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Car Enthusiasts - VW thoughts?

I'm not a huge car guy, so I don't have a strict opinion either way, but I know car people are very dedicated to their brands/companies. Any VW fans out there, and thoughts on this scandal that has their share price down 20% already?


  • 1) For those that don't know, here is the scandal Wader is referring too

    2) I am interested is how this didn't get found sooner with Emission's testing (although not the same everywhere as far as how old/new the car has to be) being such common practice.

    3) Would it stop me from ever buying a VW if the price was right and provided VW's corporate Overlord's fix this HUGE problem. No. German reliability is still reliable.
  • wow seriously any kind of cost benefit analysis would have shown this is a bad idea. short of some small performance gain in the cars. i cannot fathom how this kind of hidden performance gain could possibly be justified.
  • Kikhan, it wasn't a small gain. I believe it was estimated that changing how the car behaves during emissions tests reduced the mileage you get quite significantly, some reports I've seen suggest up to 30%. Once the emissions test is complete, the car switches back to a far more fuel efficient mapping that creates emissions that would fail the EPA testing, but since the emissions testing and fuel consumption testing aren't done at the same time, you can get the best result out of both with little to no effort. 30% is an insane amount when you are talking about marketing your cars to the public.

    There is no way that VW was the only company that was doing this, I'm guessing its pretty common practice. I believe all the emissions testing is done by the manufacturer and reported on to government agencies, so it would be unlikely that other companies aren't following similar practices. They just happened to be the ones that got caught first.
  • ah didnt find any 30% numbers, when i tinkered with that stuff when i was younger 10 - 12% was good with what i had available to me so that was my reference point. emissions testing is enforced by local governments in approved fast mechanic service type places down here; not the car manufactuer's industry, where i've seen it done. i would agree it is likely this is not an isolated incident with it being so wide spread within the fleet.
  • fwiw, at least every german manufacturer (and probably all?) has special tunings and software that is activated when on a dynamometer (easy check - if lateral_acceleration is 0 and has been 0, you aren't doing real driving).

    Basically special controllers take over to boost up MPG if the speed profile is 'normal', or performance if the speed profile is doing a maximal BHP test (or even easier, if there is a sport/eco switch you don't have to switch on speed profile)

    This is to cheat the MPG ratings/tests. It isn't surprising at all they also had special controls for emissions, but it is surprising they basically weren't using the burn-off system at all during regular driving in order to save MPG. I mean I guess if it is a 30% efficiency hit to prefer not using the burn-off, it makes sense why they'd do it.

    Cheating EPA tests for 5-10 MPG, whatever. I mean it's probably better just to push those special controllers out to an eco mode, and have Eco/Normal/Sport modes that the driver can choose, so nobody is being fooled.

    But 30% of your MPG... and cheating on emissions. It surely would've been better to hold off bringing diesels to the NA market before developing a better systems. It isn't exactly like diesel is cheaper or as easily available here (in US, more along interstate systems, less in sub/urban areas)
  • Diesel was cheaper when diesel cars really started breaking into the market but, trucking merchandise also exploded exponentially at the time as well. So Diesel's demand skyrocketed making it more expensive in the last 15-20 years. Processing wise Diesel is actually cheaper to produce.

    As to the answer to this post originally it would not affect me. As I would switch it over to veg oil anyways. Since we have a local shop who does the conversions and provides filtered veg oil from restaurants. All be it I am not sure how much this would be affected in the emissions it certainly couldn't be more harmful petrodiesel.
  • Emissions on turbo vehicles, especially diesels, is an interesting topic. Diesel, which you can get some damn good mileage out of, gallon to gallon produces more greenhouse gases than gasoline from combustion. Not to mention the particulate it generates that gasoline does not. That said, I’ll leave the diesel vs gas topic for another time/thread. No trying to get into that argument at all. The point I’m trying to make here is that the emission standards for these two types of vehicles are different.

    That said, in the states, there are not too many places setup to put a vehicle on a dynamometer and measure emissions. The majority of the inspection is done via the ODBII port where a machine reads all the parameters and check conditions from the ECU. That’s it for the “emissions” inspection. Granted, cars made before 1996 may not be equipped with ODBII. In these cases, some places will require a sniffer in the tailpipe, but most places just require a visual inspection. Colorado and California are the only two places I know to be a bit stricter than others, with Colorado actually operating dynamometers. Even with that, it is not a common practice to dyno during an inspection, and a bit of ECU manipulation can go a long way if/when that occurs. I can see why this was not caught.

    This will no doubt create an issue for VW. I’m sure they’ll pay some fines, bounce back, and their world will keep spinning. Maybe just a good time to buy some shares?
  • Canada is the same, new cars are run on an odb2 scanner and provided everything reports properly and there is no visual sign of smoking from the car it passes.

    re: price of diesel vs Gas, it seems to "mostly" flip with the seasons in canada. This is due in no small part to the anti-freezing agents added to canadian diesel in the winter.
  • incoming articles on BMW and one or two other European companies now
  • I guess I am what you would call a VW fan...

    For all of their faults, and they certainly have them... They make (to me) great cars. I am on my 5th VW product (after four Jettas, I have a Touareg now)

    Obviously, this was a stupid decision, but I can't imagine, like Alex said, that other companies don't do the same things. I think it happens in every industry (CPU benchmarks anyone?).

    Still will buy them.
  • Listen here sympathetic Citizen, I didn't buy a TDI because it was good for the environment, I bought it cause it saved me money on fuel / mile. - A Don't give a shit citizen driving a gas guzling car like everyone else, while we have electric cars.
  • but nazis gif ..... NAZIS!


    -A D.G.A.F citizen who drives an actual gas guzling truck! (well not really by truck standards .... but it's no camry!)
  • I drive a gas vehicle, so I suppose I am an environmentalist VW owner? Also, not down with the whoel anti-Jew thing.

    I am pretty sure Nazi's drive BMW's now, anyway.
  • meh stop eating meat and drive what you want your affect on the environment will be greater this way.
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