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

Spectre

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I guess it will depend on what their lawyers recommend them to do. They have charged the same lawyers that defended BP in the past years after the Deepwater Horizon debacle, so I suppose there is some cleverness there...

Wouldn't be too sure about it. DWH was an industrial accident at its core, compounded by stupidity, negligence and beancounterism; also, BP was already exiting the US retail market anyway. What VW did was intentional and they have nothing *but* retail (in terms of what the customer will most commonly see). The same measures may not (and probably will not) succeed.
 

Labcoatguy

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Do they need the Chinese market though?
Oh hell yeah. VW was one of the first western carmakers in China in the 80s (in addition to Citroen/Peugeot and, of all brands, Buick), and entire cities worth of taxi fleets are made up of VW Santanas (old Passats that are still being made). Most of them are gasoline cars, and the environmental message isn't a major one, but you can be sure that Chinese regulators will have their ears perked up.
 

narf

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Sorry, narf, you confused me.... EU taxes are CO2 dependent, but EU emissions don't care about CO2? Don't the taxes result from EU emissions regulations?

And I disagree with your first statement. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are not the same thing, even if they are intertwined.

You pass emissions (EU5 / EU6) to be allowed on the road, based on CO, NOx, PM, etc.
You are taxed based on CO2 and displacement, different amount per 100cc for petrol and diesel.


CO2 is C from fuel, plus O2 from the air. The more fuel you burn, the more C you combine with O2. The amount of C ending up as CO or various hydrocarbons is negligible compared to CO2.
 

SirEdward

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If VW was smart, they'd get out in front of this (on the civil and PR side) and do the following:
1) Buy back every single affected car at original MSRP/what the buyer paid for it. On the condition, of course, that they sign a release agreeing that they can't sue.

I agree that this would be one of the best ways to get out of fines/damages, etc. simply offering to buy back the product and give a total refund will get VW out of most of the lawsuits, because there would be no damage then, or the possibility of no damage done. Yes, the environmental damage is reality, but if it was just VW diesels cheating, it would be negligible and almost impossible to prove... After all, VW can not physically be responsible, -alone-, for the discrepancies in NOx data around the world...
 

Jimi Hendrix

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I think all this mess ought to be solved the german way. If they are not severly punished they will never learn a lesson. If people have to suffer so be it, but a lesson has to be taught so that this is not to be repeated in the future.
 

marcos_eirik

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Early indications are that drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles are at least 74% more smug than this time last week.
Well, not far off, I felt 76,3 % more smug while overtaking TDI-badged cars with the Tesla yesterday. :p
 
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rickhamilton620

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Is there anyone who would buy a "fixed" TDI if resold for cheap?

I'd be Interested, especially if they extend the powertrain warranty.

Hyundai announced a recall yesterday of nearly 500k early build last gen Sonatas due to engine issues.

They're extending the warranty on the short block of every 2011-2012 Sonata for 10 years regardless of ownership status.*

If they could do that.....the largest automaker in the world could do something similar right.

*not absolving them though....this is an issue that 11/12 Sonata owners have been dealing with for years now often having trouble getting resolved according to forum reports.
 

EyeMWing

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4) Dump all the relevant emails into the public domain, because you know they have them. Name names, publicly. Fire everyone responsible, right down to whatever low-level engineering idiot thought this was a good idea - publicly. Hand over the evidence to the US authorities, publicly.

Sadly, they're probably not smart enough to do this.

That won't happen because there's probably an email from a beardy software engineer in there to his boss saying "This is really unethical and probably illegal."

So long as they have plausible deniability on the "Internal staff got carried away and never thought about the implications and then some big bad executives ran with it" front, they'll do better in public opinion. But if it was ever pointed out and someone ignored it (or worse, retaliated), they'll be crucified twice as badly.
 
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GRtak

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Good bit is about 1:20, but it starts out relevant.

 

Spectre

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Is there anyone who would buy a "fixed" TDI if resold for cheap?

I'd be Interested, especially if they extend the powertrain warranty.

Hyundai announced a recall yesterday of nearly 500k early build last gen Sonatas due to engine issues.

They're extending the warranty on the short block of every 2011-2012 Sonata for 10 years regardless of ownership status.*

If they could do that.....the largest automaker in the world could do something similar right.

*not absolving them though....this is an issue that 11/12 Sonata owners have been dealing with for years now often having trouble getting resolved according to forum reports.

Rick, consider this: If they lied about something as important and as relatively easily checked as emissions (roadside photospectrometers)... what else did they lie about? The airbags? The safety structures? The fuel tank's integrity? Do you really want to buy a product from a company that thought it was better to lie about meeting minimum requirements instead of actually meeting them?

That's the difference (and it is a HUGE one) between what VW did and Hyundai making a mistake on those Sonatas.

- - - Updated - - -

I think all this mess ought to be solved the german way. If they are not severly punished they will never learn a lesson. If people have to suffer so be it, but a lesson has to be taught so that this is not to be repeated in the future.

I agree, it's what VW and their fanboys demand when a supplier lets them down, after all.

