Volkswagen is in trouble with just about everybody on the f'ing planet

rickhamilton620

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These deals man: https://goo.gl/4tZSlD

Under 20k for a Golf Sportwagen.....mmmm

Yes, i know there's caveats (supposedly dealers were paid to maintain the cars during the downtime but who knows if your particular dealer did it, there's questions about "the fix", lost resale value due to not being a 2017, etc.) but man if I were a betting man and had the money....
 
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Spectre

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https://www.rt.com/business/387134-volkswagen-golf-ford-fiesta/

VW Golf is no longer Europe?s best-selling car. The title now belongs to the Ford Fiesta, reports JATO, a London-based supplier of automotive business intelligence.

In March, VW sold 46,800 Golfs compared to 47,300 Fiestas sold by Ford. The third best-seller was VW?s Polo with 40,700 sold in the month.

Volkswagen lost the title for the first time in seven years. JATO names three reasons for the event, which it describes as ?historical."

-snip-

Second, Volkswagen?s reputation was hit by the so-called dieselgate scandal. The German automaker admitted it used fraudulent software that allowed VW cars to emit 40 times more than the legally permitted amount of pollution. This hit not only the producer but diesel cars as a whole.

?During the last 18 months, we?ve haven?t only seen the effects of the dieselgate, but also the increasing bad reputation issue around this fuel type. Governments through bans are severely attacking the diesels, and of course, this is having an impact on the demand,? said JATO.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/judge-approves-largest-fine-u-s-history-volkswagen-n749406

A federal judge in Detroit Friday signed off on what could be one of the last big developments in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, ordering the German maker to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty negotiated as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department last January.

The ruling now brings to around $30 billion the costs VW will incur after being caught rigging two of its diesel engines to pass U.S. emissions tests ? a figure that includes the price of buying back almost 500,000 vehicles sold in the country. Meanwhile, seven current and former Volkswagen employees have been charged with crimes connected to the scandal, while an investigation continues in Germany.
And that's just for the 2.0 diesels - we haven't even gotten started on the fraud and deception surrounding the V6s.

Some moaning from the California liberal/green crowd that their state's VW settlement won't go far enough; I'm not going to bother excerpting or quoting this drivel - posting for the sake of completeness. http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Volkswagen-s-huge-diesel-settlement-falls-short-11104683.php

LOL at VW's recovery attempts: http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagens-re-branding-strategy-wake-dieselgate-focuses-sex-crossovers/

Volkswagen?s Re-Branding Strategy in Wake of Dieselgate Focuses on Sex, Crossovers
VW claims to have bought back or repaired half of the afflicted vehicles in the US. Of course, considering VW's track record of lying their ass off, who knows if they actually have? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/volkswagen-emissions-test-cheat-vehicle-buyback/

WASHINGTON - Volkswagen (VLKAY) said on Friday the company has bought back or repaired more than half of 475,000 polluting 2.0-liter diesel vehicles under a U.S. government settlement, just six months after it launched the largest-ever automotive repurchase offer.

The world?s largest automaker said in a letter to a U.S. judge overseeing the settlement that as of Wednesday, it repurchased or terminated leases on nearly 238,000 vehicles and repaired 6,200 after it admitted in 2015 to secretly installing software that let vehicles emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution levels.

Under the agreement, Volkswagen must buy back or repair at least 85 percent of the vehicles by 2019 or face additional penalties.

In March, VW pleaded guilty to fraud, obstruction of justice and falsifying statements as part of a $4.3 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. The company is to be sentenced to three years of probation on April 21 by a federal judge in Detroit. Under a plea agreement, the automaker must make reforms and faces oversight by a yet to be named independent monitor.
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These deals man: https://goo.gl/4tZSlD

Under 20k for a Golf Sportwagen.....mmmm

Yes, i know there's caveats (supposedly dealers were paid to maintain the cars during the downtime but who knows if your particular dealer did it, there's questions about "the fix", lost resale value due to not being a 2017, etc.) but man if I were a betting man and had the money....
Rick, it's a known and documented fact that a lot of these unsold 2015 TDIs were simply shoved into whatever nearby field the dealers could rent and left to rot because dealers simply didn't have room on their lots to hold cars they could not sell - whatever lies VW may tell about them having been "maintained". Couple that with VW's incessant lying about everything when questioned and you'd have to be a complete idiot to want one.
 
