying coach everywhere. Losing your memberships in the various athletic clubs and private clubs. When you compare the burn rate (or expenditures) of someone who goes through a million dollars a year (easy to do if you're a point one percenter), the things you have to give up to fit that into a 200K/year budget (call it 130K after taxes) means giving up a lot of stuff. That is super painful and an excellent punishment.
It's not "super painful" or "an excellent punishment". What you're describing as privations are unattainable luxuries for the majority of the population, not only of the World, but of the wealthiest nations too.
The median _gross_ income in the UK is £22k ($29k USD).
You must be incredibly out of touch to perceive something at the level of "giving up private club membership" to be suitable punishment for such abject disregard for the environment and public health.
I don't think I'm communicating. From the perspective of the wealthy, those are quite painful. Not from the perspective of the middle class, and certainly not from the perspective of someone struggling to get by.
I recently shopped for a 5 door hatchback. There are VW TDI's all over Utah. My understanding, from sales people, is that VW bought many of them back, "fixed" them, and put them back on the used market.
Can anyone give me insight into the fixes they have applied?
If the cars were cheating to defeat IM tests, wouldn't making them not cheat make them fail (or nearly fail) IM tests? Are these cars likely to fail the tests as they age?
Did VW actually fix the IM problem instead of using the software to defeat the tests? If so, it seems like the fix wasn't all that hard and it might have been easier to fix them than to cheat in the first place.
There's a tradeoff in these (many? most? all?) diesel engines between better emissions performance and better mileage. The cheat was that the software would tune the engine for mileage normally, except when it detected that it was being tested it would tune the engine for lower emissions. The fix is to lock them into the low-emissions mode.
My rough understanding from reading the discussions at the time is that they can pull the engine into a performance range that passes the emissions test, but that range is 1) less horsepower, fewer lb-ft of torque and 2) worse fuel economy. Diesel as a technology suffers from more NOx production than gasoline because the increased compression forces it to run lean rather than at stoichiometric ratios. So, basically they tell the injection software to run in emissions test mode all the time and it's "fixed" but you're not going to get any of the other claimed numbers.
..damage to the inhabitants of earth. These are crimes against humanity, done with the purpose of gaining wealth.
The fact that Germany goes after the guys on top is reassuring, and somehow restores my faith in society. Go EU!
This is both good and bad news. Everyone benefits from greater transparency, and for once, a high ranking official being charged is refreshing.
But it also raises the question of whether a person acting on behalf of a company is chargeable, as typically, the company is the legal entity that the law targets. How can individuals be protected from legal failings of a corporation?
This is quite hilarious compared to the actual deaths caused by Boeing MCAS. Nevertheless it is deserved.
Next hilarious bit is that this comment is being downvoted (after ~1 minute of having been posted) :) If you downvote, please have just the small bit of courage to state in a followup comment why you disagree. The (at the moment two²) downvoters of course don't have this courage.
I haven't voted. I guess people wonder what does the charge have to do with the victims of the Boeing crash, why there is a comparison, why that is hilarious, and whether your comment adds to any meaningful discussion.
Since this is (/appears to be) a community of people who connect more than just 2 dots, it is quite straining to me to explain what i mean.
The point is that VW (and other car manufacturers) are being charged for hypothetically happening deaths due to pollution. There is statistical evidence of this, but the gross result is open to discussion and no serious scientist will agree on a real number, especially that the probably larger cause of statistical death in the long run is caused by fine-grain emissions, which are independent of the engine itself. The really lethal emissions known as of today are caused by fine-grained dust, which is emitted by all cars, the more power, the more dust (i.e. Tesla cars). This is well known (rubber).
Opposed to this there is evidence in form of >200 deceased people in less than 7 months, caused by actual negligence of Boeing adminstration/engineers. This has not lead to any legal repercussions, it will probably just result in "we improved MCAS, we're safe again".
I'd say it boils down to a question of intent. In the case of Boeing, you have a complicated system whose engineering intricacies make it exceedingly difficult for anyone to anticipate all possible failure modes. In the case of VW you have execs trying to make an extra buck off of knowingly pumping an excess of pollution into the atmosphere. The first seems negligent at most, the second seems malicious.
The Boeing stuff just happened. It started to be big news just over a month ago. The VW stuff happened 4 years ago and the legal stuff is still unfolding. The comparison is ridiculous, and calling it hilarious is tone deaf.
Haven’t voted but rough estimates of deaths by dieselgate are a lot higher than the couple of hundred in the plane crashes. Further, thousands that didn’t die from
particle exhausts in recent years were still affected negatively by it.