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VW Emissions Scandal

I guess this category would not be complete without a post about the VW emissions scandal. My understanding is that VW Australia are being evasive while the US consumers have been compensated. There are different emissions standards here than in the US, so maybe that explains it. Either way, it’s disappointing.

I bought my Golf partly because VW was a reputable manufacturer. Was!

If you’re interested in taking action, this may be useful: http://vwclassaction.com.au/

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Good call rimian. The way VW is treating loyal Australian consumers is disgraceful. I would NEVER have bought my diesel Golf had I known its true emissions profile - in fact the “good” emissions profile they advertised it as having was by far the biggest reason for choosing that car. Now I am driving around feeling guilty and trying to decide whether to sell my car, which is now presumably worth much less than I paid for it, because of VW’s misleading and deceptive actions. I don’t understand why it’s not a breach of consumer laws even if the vehicle emissions standards don’t help us.

When I bought my VW diesel Passat wagon in 2010, I did so because of the (i) fuel economy (~1000km/tank and was annoyed filling up weekly with previous petrol car), (ii) the lower CO2 green house gas emissions which everyone seems to skimmed over recently & (iii) DSG gearbox which is a real semi-automatic manual.

Now, even though the car was shipped complying to EURO5 emissions standards (which was still better than any Australian standards at the time of purchase), I still believe my car produces less NOx gas emissions than what is legally allowed here in Australia (with or without re-programming the computer’s programming code to defeat the lab testing environment).

Hence, if it wasn’t for all those greedy lawyers out there trying to get on the American suing bandwagon for compensation claims. The only thing that will really come out of this scandal is that perhaps my car’s value ‘may’ have depreciated more than normal due to a greedy mistake by senior management at VW which has severely tarnished their brand product.

However, I’m still driving around a car that produces far less CO2 green house gases than most petrol vehicles (only cars using PULP fuel come close) and the Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) reduces those nasty Nitrous Oxide (NOx) gases to within Australian standards without the need for the computer code being re-programmed.

YES, what they did & hid from consumers was not right & they are addressing it where necessary but frankly my car has just clocked over 100,000km, I don’t want my ECU re-programmed even when I’m sent the voluntary ‘recall’ letter as I know it will make bugger all difference disabling that little bit of code that defeats the emission test ONLY in lab conditions.

It’s great to see the worldwide media hype but we need to stop & understand just exactly what it is that it’s effecting us these days. The sooner they introduce real ‘on the car’ emission testing whilst driving around in real life scenario’s (highway vs city) and the Australian government either adopts the EURO emission standards or officially publishes its own CO2/NOx levels & then holds car manufacturers responsible (since we won’t be making cars here anymore!), then the better it will be for everyone.

VW isn’t the only manufacturer engaged in this practise…just the first to get caught. Several others are now being investigated. Stop worrying about it as it actually improves the cars performance, at the slight cost of emissions. It should actually improve the cars value because those complying with the emissions will perform a little worse. VW itself will feel a lot of pain because of the legal costs. People worry about how much pollution their car emits but that is really NOT the problem. The real problem is the absolute number of cars that now exists and the number of trips made that should have been on public transport or by some less polluting means.

If you REALLY want to be concerned about engine emissions in Australia then consider how we handle regulation.
Please permit me to take this discussion off track for a moment and look to the wider picture.

Earlier this year there was public consultation about moving to Euro 6 - the 2015 EU standard. The AU public consultation process would not deliver a decision for a year So that means we would be 3 years behind world’s best – at the very least.

I think part of the reason is that the study is being run under 3 different Ministers. That’s crazy that that something as important as car emissions has no one clear Department taking responsibility.

What they found out about VW would never have been caught in AU. The Department of Environment insists on this passive, “risk based” approach despite being severely criticized in two Auditor General reports and a Royal Commission.
Not only are we slow to adopt world’s best practice, but we let a lot of engines through the cracks. The public consultation dismissed regulating motorbikes based on a guess that they are clean because of overseas standards and they are small. Well 12 minutes of research shows that motorcycles that meet the old international standards have more emissions than a Hummer. Au motorcycles, especially two strokes are far far worse.

And let’s not forget two stroke garden equipment. A brush cutter has 10 times the emissions of a car, a lawn mower 40 times. And there are plenty of them: we buy around 1m cares p.a and 1.4 million pieces of garden equipment. The USA regulated these engines 19 years ago and since then the rest of the world including even India and China. Australia? Bureaucrats have been stuffing around with this since before 2005 – 11 years! Watch this space.

Again: I apologise to the original poster for taking the VW issue on such a diversion – but sometimes it’s good to put an issue within the broader perspective. I hope this was of interest to the community.
Gary

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I know this is a older post but I just couldn’t let that statement by @crasher about not worrying about the emissions because its only a little amount, cannot stand unchallenged.
Because the emission the diesel cheating scandal is about what are called oxides of nitrogen or NOx.
NOx quickly converts to nitric acid in the atmosphere a chemical which attacks lung tissue and is particularly a concern for the very young and elderly.

Why are diesel the problem? well they produce significantly (many multiples) more of NOx than petrol engines due to very high peak combustion temperatures and pressures which facilitates the conversion of normally very stable atmospheric N2 into NOx.

