VW drivers - is your car still legal?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dogslobber, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #1
    If you drive a VW that fiddles the emissions tests for your state or geo then it sounds like that's an illegal act and the car has not been proven to be roadworthy. I've not seen it raised anywhere, but all those VWs should be barred from the road until they are proven to be roadworthy and do not exude excessive emissions relative to EPA or CA Emissions Requirements.

    I don't drive a VW so I'm not breaking the law. Are you?
     
  2. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #2
    Something tells me you're not a VW fan. It's only certain diesel models, btw.
     
  3. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
  4. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    There are multiple other threads where VW is being discussed.

    First, the alternative is to bar people from driving their vehicles and go out and buy a new car. I can almost gaurentee you the environmental impact of such a policy would have a far greater impact than letting these people use their cars until a solution is provided. Most people can't afford new cars on a whim, especially if their old car is worthless (who can sell a car you can't drive.

    I have no problem with these drivers continuing to drive their vehicles until a solution is found. They were sold the vehicles under false pretenses by VW and had no way of knowing they were non-compliant with emissions standards and fraudulently programmed. VW's hefty fines will pay for the noncompliance of the vehicles and hopefully be used to offset the damage done.

    Barring everyday people from driving their cars is only punishing the drivers who are not responsible, not VW. They will likely incur reduced car values, time wasted getting their car fixed, and probably reduced car power/performance as a result of the solution. Restricting use will incur severe problems with those who rely on their car as their sole form of transport.

    Until VW comes up with a solution that solves their emissions problems and fairly compensates their drivers, I see no reason to inflict consequences on the innocent owners. When the solution is unveiled, and people do not complete the recall, then they should be held liable.

    The legal limit for NOx is .7g/mi. One article did the math, assuming VW TDI's produce 20x more NOx than the legal limit (VW is said to be 5-35x), 500k affected cars, and 120,000 mile lifespans. The total impact was producing 47,000 cubic tons of extra emissions in the car's life (120k miles = ~10 years average). California alone produces 160,000 tons of NOx annually.

    Considering that this problem will not go on for the lifetime of most of the cars (assume 10 year lifespans) as we expect a fix, I don't see the environmental impact being too significant, especially considering the progress we have made. 47 cu. tons is an overestimate considering the problem will be resolved.

    My mother recently bought a 2015 Audi Allroad, literally a few weeks before this scandal broke. The 2.0T gas engine has not (yet) been implicated, but my parents are not happy with VAG and question what else they lying about. My grandfather, now deceased, always told me never to buy or invest in VW. I guess he was a wise man! (though his reasoning had to do with Nazis, Hilter, and slave labor in VW's factories).
     
  5. dogslobber thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #5
    Apologies if it comes across that way but that wasn't my intent. Just trying to stir debate of the point I was posting about.
     
  6. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    No they're not breaking the law because committing a crime requires intent, and no one who purchased a VW intended to drive a car that violated emissions regulations.

    /thread
     
  7. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    Not sure about North America but I believe in Germany, governing body has notified VW that they need to submit a proposal to rectify the issue by the deadline (not sure what the deadline is) or they will ban all affected cars.
     
  8. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Good way to motivate VW to hurry up, otherwise no one will buy a car from then ever again. Germany's trying to appear tough but they'll make sure VW can follow through with that date. They're not going to screw their economy over.
     
  9. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #9
    I don't know exactly how it works so hopefully someone can chime in and inform me. How can VW rectify the issue? If they needed software to hide the fact that the car would fail emissions, wouldn't that mean the car on it's own isn't suitable to pass? VW isn't going to do mechanical changes to the millions of vehicles because that would be too costly so what's the alternative? Add software to reduce emissions but also downrate the performance of the car? That would open another issue.
     
  10. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    If they're lucky they can retool the software so the cars will meet the emissions requirements. That however, would likely have a noticeable impact on power and/or fuel economy. The car was able to meet the emissions requirements when in the right program, but it sacrificed the performance characteristics.

    At that point, owners will have a car that has not met the performance specifications and EPA mileage listed when they purchased the car- which is an issue in itself but will probably be resolved with financial compensation I imagine.

    Not all countries have the same emissions standards as others. In America anyways, the restrictions are so high that the cars would be undriveable. Other countries might be ok. In that case, if mechanical changes is the only solution, it might not have to be done everywhere.

    I suppose at the end of the day, if nothing can be done VW might be offered some even more immense fine and settle on a waiver by the EPA. I don't think anyone thinks it's fair to screw over the unknowing owner.
     