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Spectre

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Your cherrypicking game is even stronger than RT's, while you both choose to focus on only one data point, RT at least had the courtesy to mention the reason for that data point's behaviour.
1. I provided the original URL for people to read for themselves and I did note that I wasn't posting the whole thing.
2. I was just pointing out that, yet again, every time VW's name gets mentioned, pretty much for any reason, Dieselghazi is mentioned yet again by the press and the clock gets reset.
 

public

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So, in effect, nothing of value was added to the thread?

BUT THEIR EMAILS
 

narf

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1. I provided the original URL for people to read for themselves and I did note that I wasn't posting the whole thing.
85% of people trust data presented to them without digging deeper into presented data. If you actually want people to read the entire article, provide only the link and your commentary.

2. I was just pointing out that, yet again, every time VW's name gets mentioned, pretty much for any reason, Dieselghazi is mentioned yet again by the press and the clock gets reset.
Until that post, no - you didn't point that out. You quoted part of an article and moved on. No pointing out whatsoever.
Including bits about the Fiesta serves that point in no way, the last four lines would have sufficed - plus the actual pointing out bit "look, the Kremlin writes things about VW and includes dieselgate" :yawn:

It's like Hammond and the incident, it's how media works. We all know that.
 

Spectre

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85% of people trust data presented to them without digging deeper into presented data. If you actually want people to read the entire article, provide only the link and your commentary.

Until that post, no - you didn't point that out. You quoted part of an article and moved on. No pointing out whatsoever.
Including bits about the Fiesta serves that point in no way, the last four lines would have sufficed - plus the actual pointing out bit "look, the Kremlin writes things about VW and includes dieselgate" :yawn:

It's like Hammond and the incident, it's how media works. We all know that.
Despite the fact that several people didn't understand that concept earlier in this thread? Yeah, not a safe assumption.

More potential Dieselghazi fallout: Volkswagen Beetle, Scirocco Likely Axed Due to Dieselgate Costs

Despite being the sole sales winner last month, Volkswagen still struggles with costs related to the Dieselgate emissions scandal. In an effort to cut costs, two of the German automaker's most famous nameplates, the Beetle and the Scirocco, may be coming to an end after their current iterations, according to Autocar. Speaking on the future of the models at Volkswagen's 2017 Annual Session, VW board member Arno Antlitz had this to say: "The Beetle and Scirocco are representatives of an emotional and appealing class of vehicles, but it [VW product planning] is not always about continuing cars from one generation to the next."

The retro, bug-shaped People's Car is one of the brand's slowest selling models, only moving about 25,000 units in Europe in all of 2016. The Scirocco?a car that isn't sold stateside?fared even worse, selling less than 11,000 units in the same region and during the same time period. The decision to continue to keep the Scirocco from sports-compact fans in America was not made due to differing markets or tastes, but is a result of exchange rates.

Antlitz went on to say that Volkswagen's new and upcoming cars like the ID EVs and the Arteon luxury sedan "would fill the emotional void left by the departure of the Beetle and Scirocco."
It also appears that VW's deciding to try natural gas powered cars (at least in part) in an attempt to recover their 'clean automaker' image after their last 'clean car' exploded in Dieselghazi. Now, I could have used another source for this but since narf complained so much about it, I'll use RT again. :evil:

Europe's biggest auto maker Volkswagen (VW) is in talks with Russia?s Gazprom and America's ExxonMobil to supply fuel for its cars running on natural gas, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller told Austria's ORF radio.

VW is seeking ways to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to overcome its diesel emissions scandal, the CEO said.

"We are now really trying to think out of the box and find solutions that can be helpful at least in this transition period of 10 to 20 years," Mueller said in the interview on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Gazprom and Volkswagen are cooperating on gas-powered cars. In 2013, the companies signed an agreement on delivery of natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel to Volkswagen Motorsport starting from May 2013. Two types of natural gas are used as a vehicle fuel: compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Yeah, good luck with that... We've been trying CNG and to a lesser degree LNG for decades and it still hasn't caught on outside of fleets. And there's the 1970s "Ooops, I blew up the entire block" experience still hanging around in memory... Which is part of why it hasn't caught on; lack of fueling stations. It is easier to get a gasoline/diesel station permitted than it is a CNG or LNG vehicle fueling terminal in the public retail space. Fleets can have their own terminals far more easily, of course, so that's a reason fleets can go for that.

