The Great Green Diesel Swindle

Date: 24/07/17  Chicago Tribune

German carmakers colluded on diesel controls, technology for decades: report

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Another week, another scare from the German car industry.

What began with Daimler’s massive recall of more than 3 million diesel cars to lower their emissions, ended on Friday with Audi also embarking on a voluntary recall of 850,000 vehicles. Adding to the spate of bad news was a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the biggest car manufacturers — Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen as well as VW’s Audi and Porsche brands — may have colluded for decades on technology. The companies declined to comment.

Shares of BMW, VW and Daimler tumbled on the report, which cited a document submitted by Volkswagen in July 2016 and referenced another from Daimler. The German cartel office said in a statement that it searched the car companies last year as part of a probe into a possible steel cartel. It didn’t elaborate on a possible follow-up probe on car technology, saying it can’t comment on ongoing investigations.

For almost two years now, the German car industry has sought to get out from underneath the cloud of the diesel scandal that erupted first at VW and has cost it billions in fines and has since threatened to engulf other carmakers, tainting the image of German engineering and hurting the industry that’s among the country’s biggest employers.

The scandal comes as automakers wrestle with an unprecedented technology shift in the industry, with electronic cars made by Tesla or Toyota finding more buyers and German manufacturers trying to catch up with the battery-powered vehicle trend.

According to the Spiegel report, the five German car brands met starting in the 1990s to coordinate activities related to their vehicle technology, costs, suppliers and strategy as well as emissions controls in diesel engines. The discussions involved more than 200 employees in 60 working groups in areas including auto development, gasoline and diesel motors, brakes and transmissions. Talks may have also involved the size of tanks for AdBlue fluid for diesel autos, the magazine reported, which is at the heart of the emissions case.

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“These allegations look very serious and would mean more than 20 years of potential collusion,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler. “There seems to be a never ending story of bad news about the industry’s bad behavior.”

Shares in the three biggest German automakers fell Monday by as much as 3.7 percent after the Spiegel report, the Associated Press reported.

Mercedes has struggled to shake off allegations that it also tampered with emissions standards, an accusation the company has routinely rebuffed and said last week it would legally contest. Still, Daimler announced a surprise recall on Tuesday, following a meeting with German government officials last week to discuss emissions technology. Audi followed on Friday with its own recall to update the software in Euro 5 and Euro 6 engines.

European carmakers are shoring up diesel because they need it to bridge the gap between tightening rules for greenhouse-gas emissions and ramping up electric-car plans. Authorities are scrutinizing the technology after Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to rigging cars to cheat on emissions tests.

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HT /The GWPF

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154 thoughts on “The Great Green Diesel Swindle

    • In the London suburbs local authorities went mad on installing ‘speed bumps’ every 50 yards in the most residential streets.
      Recent research has shown that slowing then speeding up while encountering the bumps increases emissions of Nitrogen Oxide from diesel cars by factor of two compared to roads with no speed bumps. No surprise that asthma and other respiratory complaints, particularly in the young children, have been on the steep rise in the recent decade or two.

      • vukcevic,
        Agree with jer0me.
        Similarly chicanes, and traffic lights designed to stop cars [rather than, like the sequenced lights in Slough, on the then A4, in the 1960s, allowing cars – running at about 28-29 mph [Say 45-47 kph] through an urban area, to run unhindered through IIRC about six or seven sets of lights].
        Thus allowing a low-consumption, low emission, passage.
        My (late) Dad was pretty good at that . . . .

        Auto

    • The pundits were touting German engineering for figuring out clean diesel and implying that American automakers were not smart enough to figure out this breakthrough.
      Of course the secret was to cheat on the emissions test.

      • Studies show anything one wants them to, Griff. It’s the miracle of statistics and parameters. I can “prove” anything within reason that you want—health harmed, health helped, health not affected. It’s very, very easy.