I cannot lay my hand on the report now but a few years back a EU agency governing air quality published data that they claimed showed more than 200,000 europeans died prematurely annually due to respiratory issues related to diesel fumes. So this diesel emissions cheating is very serious and must be corrected in every country.
As a footnote the word diesel is named after the inventor but when read is ironic DIEsel

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I disagree and stand by my statement. It is not the small ‘outside the law’ excess in pollution that is the problem. It is the total number of cars that is the problem. Also note how many people today are buying over sized, overweight 4WDs. These things are the fuel guzzling, polluting monsters that need regulation and taxation. The Europeans have a huge love affair with diesels because of their greater efficiency. They pay a lot more for fuel than us. Again the problem is the numbers, not the number of cars but the number of people and more specifically the number of people living close together ie city size. Lets face it the planet is way over populated and people are choosing and being forced to live on top of each other. We are living in each others waste.

You sound like part of the VW cheer squad.
Whilst I do agree that people buying behemoth SUV’s warriors as suburban runabouts is a fairly environmentally unfriendly act;
but the VW diesel cheat means that the average VW golf diesel with an active cheat is still pumping out more pollutants and whats more they are more dangerous pollutants than one of these SUV behemoths with a correctly working emissions system, so they must be fixed.
You are correct europe does have a diesel love affair because all fuel is very expensive in europe and diesels typically go further on a litre of diesel than a similar sized petrol car does on a litre of gasoline, but its not because diesels are more efficient its because diesel fuel has about 20% greater energy density than gasoline, so there is more energy in every litre.

Also europe is losing its love of diesels as due to concerns about tailpipe pollutants they are progressively going to be banned going forward, Paris is in the next year or so going to implement a ban on diesels entering the city and other cities and countries are will likely follow.

UPDATE: The ACCC is taking Volkswagen to Federal Court over diesel emission claims.

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My view is that we live in a litigious society these days and too many people are just looking for any excuse to make some free money.
To put things into context I would note that diesel is on the way out. Some European countries are already looking at banning diesel cars from city centres because they are too dirty.
VW got caught fudging the figures, we already know of at least one other company caught doing the same, and I think it would be a safe assumption to say that most of them are probably also doing it.
All these people claiming to be so upset about their faulty cars and what they are doing to the environment etc. This is just rehearsed rubbish when lining up for the big cash grab. Government fine companies for breaking laws, individuals have no place trying to claim personal compensation. Ask any diesel VW owner if they have been totally happy with their vehicle during the period of ownership and, unless they bought a lemon or just did not like the car, they would all say yes. Did the car meet your expectations - yes. But get a sniff of something like dieselgate, see some people overseas getting compensation and they are all lining up professing their indignation at being wronged by a large global company and lining up for the cash.

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If VW had a duty of care to manufacture their cars to specs and VW failed that duty of care and, the individual suffered a loss as a result then yes, the individual is entitled to compensation under torts law.

One can only speculate about the motivations of the individuals seeking compensations. But the court will should be concerned about this. The court will simply exercise the law and act accordingly.

Ironically, by cheating the emissions tests, VW were able to save a large sum of money on production costs for the effected vehicles. That is to say: VW attempted to make money dishonestly at the expense of the environment and the consumer.

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What loss did the consumer suffer? A cheaper car? I think the real loss may be absorbed by the environment and therefore compensation should be directed towards carbon sequestering, etc.

My understanding is that Australian Emissions requirements are lower than those of Europe and USA. Therefore, the ACCC has determined that, in Australia, VolksWagen have not breached Emissions standards.
However, VolksWagen have lost consumer confidence and sullied their reputation, perhaps irreparably. All this just to, what? Appear to be technologically superior to all others? Sell automobiles they couldn’t honestly say were compliant? And never considered the overwhelmingly negative consequences of being found out.

From a purely psychological perspective I’m sure such corporate lunacy will provide much material for discussion for many years to come.

That would be my understanding of it, yes. It’s a fair claim, really. I’m sure there are consumer and environmental laws that would also be exercised.

As a consumer, we’d want VW to pay a heavy penalty. Imagine the precedent set if they were allowed to get away with it!

VW motives were simple it was all about money, theywere looking to knock toyota off as the world’s biggest and most successful car maker. The cheat was used so they could expand dramatically in the US which traditionally shuns diesel cars, and as a major supplier of diesel cars in europe they needed a edge.
They marketed their diesel cars there as very fuel efficient, clean and powerful and it left the competition scrambling to catch up and trying to achieve similar outcomes from their vehicles.
In the US diesel is mainly used in transport trucks only, even their behemoth SUV’s are mostly petrol powered as a gallon of gas is sells for between $2-3 a US gallon depending on your location and season. That is around 0.70-0.83 cents/Litre approx so vehicle fuel costs are a lot less than europe.
They developed a successful marketing campaign grew significant market share around diesel passats and golfs.

As it transpired VAG didn’t wake up one morning and decide to cheat to get ahead, but it grew out of a program that was installed on Audi diesels that altered emissions systems to reduce the diesel clatter at idle, a noise that most all diesel suffer from which was a real turn off for customers wanting to buy luxury Audi diesels. It was made as a installed software program that didn’t operate when the the system detected the conditions of the testing regime because you are not supposed to turn emissions systems off just for customer satisfaction issues, but it was active at all other times. It is likely they were emboldened to expand the cheat programmes to VW and other makes within the group over time to operating in all driving conditions not just idle. It is likely they did this in order to achieve a marketing edge probably because it continued to go undetected for years during statutory testing.

Update: VW executive gets jail time over the emissions scandal.

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If it was in Australia he would have probably got a 12 month community service order and a fine of $450 .

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More like 12 months worth of parliamentary BBQs and a $450 “donation” :wink:

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Sorry he would not have even received that, his potential was for Gain and that was more likely a promotion and extra bonuses for every year they sold more cars, plus an extra bonus when they made a loss.

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You must remember too Graham if he made a loss , we will say over a 4 -5 year period , a golden hand shake of at least $10 million plus for his endeavours to run the company into the ground .

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