- - - Updated - - -

Also, this was an interesting VW Dieselghazi related press release today, related to the German (not American) shareholder lawsuit against VW because of Dieselghazi:

ISAF Management Company Issues a Last Call for Volkswagen and Porsche Shareholders
May 05, 2017 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ISAF Management Company is offering an opportunity to the claimants who did not previously join ISAF or other coalitions to litigate against VW in Germany for losses in VW and Porsche shares traded on Xetra Deutsche B?rse can register their claims via ISAF in connection with the collective action (KapMuG Proceedings) at the Higher Regional Court in Braunschweig.

The case against Volkswagen AG in German court has progressed to the next stage, with the appointment of the model case lead plaintiff, Deka Investment GmbH, by the 3rd Civil Division of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Braunschweig, in Germany.

Eligible damaged Volkswagen and Porsche investors who did not join the litigation under the KapMuG Proceedings in September 2016 or before now have the opportunity to register a claim via ISAF in connection with those same proceedings originated in the Braunschweig District Court. Any additional claimants to these proceedings has an opportunity to register eligible claims by May 24, 2017 (with a transaction data and documentation deadline of May 12, 2017).

A lawsuit, filed in September 2016 and funded and administrated by International Securities Associations and Foundations Management Company for Damaged VW Investors, LLC (ISAF VW), is being prosecuted by TILP Litigation Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH (TISAB), the leading German law firm representing the "model case lead plaintiff" and hundreds of institutional investors. The lawsuit against Volkswagen stems from the losses Volkswagen and Porsche investors sustained because of the widespread Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud.

This deadline is based on the potential loss of standing as a result of the expiration of the 3 year statute of repose under German securities laws, relating to VW's CEO being informed of the US EPA investigation into the diesel emission manipulation fraud on May 23, 2014.

This registration is related to a claim for losses against VW by VW holders or Porsche holders that also held VW shares.

Shareholders that only held Porsche shares should contact ISAF for information about some possible options relating to litigation or registration of claims in the District and Higher Regional Courts in Stuttgart, the geographically based jurisdiction of Porsche.

As the largest shareholder in Volkswagen, plaintiffs in the Porsche case argue, that with management and Board representation in VW, Porsche management had inside knowledge of the VW ?defeat device? scheme. Porsche recorded a major loss to its VW holdings on its balance sheet and a drastic drop in its own share prices, as VW share prices declined.
More details at the link.
 
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Spectre

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More about VW, followed by a Mercedes story.
Merc's latest diesel efforts in the US have basically just fallen flat on their faces. Over and above the VW Dieselghazi chilling effect on the diesel car market, they removed the diesel I6 from the E-class and gave us a diesel I4, while claiming that it was just as good. Buyers said 'ummmm... no.'

This came in late on Thursday; Bosch gets a non-trivial but relatively small fine and VW's solution for the 3.0 Dieselghazi problem is approved - fix 'em or buy 'em back: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-idUSKBN1871WO

A federal judge on Thursday granted final approval on an agreement for Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) to pay at least $1.22 billion to fix or buy back 80,000 3.0-liter vehicles in the United States linked to the German automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal.

At a court hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer also said he was granting final approval to German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH's separate settlement, under which it will pay $327.5 million to U.S. VW diesel owners for its role in developing the engines.

Breyer said he was overruling all objections and called the settlements, in which Bosch admitted to no wrongdoing, "fair, reasonable and adequate."

Last fall, Breyer approved a separate settlement for Volkswagen worth up to $14.7 billion, requiring it to buy back 475,000 2.0-liter polluting vehicles that emitted up to 40 times legally allowable emissions.

Owners of 3.0 liter vehicles who opt for fixes will get compensation of between $7,000 and $16,000 from Volkswagen if emissions remedies are approved in a timely fashion.

Volkswagen, the best-selling automaker worldwide in 2016, could be forced to pay up to $4.04 billion if regulators do not approve fixes for all 3.0 liter vehicles.

Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the settlement "marks an important milestone for Volkswagen and means that a resolution is available to all of our customers" with eligible diesels.