      • Griff, experiments on mice, come on, not very impressive against;

        ‘… the largest and best-conducted epidemiologic study ever on PM2.5. Virtually every death in California was considered and the state is meticulous about its air-quality data. California has the ultimate range in air quality, from the best to the worst in the U.S. In comparison, previous EPA-funded studies have focused only on limited (read “cherry-picked”) urban areas, rely on guesstimated or assumed PM2.5 levels and often include deaths from accidents, homicides and other causes that can’t possibly be related to PM2.5.’

        Even the EPA had to admit that their results were bogus, well it was either that or admit that they had been poisoning the people they were experimenting on, getting them to breath fumes pumped into the room from the exhaust of a truck parked outside, not good if they wanted to stay out of jail (in fact there were no harmful effects).

      • Particulate matter is not the issue, as they are dramatically reduced at the Diesel Particulate Filter. NOx reduction on the other hand, requires regularly adding blue Diesel Exhaust Fluid during fill ups. It seems the collusion involved mistating DEF tank size requirements. TF-4 emissions requirements stipulate. A tank of DEF must outlast a tank of fuel.

      • Don’t overplay your hand, Nigel. They are exaggerated, not bogus. These are real pollutants, They just aren’t as dangerous as has been claimed.

      • Yeah small diesel cars zipping around at 40+ mpg is not the environmental scare that even people on WUWT want to make it out to be, apparently due to fervent anti-European attitudes. Changing the EPAs ludicrous small diesel engine standards on NOx should be on Pruitt’s short list of things to do.

        VOCs have been found to be the limiting factor on ground level ozone in most areas and diesels emit far less VOCs than gasoline ICEs. Adding urea to fuel has had negligible effect on ground level ozone but it has added huge expense to industry and consumer. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the increased production of urea effectively cancels out all reductions in NOx from tail pipes and increases total PM emissions.

      • “Both PM 2.5 and NOx scares are bogus. ” You need to visit LA on a bad day with no wildfire. You can clearly see the solution in the air. NOx is definitely bad for people with breathing issues. California started putting pollution regulations on cars. At the time it wasn’t about CO2. It was only about NOx hydrocarbons, and particulates. The new regulations clearly helped. But it is still occasionally very bad. Originally Diesel was not covered by these regulations since only big trucks used Diesel and most cars ran on Gasoline. However since the late 90s California has started putting regulations on Diesels also. Some met the Diesel regulations and others cheated. The european emission standards are not as strict as Californias.

      • If you had the same statistics available for the USA as we have for the UK you will see that all Pollutants have been drastically reduced since the 1960s and 70s.
        Some have been reduced by 90%.
        This is just another BIG Government scare story associated with Climate Change, all under UN Agenda 21.
        I am not saying that breathing in fumes or particles of any kind isn’t bad for already ill people, but when you look at the studies quoting the 40,000 deaths in the UK they actually say 40,000 have their live expectancy reduced and they were talking about days, not years or even months.

      • So a few years back I bought a brand new 1 ton diesel truck based on the word of a mechanical engineer I know. He had bought one just prior to the ‘PM 2.5’ particulate scare when the exhaust of the engine went through a catalytic converter but no particulate filter. One year later I bought the same truck but due to the new legislation it had been fitted with a DPF ( diesel particulate filter) as required. Of course filtering markedly restricts the flow of exhaust gases and results in a loss of fuel economy, maximum power and maximum torque. In order to compensate for the loss of power and torque, the manufacturer increased the engine displacement from 5.9 litres to 6.7 litres resulting in a further loss of fuel economy. My truck uses 25 percent more fuel per mile than his.

        So the new ‘clean’ technology engine creates more exhaust per mile than the older unfiltered machine. It requires an on board environmental testing lab to produce a ‘pass’ before it will do anything but operate in limp mode, and the filter system is problematic and extremely expensive to replace. When will the madness end?

      • Lee L July 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm
        “So the new ‘clean’ technology engine creates more exhaust per mile than the older unfiltered machine. It requires an on board environmental testing lab to produce a ‘pass’ before it will do anything but operate in limp mode, and the filter system is problematic and extremely expensive to replace. When will the madness end?”