- - - Updated - - -

I agree that this would be one of the best ways to get out of fines/damages, etc. simply offering to buy back the product and give a total refund will get VW out of most of the lawsuits, because there would be no damage then, or the possibility of no damage done. Yes, the environmental damage is reality, but if it was just VW diesels cheating, it would be negligible and almost impossible to prove... After all, VW can not physically be responsible, -alone-, for the discrepancies in NOx data around the world...

Thing is, it's very likely that in the US market VW *was* the only company cheating in a significant way. The EU is another matter, I suspect about everyone cheats there.
 

Labcoatguy

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That poison gasses thing HAS to be a reference to zyklon B.
 

Spectre

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That poison gasses thing HAS to be a reference to zyklon B.

Could be a reference to a practice earlier than the use of Zyklon B, actually. The Germans used box trucks to round up Jews with the promise of transporting them to someplace else. Unfortunately for the 'transportees', the truck was equipped with an exhaust gas diversion system to pipe the engine's exhaust into the sealed box. The results were what you'd expect.

The extermination camps were only started because the mobile Gaswagens were not able to 'produce' death as quickly as required and the screams were disturbing the drivers. Likewise Zyklon B.

The irony, of course, is that some (perhaps the majority of them - historians disagree as to the actual numbers and prevalence) were diesel.
 
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MacGuffin

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I guess it was inevitable... still, I consider every comparison (meant to be as a joke or not) with the Holocaust extremely tacky.
 

rickhamilton620

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Rick, consider this: If they lied about something as important and as relatively easily checked as emissions (roadside photospectrometers)... what else did they lie about? The airbags? The safety structures? The fuel tank's integrity? Do you really want to buy a product from a company that thought it was better to lie about meeting minimum requirements instead of actually meeting them?

That's the difference (and it is a HUGE one) between what VW did and Hyundai making a mistake on those Sonatas.

I was more referring to how hyundai is giving affected owners the confidence of a extended warranty.

I never thought about that, but crash structure could be verified by IIHS/NHTSA, ditto airbag performance, especially if the former purchases VW vehicles instead of relying on the IIHS "Crash Test Verification" program. We also haven't heard about Passats and Jetta's blowing up Pinto style either though.

I don't think they'd risk safety but I guess one can never be too sure how far the deception culture has gone in a company after something like this.
 

MacGuffin

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

Are you insinuating that there might be a device or a software installed that reduces the safety or quality of the car while driving normally?

Do you know how unbelievably silly that sounds?

I can understand a certain level of mistrust but an intelligent person should be able to make a distinction between realism and nonsense. One has to have Spectre levels of VW hatred to come up with something like that - especially since in the past it was exclusively American and Japanese car makers who had safety issues...

By the way: I had the chance to talk to some other VW drivers here in the meantime. It doesn't seem like the VW image has suffered much among them. The statements could be summarized in something like: "Yeah, I might have an additional visit to the garage and the car might need a bit more fuel after that. But at least I don't drive a Toyota/Opel/Fiat/Peugeot, etc. :D"
 
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Spectre

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Are you insinuating that there might be a device or a software installed that reduces the safety or quality of the car while driving normally?

Do you know how unbelievably silly that sounds?

I think the concern is less that they have a defeat software/device installed and more than they may have knowingly used substandard materials with less lifespan than required for things like fuel seals, airbag sensors/detonators (think Takata but instead knowing that the charges were defective prior to install), all to avoid spending the money needed to properly comply - which is the same reason they cheated on emissions.

Thing is, MacGuffin, we've already *had* big companies do similar things in their fields. Often times when a company starts intentionally cheating on safety or real pollution issues just to save a buck, they've also illegally skimped/screwed the consumer elsewhere - in for a penny, in for a pound seems to be the logic there. This isn't something new to the US experience - we learned from our Industrial Revolution 'robber baron' 'princes of industry' and their aftermaths quite well. It's not VW hating; it's simply expecting VW to have fit the long established pattern of corporate/industrial corruption.

With something like, say, a DVD/CD/MP3 player, the hazards are relatively easy to check for and mitigate. Also, the expenditure is small and you're not really relying on it for protection. Buying one fixed after a recall isn't a huge risk. With something as large, costly and complicated as a car, it's a different story. After all, finding out that the DVD player was constructed with other sub par parts that caused it to cease function merely means you have to go get another one. Finding out that your car's airbags were made with charges from (to pick something hopefully so ridiculous that VW wouldn't do it - but who can tell at this point?) surplus German Army hand grenades with a use-by date back in 1964 is neither so easy to find out ahead of time nor without high risk should you discover one day you need your airbags. Do you really want to find out the hard way that VW also lied about, say, the airbag components' composition and lifespan?
 
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Spectre

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I don't think they'd risk safety but I guess one can never be too sure how far the deception culture has gone in a company after something like this.

Right here is the heart of the issue. If they were willing to lie about something, knowing that the consequences for lying were possibly hideously painful, you *have* to wonder what else they were willing to lie about - things that had lesser, less immediate or less easily detectable consequences.

- - - Updated - - -

We also haven't heard about Passats and Jetta's blowing up Pinto style either though.

No, they go on fire without needing to be hit - yes, that's right, they leak fuel even without being in an accident.

http://www.autoblog.com/volkswagen/recalls/
 
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