In total, VW has now agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, U.S. states and dealers and to make buy-back offers.

In April, Volkswagen, which admitted to circumventing the emissions control system in U.S. diesel vehicles, was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to three felony counts.

Under the settlement, Volkswagen agreed to sweeping reforms, new audits and oversight. Over the next three years, VW must test all of its U.S. vehicles using portable emissions measurement system testing - a method designed to capture real world emissions and deter cheating.

Separately, VW's U.S. unit said on Thursday it had named a KPMG LLP director, Stephanie C. Davis, as its chief compliance officer.

Volkswagen said Davis has worked on compliance issues. Last month, former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Larry Thompson was tapped to serve as independent monitor of Volkswagen for three years under a Justice Department plea agreement over its excess emissions.

VW still faces outstanding suits from U.S. bondholders, other investors and suits alleging excess carbon dioxide emissions with gasoline-powered Audi vehicles.
More about the 3.0 fixes here (unfortunately, it's Jalopnik): http://jalopnik.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-volkswagens-3-0-liter-1791924703

Generation 1 vehicles are 2009 to 2012 Volkswagen Touaregs and Audi Q7s, with the first two years of each model considered sub-generation 1.1, and the last two sub-generation 1.2.

VW believes that, for vehicles encompassed by this generation, there are no ?practical engineering solutions? that would get the cars into compliance with the emissions standards to which they were originally certified without ?negative impact to vehicle functions and unacceptable delay.?
In more usual VW news, this same generation of VAG SUV platform with the gas engine has just been recalled for self-immolation issues. The Touareg had already been recalled, now it's the turn of *all* the platform-mates - one wonders why they didn't realize it was likely going to be a problem on all vehicles sharing this part, then you remember this is the idiots at VAG and you don't wonder any more. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-13/volkswagen-expands-recall-to-porsche-audi-models-on-fire-risk

Volkswagen AG is adding almost 300,000 Porsche and Audi vehicles to a previous recall for a fuel-pump defect that could result in fire, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The fuel-pump flange on certain Porsche Macan models and Audi Q5 and Q7 sport-utility vehicles may crack, which may lead to a fuel leak and possibly result in a fire, the auto-safety regulator said in recall advisories posted Saturday to its website. The components were manufactured by Continental AG.

The Audi Q5s were built from July 2012 to March 2017, and the Q7s between May 2012 and July 2015. Dealers will apply a protective film to the fuel pump component, or replace it if cracks are found. The recall is set to begin July 2.

About 240,500 Audis and 51,500 Porsches are affected by the recalls.

Porsche Cars North America is recalling certain Macan S and Macan Turbo vehicles from model years 2015 to 2017, as well as 2017 Macan, Macan Turbo with Performance Package and Macan GTS vehicles. The same remedies will apply to the Porsches.
More legal trouble for VW, this time not related to Dieselghazi: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/business/vw-expenses-fraud.html?_r=0

FRANKFURT ? German prosecutors said on Friday that they were investigating possible fraud in connection with expense money paid by Volkswagen to a labor representative on the company?s supervisory board, raising the specter of another scandal at the carmaker.

Volkswagen confirmed in a statement that the investigation, by prosecutors in Braunschweig, near company headquarters in Wolfsburg, involved Bernd Osterloh, the chairman of the carmaker?s works council and one of the most powerful labor leaders in Germany.

The company said it had already commissioned a review by an outside expert, who concluded that money paid to Mr. Osterloh ?complies with all legal requirements in every respect.? A spokesman for Mr. Osterloh did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The latest investigation comes only two months after Volkswagen pleaded guilty in the United States to charges related to its attempt to dupe regulators about the emissions of diesel cars.

The investigation could cast doubt on Volkswagen?s assurances, repeated on Wednesday at the annual shareholders meeting, that it is creating a more ethical company culture.

The action by prosecutors is also sure to stir up memories of a scandal a decade ago in which Volkswagen money was used to supply labor leaders with prostitutes during lavish ?pleasure trips.?

In September 2015, Volkswagen was accused of evading emissions standards in the U.S. The scandal has hit the company hard.