        The madness will ‘end’ when those of the population who survive [<10%, perhaps much less than 10%] are mostly living in hovels, servicing the elite of the watermelon triumphalists.
        Servicing – serving, feeding, defending, and, naturally, being used to breed from them.

        Nothing less will do for our visiting trolls' paymasters.

        Auto

  1. It would be ironic if Pruitt’s EPA overturns or considerably softens the finding that diesel’s micro-particles are dangerous, thereby mostly letting diesel cars off the hook. Would Merkel give Trump an “Attaboy!”?

    • Wouldn’t be hard. PM 2.5 is really sticky stuff. It doesn’t stay in the air long. Roadside testing for PMs ignores the fact that a majority of the carbon is from tire wear. These particles are not sticky so they get ground into ever smaller size.

      The majority of filler used in tread rubber is carbon black since it bonds well with Isoprene and cross links well with sulfur. The second filler in tread rubber is silica fume so the issues with roadside PM emissions also must consider if silicosis is part of the problem. The other organics in tire wear particulates are rapidly degraded. These make up a bulk of the initial rain washed dirt on the roads, causing the treacherous loss of traction after droughts.

      • They are coming back with tire wear once they’ve got us all into EVs. This is a multi-decadal planned campaign to get us out of cars and into public transport. It has nothing to do with environmental problems and everything to do with the extension of state control and elimination of freedom.

      • Keith J

        Point taken on the carbon black! The silica fume shouldn’t be an issue though since silica fume is amorphous and/or spherical, predominantly. As such, it presents no real risk of silicosis which is caused by crystalline silica.

      • The main pollutant from cars nowadays is from the natural rubber used for the tread of the tyres. That is in part natural rubber, depending of the type of tyre.
        That makes that children living near high traffic roads show an increased chance of getting allergic for natural rubber…

      • The studies show that the particles in UK (and EU) Cities are
        Cement & Road Dust
        Industrial Particles
        Wood Burning Particles
        Tyre Particles
        Brake Dust
        Soot Particles
        Exhaust Particles
        When the roads are regularly cleaned the Particulate count goes way down, but that of course costs the Councils and Government money.
        The biggest culprit for Nox is Gas Central Heating, as it would be, because it is extensively used in the UK Cities.

    • My comment about Steve Milloy’s battle with EPA over NOx are in moderation (links perhaps) but it’s a story worth reading.

  2. Until they ‘find out’ that these EV’s with their chemical batteries are even worse than diesel cars…

    • They won’t find that out – it is already well known and governments and eco-activists are resolutely turning a blind eye to such an inconvenient fact.

      • “Survival in a car accident is mainly based on relative mass. I would not like to be in a vehicle below 3,000 lbs”

        As a 1972 Fiat 124 Spider owner, I would say . . .

        The art is not in surviving the accident, rather in avoiding it.

    • And it is not just the batteries. Electric cars are heavier than a small equivalent petrol car and this extra weight leads to additional particulate pollution from brake pad wear and tyre wear.

      With cars light is beautiful. Back in the 1970s a little FIAT ARBARTH had 750 cc or 1000 cc engines weighed in at around 1/2 tons (about 470 to 500kg), could go from 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds, top out at about 120 mph and had a fuel consumption of about 60 mpg (about 70 mpg with the 750 cc engine).

      That is the 750GT version, a real cracker of a car..

      • I share your love of Fiats and Abarth in particular but I really think that 70mpg is pushing it! I think you’d be lucky to get half that from an original one driven ‘properly’ (foot to the floor).

        My 2013 (bog standard) 1242cc petrol Fiat Panda is averaging 50 mpg, its latest MOT had CO at 2.5% of max limit and hydrocarbons at 4% which shows how far IC engine technology has come.

      • Electric cars are not intrinsically heavier than gas powered cars. Batteries comprise the main weight penalty for electrics, but the weights are lower for the Model 3 than for the Model S Tesla because of a different format. Except for batteries, electrics are considerably lighter than gas powered, which have a lot more parts – fuel system (weight of 15 gallons of gas, for example) , exhaust system, cooling system, a transmission, a heavy engine, drivetrain, etc. I doubt that an equivalent sized gas powered will be significantly lighter, if at all. Any advantage in tire wear would be totally insignificant.