  11. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #11
    That is the only solution I can see happening.

    1) A large fine / waiver on VW on the current TDI cars.
    2) Sales of future TDI cars on hold until VW redesigns the car to actually pass emissions.
     
  12. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Honestly, I can see the government liking that idea. If VW cripples the cars with software updates, they would likely have to pay the government for lying about the emissions and customers for not providing the performance promised. If they do a waiver, then the government will be getting all the money.
     
  13. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    I see a bit of opportunity here.

    The car I've been looking at for a bit, the VW Touareg TDI, is not implicated in this mess. It uses the urea injection technology, and it gets quite excellent MPGs for it's size.

    Before the scandal, a low-mile, well equipped, newish model was ~$30-35k. I bet during and after this scandal, that price will fall significantly. This is for a great car that will probably not be recalled.

    I might look into getting one finally. I will certainly get some use out of it.
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    One of two things will happen.

    1, software fix (bad for the customer)
    2, hardware fix (urea injection system) again added running cost.
     
  15. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    I also see this as being a likely scenario.
     
  16. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    I've been looking at a Touareg TDI as well. The Touareg has a V6 TDI which has not been implicated... yet. It would be nice to see the prices drop a little more on these :)

    The Touareg has really been stripped down from what it started off as though. VW's ethics are certainly drawn into question with this incident. Poor reliability is a given. I'm not sure is the best choice.
     
  17. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #17
    I agree the first generation Touareg was more impressive at the time, but the second generation is still pretty good.

    As for reliability, VW seems to be a mixed bag. The engines can be solid, but the electrical can be awful. In either case, I would probably also buy a reputable extended warranty of some kind.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    The issue is that the cars need to pass emissions tests and because the software fix
    I don't know the details but it will be a recall and I suspect it will be the least invasive fix, which in your example option 1.

    Right now, technically Volkswagon TDI cars are illegal by dumping way too much pollution into the air. VW has to fix that, and the quickest fix is to enable the pollution controls. Maybe it doesn't need to fully enable the pollution controls just enough to pass inspection.
     
  19. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #19
    I am under the impression that Diesel cars are not that common the US and since this is only an issue on some Diesel models then surely that problem is not that widespread. From what I have seen on some web sites it says 13,000 Audi's and 480,000 VW are affected in the US.
     
  20. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #20
    So, I just checked and my Audi has one of the affected engines.

    Not sure how I feel about it. They said they'll be in touch soon to give an update. TBH, before we even ordered I thought the engine emissions were a little high for its class (a BMW of the same engine size apparently emits far less). Can't imagine what the figures actually are.

    I wonder how company car owners will be affected? Isn't the tax they pay on leases determined by emissions?

    Oh Audi, you're so pretty, but next time I think I'll look elsewhere.
     
  21. MattA macrumors 6502

    MattA

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #21
    The newest VW's/Audis will have a simple software fix, as they all have Urea injection now. Odds are, they'll use a little more of the Urea additive, but that's about as far as it'll go.

    It's the 2009-2014 Golfs/Jettas/Beetles that are going to be the problem.

    The only pollutant that is under question here is NOx. All other particulates and pollutants are actually really clean. The more heat being generated by an engine, the more NOx is generated. However, the high heat also creates a more thorough combustion process which makes the cars efficient and powerful. Keeping that efficiency is going to be difficult.

    As for VWs not being reliable, my 2001 Golf TDI with 325K miles on it disagrees with you (bought new by me in 2001). Aside from routine maintenance, the only true failure I've had is an alternator at 260K miles. That seems to be pretty reliable to me!
     
  22. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #22
    A software fix is the cheapest option for vw but let's put it into numbers. If I were to say your going to lose 20%+ of the vehicles power and the same figure in mpg figures how would you feel?
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    I'm not arguing that the software solution has some very negative consequences for the consumer - especially given the amount of money cars cost.
     
  24. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #24
    Touareg TDIs aren't implicated because they use a urea system. Only the ones with the SCR treatment have been found to spew excessive emissions.

    That being said, TDI resale seems to have tanked hard. I had a meeting with a vendor this afternoon. He drives a MK5 Jetta TDI and isn't really upset over the fiasco with his car. He's more annoyed that he can't take delivery of his ordered MK7 Golf TDI that's sitting on the dealer lot.
     
  25. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    Yes, but I'm sure VW's resale is dropping across the board. No one wants to drive a car manufactured by a deceptive company.

    ... So perhaps it's time to start looking for a T-Reg. The opportunity is certainly presenting itself.
     

Share This Page