That scandal led to the criminal convictions in 2008 of Peter Hartz, the Volkswagen personnel director, and Klaus Volkert, then the head of the works council. Shortly before the scandal came to light, Mr. Osterloh succeeded Mr. Volkert as chairman of the council, which under German law has broad powers to influence company policy.

All publicly listed companies in Germany have a works council, and in addition, labor representatives hold half the seats on the company?s supervisory board.

At Volkswagen, the works council is separate from the IG Metall union that represents Volkswagen workers, but they cooperate closely.

And even by German standards, workers at Volkswagen are especially powerful because the state of Lower Saxony, where the company is based, owns 20 percent of the voting shares and has two seats on the supervisory board. The politicians who occupy the state?s seats almost always side with labor, giving workers the de facto majority, meaning they have the power to hire and fire top managers.

The system gives top executives a strong incentive to keep the chairman of the works council happy, and it was at the root of the ?pleasure trips? scandal in 2008. Investors have often complained about Volkswagen?s governance system, saying that it insulated top management from outside scrutiny and helped create a climate where the emissions scandal could breed.

Volkswagen can ill afford another blow to its reputation. The company said on Friday that deliveries in April slipped 1.4 percent to 841,000 vehicles worldwide, largely because of slumping sales in Germany and other European countries.

The Braunschweig state?s attorney?s office provided no details about the sums of money involved in the reported wrongdoing. But, in an emailed statement, the prosecutors said they had concluded that there was enough evidence to warrant an official investigation.
If true... does VAG do anything that *isn't* corrupt, dishonest or cheating?

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Came across something in my news feed that isn't quite Dieselghazi related, but it reminded me of a prior post in here and it made me LMAO.

Some say that they over engineered the platform from a cost perspective (http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?8268705-MQB-is-over-engineered-for-the-vehicles-it-underpins/), but if they put higher margin vehicles on it (which they are with Atlas/Teramont) perhaps they can recoup the costs better.
About the Atlas, which you recommended on another thread... Looks like they screwed up on the Atlas by the numbers. Turns out it's a seven seater SUV that basically can't legally carry seven average people let alone anything else.

VW Atlas lacking muscle but not appeal

You have to pity poor Atlas, the mythological Greek god who led the Titans into a losing battle against the Olympians. Zeus sentenced him to hold the weight of the heavens on his shoulders.

Fortunately for Atlas, he was buff.

Unfortunately for drivers, Volkswagen?s new crossover utility vehicle of the same name is strong only to a point.

The three-row, seven-passenger 2018 Atlas? payload capacity is only 1,213 pounds. Load it up with four women and three men of average weight, and you?ll be over that threshold before even putting a single golf club in the generous 20.6-cubic-foot cargo area.
Whoops.

Cops will love looking for these when loaded up for holiday road trips. Free 'over GVWR' tickets, free seizure and impound fees, woo hoo! To say nothing of the safety and handling issues.

For comparison, the Honda Pilot's payload is 1405-1622lbs depending on configuration. Even the smaller Fiat-Jeep Cherokee has 1395-1547lbs payload. This is pretty damn pathetic from VW.
 
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GRtak

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Dieselgate Product Of Vast VW-BMW-Daimler Car Cartel Conspiracy, Fresh Report Says


Two years ago, the dieselgate scandal just started to unfold, I recommended to dig deeper, and to dig elsewhere than Volkswagen, because having worked in said industry, I knew that dieselgate is everywhere. Everybody in the industry knew it, but nobody talked. In America, dieselgate-cheaters are behind bars, while in Europe, emissions cheating is treated as a lesser offense than illegal parking: Not a single fine was handed out in Europe. Today, peccadillo suddenly morphed into a monstrous antitrust case when it became known that dieselgate is the product of a secret cartel far beyond Volkswagen. ?Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Porsche colluded for years in more than 1000 meetings,? wrote Der Spiegel [German, paywall] today.

Germany's Handelsblatt has a similar report. EU antitrust regulators confirmed investigations, Reuters wrote.

The dieselgate scandal never was as simple as the common good prevailing over the villain Volkswagen. Today, we may begin to understand the true enormity of a scandal that involves a cabal of carmakers and politicians.

For two decades, more than 200 managers and engineers of five large German automakers met in 60 different task forces to coordinate ?the development of cars, costs, suppliers, and markets,? wrote der Spiegel. ?They cooperated in secrecy, as closely as one would expect it from the divisions of one company, of a German Auto Inc ? or a cartel.?