      • My Ma’s first car (1966) was a Austin Healey Sprite, (we referred to it as our “Noddy car”, was red with white roof; beautiful car, & economical on the fuel [oddly])

      • Sprite engine was about 59hp (Mark III) which explains some of that, my air cooled Fiat 126 (rebodied 500 basically) claimed 22hp and had pretty good fuel consumption too. As rv says above, keeping the weight down is key.

      • Survival in a car accident is mainly based on relative mass. I would not like to be in a vehicle below 3,000 lbs

      • Greg, I believe that electric cars only have better brake wear not so much from regenerative break systems but because they need to be driven (stopped differently) to take advantage of them. If you drove and stopped an electric vehicle like an IC vehicle of the same weight, the breaks would show identical wear

      • For example See:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3579878/Electric-hybrid-eco-friendly-cars-air-toxins-dirty-diesels-say-scientists.html

        Electric, hybrid and other eco-friendly cars fill the air with as many toxins as dirty diesel vehicles, scientists have found.

        The greener alternative produce more tiny particles from tyre and brake wear because batteries and other parts needed to propel them make them heavier.

        Scientists found that electric and eco-friendly cars weighed around 24 per cent more than conventional vehicles, a discovery that linked to anecdotal complaints from greener car owners that their tyres wear out faster. (my emphasis)

      • Sprite engine was about 59hp (Mark III) which explains some of that, my air cooled Fiat 126 (rebodied 500 basically) claimed 22hp and had pretty good fuel consumption too. As rv says above, keeping the weight down is key.

        My lawn mower is 22hp.

      • Looks like something you would use to run to the grocery store in. And it could probably hold 2 bags of groceries.

      • Highlights

        A positive relationship exists between vehicle weight and non-exhaust emissions.

        Electric vehicles are 24% heavier than their conventional counterparts.

        Electric vehicle PM emissions are comparable to those of conventional vehicles.

        Non-exhaust sources account for 90% of PM10 and 85% of PM2.5 from traffic.

        Future policy should focus on reducing vehicle weight.

        See: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135223101630187X

      • “Wfrumkin July 26, 2017 at 4:39 am

        Survival in a car accident is mainly based on relative mass. I would not like to be in a vehicle below 3,000 lbs”

        Errrmmmm…no! A 3,000lbs “rigid vehicle”, or something like it, weight for weight, you will be bounced about like a tomato in a can, and die. It is why some 300 vehicles (Examples of EU highway crashes) or more can crash and everyone walks away.

      • In terms of weight, so was the Citroen 2CV but in a crash these cars were absolute death traps. Today we have safe cars and safe cars can’t be build without concessions to the weight of the car. The other aspect that increases weigh significantly is all the gadgets from electric windows, sunroof, air conditioning, powersteering electric chairs, sound system, etc, etc and the emission treatment system.. Nobody wants to drive a car without these gadgets.

      • Absent the batteries, EV’s are lighter than ICE’s. Nice.
        Unfortunately, absent the batteries, EV’s don’t move.

      • I’m with Nigel…the Datsun B210 was the acknowledged MPG leader in the 1970’s at 32 mi/gal.

      • Toyota Avon hybrid curb wt. 3638-3682. Standard Avalon 3505-3583. The difference does not bulk large in this case…electrics are another matter.

      • @GregS IC cars have regenerative brake systems too. All modern BMW do.
        @arthur4563 IC cars are lighter. Tesla S weight is 2100kg, comparable BMW G30 starts with 1605kg.

      • “Jeff Alberts July 26, 2017 at 6:50 am

        “Sprite engine was about 59hp (Mark III) which explains some of that, my air cooled Fiat 126 (rebodied 500 basically) claimed 22hp and had pretty good fuel consumption too. As rv says above, keeping the weight down is key.”