According to the report, the cartel colluded on everything from the soft-top of a convertible to the assessment of suppliers. The German Five also agreed on the size of the urea, or AdBlue tank.

The diesel engine was Europe's answer to CO2 curbs. Diesel also was an answer to a Japanese threat, says Der Spiegel. Toyota lowered consumption and CO2 with its hybrid engine. Diesel also is more efficient, and therefore produces less CO2. At the same time, the diesel engines makes something much nastier: Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) a gas that leads to the premature death of 72,000 people per year, as the European Environmental Agency said. NOx can be neutralized with AdBlue. The liquid needs a tank, and the bigger the tank, the more money it costs. If automakers would agree on a moderately sized AdBlue tank, they could save ?up to 80 EUR [$93] per vehicle? the minutes of one of the secret meetings are quoted. When you make 10 million cars a year, those 80 Euros quickly turn into real money.

In 2006, the secret committees agreed to do something about the tanks and the expense, and in 2008, something was done. ?After several meetings, telephone calls, and emails, Daimler, Audi, BMW, and VW agreed in September 2008 on an 8 liter tank for all vehicles.?

The trouble was: if the nasty NOx is properly neutralized, that 8 liter tank did last for not more than 3,700 miles. To last the usual 10,000 miles between oil changes, ?a tank of at least 19 liters? would be needed, Der Spiegel quoted a document authored by Audi. The document noted that ?Daimler, VW, and BMW concur.?

A few years later came stricter regulations both in Europe, and the U.S. , requiring more AdBlue. ?Nobody had the obvious idea to mount bigger AdBlue tanks,? notes the report. Just the opposite happened: Audi warned against an ?arms race of tank sizes, which we should continue to avoid.?

That is the first page, two more follow at the link.
 

93Flareside

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So, we've got people working to avoid stricter regulations across the world. It's just that the Angry Cheeto is more noisy about it.
 

gaasc

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Prepare for this to be swiftly put under the rug as the EU remembers who is the most powerful country in the union.
 

MacGuffin

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Well, diesel cars have lost a lot of value by now and those who still own one, often regret having bought one now. Tragically, a new generation of (this time) really clean diesels is about to hit the market in autumn but I fear the image of the diesel has suffered too much by now.

In any case I'm glad I have a petrol-powered car.

As for the long-term implications, well, for Germany the car industry is as important as the financial industry is for other countries: Too big to fail. More than a million jobs are conneceted to it and it creates about 20 % of the national GDP. If it comes to the crunch, the state (a.k.a. the tax payer) will pay the bill.
 

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Well...

I feel like I have the wrong car but I'm in the right industry... I guess in the long run, I made the right choice.
 

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This story has nothing to do with VW but since all the other German manufacturers now have a huge dildo up their arse aswell I might aswell do a shameless crosspost there to keep the story because I think it's definitely worth saving:

So I'm gonna share the story here as I think it reaches more people in the thread but I will also do an absolutely shameless crosspost to the VW thread. This is just me telling the story, not actually taking any position about the topic.

The dad of a very good friend of mine wanted a new car. Estate with a diesel engine because this he owns a business and this is Europe, therefore it makes sense for commuting daily. Just a big luxorious barge for wafting on the 'bahn.

So in april get got himself a very late, slightly used, but freshly serviced (this is important) S212 E250 BlueTec Avantgarde, with the (in my opinion) lovely 2.2 liter twin turbocharged inline 4 diesel. Probably the only inline 4 diesel I consider liking. Also, this 9 speed gearbox appears to be absolutely fantastic. Maybe even better than the industry-loved ZF8; I trust my friend very much when it comes to judging the quality of a car which I haven't driven on my own.

Here it is with my friend's clean, absolutely rust-free and low-kilometerage W201, still running on pre-EU plates from the first owner and with a Wackeldackel in the back.



So he bought it with roughly 6.000 kms on the clock, which by the way an insurance company still considers a brand new car. It was just a couple of months old and owned by Mercedes-Benz themselves and bought from one of the most reknown MB dealers in this country. When they first got it, everything was fine. The car has got a "volle H?tte", meaning everything there could be in it is in it. Obviously this car weighs quite a lot (don't know exactly - should be easily over two tonnes even with the "light" inline 4), but still delivers enough performance for Autobahning. And he wouldn't have bought it if it had any kind of flaws for that amount of money. Especially because it was pretty much brand new anyway.

So the car was then used on a daily basis but mostly just cruising on the Autobahn to work and back. So my friend really was the first to ever give it the beans as his dad just isn't the kind of guy to go over something like 150+ in daily rush hour. He took it on some longer cruises and was even amazed by the cornering abilites for what should be the most comfortable and wafting car of the three typical big german estates (E-class, 5 series, A6). He even got 99% in all of the three efficiency categories. And then he took it out for what it's made for. But the 204 PS weren't there. The car was going like stink for what it is in lower speed regions and he was surprised how good it was compared to the 5 series and A6 they also testdrove. But over 170-180 there just wasn't anything there. It just sort of stopped having 200+ PS and felt more like a 2.0 TDI with 140 horses. No matter which gear, 6, 7, 8, 9, the car felt like it was never in the real rev range for torque and power. For some reason, it was much, much slower than the A6 or 5 series with comparable engines.

Now keep in mind the car was sold by MB themselves with a fresh service - they don't know why the car has so "little" power so they went seeing their MB dealer. After waiting ages for a date they just wasted their time there as after a short test drive the garage's boss just told them it felt normal. So they just called another dealer, which was being made famous since last year by a German YouTube channel featuring their cars. They also have a dyno, are one of the very few and very reknown MB classic dealers and even service cars from famous rich sheiks aswell as the sultan of Brunei. Surely they must know something?! Maybe even put it on said dyno!

So after a lot of time the day finally came. Another test drive with the garage's boss and - nothing. He just said it was normal. So they took out a similar car from the showroom. And? Still as slow as a 2.0 TDI with 140 horses. But what was even more nerve wrecking was the fact that they paid for the dyno but suddenly they we're denied to go onto it - seemed like the garage's boss suddenly didn't feel right putting the car on the dyno to proof it has 204 PS. Weird, right?

In the end, they - at least from official sides - still don't know why it's so slow. But their (and my own) guess? Schummelsoftware. As the car was sold by an MB dealer with a fresh service it probably just got the latest software update to keep the OM651 within emissions regulations - and lost a lot of power doing so, especially on top-end. Lower down in daily driving it just wasn't as noticeable, probably to keep the business men happy. Or maybe it was going even a lot better beforehand; they don't know as they haven't driven a coimparably engined car old enough to not have the software installed on it. A lots of forum research showed that a ton of people with the same engines across different platforms reporting exactly the same problem within the last months. Some even with the same "dealer difficulties" - "dealer difficulties" as in the dealer just said it was normal behaviour of the engine and just totally fine overall. Guess they have to do it. Obviously - what else would they say to a car that was made much, much slower ...

So here it is then - it's for sale right now. This whole situation isn't even close to being acceptable and he's looking at other cars, just doesn't really know what to get right now as probably all the German cars might suffer the same syndrome. (No, this is not me advertising it - bad advertising anyway as you now know what's wrong with it.)

I can understand why MacGuffin is sort of pissed off by the German manufacturers right now and bought a Mustang GT. :lol:
 

Spectre

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Actually, that *does* have something to do with VW's treachery, if only tangentially. Remember, in the 90s the US caught heavy truck makers doing the same thing that VW would do a decade later. After that, even the truck makers that didn't cheat retuned their engines to make sure they stayed way the hell away from the limits instead of just riding the allowable line like most makers usually do. Even if Mercedes didn't cheat (I have no idea if they did in the EU, so far they don't seem to have done so in North America) they have a bunch of reasons to retune their engines to make sure they have an even larger margin of regulatory safety. Having someone getting caught and punished in your industry tends to make people want to CYA like that.

Edit: Some additional speculation - what they might have done is backported the US tune for that engine to the EU ones. The turbodiesel fours were praised in Europe but found so wanting in the US compared to the prior E-class I6 diesel offering that they were only offered a couple years and then taken out back and shot. The symptoms you're describing match up pretty well (less felt power than prior models despite similar or greater power ratings) and are more generally typical of a Euro engine that's been brought in compliance with US smog regulations.
 
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