        My lawn mower is 22hp”

        My 1963 Triumph Herald, 1966 VW bug, 1971 Kawasaki 350cc motorcycle all had roughly 40hp engines.

        The Herald gave me 24mpg, but my girlfriend easily got 30mpg. Of course, I drove everywhere with my foot to the floor.
        With over a mile run up, on level ground, I could get the Herald up to a max speed of 63mph. Any rise to the road at all required down shifting.
        Flat face truck drivers loved pulling up to my bumper on highways. I could look up and see the drivers above me grinning while making shooing off the road gestures.

        For the same power, the VW bug gave everyone 30+ mpg; and highway speed was not a problem.

        That Kawasaki 350 in bright cherry red was an incredible speed demon with amazing acceleration.
        So amazing, that my best friend had the bike run out from under him when he spun the throttle.
        So much for motorbike experience translating to motorcycles.
        It was not a pleasant sight to see my motorcycle trying to orbit a friend, who was smart enough to run before the bike fell; leaving my cycle growling while spinning circles on the pavement.

        Only that 400kg motorcycle achieved 16 to 19mpg; tops. That 19mpg was earned while driving with a feather foot, or feather hand.
        Long trips required stopping every other gas station while strictly riding during business hours. This during Nixon’s fuel reductions for Massachusetts.

        After those wonderful riding machines, I bought a driven hard, put away wet, 1966 gasoline Mercedes.
        As I remember it had just over 100hp, easily kept up with all traffic, got 20-24mpg, had four doors and room for lots of people on comfy seats.

        Some additional commentary:
        Relative construction and materials were illuminating.
        e.g.
        &bull The brake adjustment bolt on the Mercedes was a class 5 full 15mm machine bolt. Nor did it ever rust solid.
        &bull On the VW Bug, that same adjustment bolt was an ordinary steel 10mm bolt that needed penetrating fluid before adjusting.
        &bull My Triumph Herald used a cheap steel 7mm stud with a flat tip screwdriver slot for adjusting. That stud was always rusted solid. After penetrating fluid, it would always break off. After the first couple of times, I took the drill, bits and new studs with me.

        Both the Herald and motorcycle required weekly maintenance. While the bike required kneeling or squatting, I easily opened the hood (bonnet)and sat on a tire to work on the Herald.
        The bug required monthly maintenance and biennial engine rebuilds.
        That Mercedes hummed happily with only seasonal attention.

        You can easily guess which transportation I thought most reliable and economical overall.

      • Gentlemen, when discussing car’s efficiencies in miles-per-gallon, please state which gallon you are using for reference. I’ll assume that everyone is referencing the statute mile at 5280 feet.

  3. and they will destroy their auto sales when they go to self driving cars because it makes no sense to own one or pay insurance on one or dedicate garage space to one.
    taxis without drivers will be cheaper.

      • That should be a car that no person controls. Self driving cars could work if ALL cars were autonomous and talked to each other. Once you introduce a human driven car into the mix, you have a car that the other cars don’t know what it’s going to do next

      • And what about motor cyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, children playing ball, dogs etc? Sounds like a recipe for disaster in an urban environment.

      • “Who wants car that somebody else controls ???” Clintons. It’s handy for killing unwanted people.

    • Self driving cars… Isn’t going to happen for a long time. As a consumer, just refuse to buy a self driving car and better, refuse to buy an electric car. It’s a total scam. Only in Germany we will need 2.400 addditional power plants just to charge the batteries. By banning the sales of diesel and gasoline cars they simply eliminate individual mobility. That is the real scam. By replacing coal plants by wind power and solar they propell us directly into Dark Ages. Time for civil disobidience. Don’t buy the stuff, don’t accept sustainable grid power and if you pass a wind mill, hit the horn in protest. Governments started meddling with our lives a long time ago. After they managed to pass the anti smoking bill and saw that Washington wasn’t burning the next day the meddling intensified. Cars are bad for your health… Driving is deadly,… Do you get the message? These bloody apparatchiks are screwing up our entire world and their final objective is to kill us because they believe 500 million inhabitants is the sustainable numer for our planet. http://green-agenda.com

    • Even without drivers, you still have to wait for the taxi. There’s a reason why most people buy their own car as soon as they can afford one.

    • By that logic, it makes no sense to own a washing machine or dryer either. You don’t need to bother with any of the up front costs or maintenence with a laundromat.

      People will continue to own cars.

    • AdBlue is a trademarked name for 32% aqueous urea solution used in selective catalytic reduction converters on diesel engines to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The trade name is diesel exhaust fluid. Most post 2006 diesel engines use this technology as reduction of carbon particulate emissions causes a rise in nitrogen oxides. Since diesel engines operate in the lean burn condition, use of standard three way catalysts as implemented on gasoline engines is impossible. The excess oxygen in diesel exhaust prevents catalytic reduction directly. Urea is decomposed to ammonia which is then catalytically able to reduce nitrogen oxides.

      The real issue with SCR aftertreatment is the need for particulate free exhaust so particulate filters are used. These must be regenerated once dirty which itself being a high temperature process, creates far more oxides if nitrogen than most SCR systems are able to reduce unless engine performance is limited.

      • So all that garbage is actually unnecessary, given that the 2.5 particulates arn’t harmful as claimed.

      • Another reason for the DEF is to counteract Black Death on direct injection engines. This is carbonation of the inlet valve chambers due to the fact there is no fuel going through there to clean the valve stems and valve seats. The ERG system (exhaust reticulation system) sends all sorts of nasties through the inlet manifold – these are normally cleaned up by the fuel passing through the chamber.
        M.B. have made software changes to allow extra DEF to flow through during normal operation.

        Also interesting to note. The original Mercedes A class was designed to be an electric car. The floor was designed to allow the installation of batteries. Abandoned due to engineering difficulties with electric drive.

    • It said talks may have included the size of the tanks. For my VW it holds about enough to go 10,000 miles, equal to the mileage between regular oil change and other services. If everyone has the same size tank, they can source them cheaper and avoid having to decide on trunk space v weight v distance for each of the cars; and no one has an advantage in performance or advertising.

    • The stated reason by BMW for the discussions on the size of the AdBlue tank is that a smaller AdBlue tank gives the automakers more flexibility to incorporate other elements of the car. In my Mercedes ML320 Bluetec the AdBlue tank was 40 liters. As a consequence there was no room for a spare tire anymore. These 40 liters of AdBlue lasted 12,000 miles and AdBlue was replenished during the service at the dealership. There was no external filler cap. You don’t want to spill that stuff inside your vehicle.

      With new models the filler cap was moved next to the fuel filler cap. At many European gas stations you can fill up the AdBlue tank via a pump, just as you would add Diesel or gas. As BMW stated, the discussions with the other automakers centered on a joint strategy to convince the oil companies to add AdBlue pumps to the gas stations in order to make it more convenient for the driver to add it. This would enable them to put in much smaller tanks into their cars and give them more design freedom.

      I believe that BMW is telling the truth in THIS regard. It is also noteworthy that BMW has gone to extreme lengths when it comes to pollution control devices and has integrated both LNT and SCR emissions control systems in their vehicles. All BMW models have passed tests with flying colors so far.

      The charges against the auto industry go beyond pollution control systems though. This is about collusion between them to the detriment of Tier 1 & Tier 2 (etc.) suppliers. But there may also be certain cartels among their suppliers. There is more here than meets the eye.

      • I think you will find that very few cars now have spare wheels and are now typically fitted with alloy wheels. Part of a weight saving exercise to maximise fuel economy in tests. It is also a big boost for the tyre industry who make the run flat tyres to cover for the lack of a spare wheel.

        The problem for the motorist is that while a puncture can be repaired a run flat tyre that has been run flat has to be thrown away and replaced – run-flat tyres typically cost 50% more than a standard tyre, a puncture repair is around 10% of the costs of a small run-flat tyre at just £10.

        So these weight saving measures mean a significant cost for the motorist and more profit for the auto industry.

    • My first car was a 1929 Model A Ford Coupe, gasoline cost me $0.09 a gallon ( nine cents ) and I could change the cylinder head gasket in 20 minutes, drove it from Wilmington Delaware to San Diego, ( 2 gasket trip ) 1 gallon = 20 miles @ 45-50mph

    • Some case used the Adblue fluid tanks to to help control emissions. Others did not. Those that didn’t cheated on the emission tests.

  4. I loved my VW Golf TDI. it averaged 43 mpg for me. The extra torque made it an enjoyable driver. I opted for the buyback for the recall since I couldn’t see how they could lower the NOX emissions for California without hurting the performance and the fuel economy. I’m driving a Golf GTI now. I enjoy the GTI, but I still miss the TDI at the fuel pump.

    • I know what you are saying. My TDI is a bit older so it won’t ever be a buy back. Just a single way catalyst with EGR and electronically controlled distributor pump. 39 MPG last fillup due to blister runs in 100°F weather with the AC blasting. It will break traction in the first 4 gears on dry pavement and with a swapped 5th, still cruises at 2000 RPM at 70 MPH. I’ve done 700 mile tanks on less than 15 gallons.

      • I’d be careful with the transaxle on a Golf (And other makes using the same gearbox) as they have a tendency to spit cogs out of the case due to a design fault which could have been fixed with a couple of circlips. Many people found this out at great expense.

      • @ Patrick MJD – weak gearboxes on Golfs, Polos and other VW/ Audi group cars is a well known problem in the UK motor trade, and has been from around the early 1990s.

      • Nope. The models will be updated to show that more CO2 causes Global Cooling. The scam doesn’t stop just because reality intrudes.

      • “The models will be updated to show that more CO2 causes Global Cooling” – easy. More CO2 – more water vapor – more clouds – less sun – global cooling. I predict 2030 we’ll be thus far.

    • Phillip

      Remember Peter Sellars and Co’s “How to win an election or at least not lose by much”?

      IIRC the Conservative Minister for Transport was Sir Orson Carte.

      That still seems to be a pretty good guide to elections IMO

      • I’m amazed how little a government has to change in order for you to consider it no longer socialist.

      • “I amazed you can consider the current UK govt ‘socialist’”

        It sure as Hell isn’t conservative, Skanky.

        Mind you, in your book anything not to the Left of V I Lenin is Hard Right.

    • Did I just post an example of Godwin’s Law ? ;) VW was the intent when Ferdinand Porsche was tasked with creating a people’s car. And it was modeled on Ford’s methods.

  5. I request everyone to do an image search on earth atmosphere composition.
    Oxygen slice of the pie will be 16%, cO2 slice if the pie, 0.04% to 0.08%. Global warming has been disproved time and again.
    Why is the whole world programmed into a state of fear by the global warming industry and powers to be.
    CO2 again is the life blood of plants.

  6. How is this “collusion” any different than computer makers creating standards such as motherboard size and hole configurations?

    • Pretty much my thoughts on collusion. Setting standards on tank sizes, urea solution standards for the SCR, etc, seems logical for a distribution and use system. It becomes collusion when you need to beat on the big bad auto companies.

      The article also said something about them tampering with emissions standards. Other than lobby and comment on standards, how did they tamper?

    • “…to coordinate activities related to their vehicle technology, costs, suppliers and strategy as well as emissions controls in diesel engines.”

      I guess I missed the part where somebody explained why this is a bad thing.

  7. It seems clear from the Paris Climate Agreement, with China, India and others massively increasing CO2 emissions between now and 2030, that the UN isn’t particularly bothered about what current or future CO2 emissions actually are.

    What concerns the UN, and seemingly the EU, is to create the fear of CO2 and the illusion of reducing CO2 emissions as a means to enable massive wealth transfer from the developed world to the developing world (including India and China) whilst at the same time pricing western industry out of the global market place through sky-high energy prices.

    Vehicle emissions are just a side story to all of that – but painting vehicle emissions as ‘killers’ is part of the alarmist narrative and very useful to governments who are using CO2 for additional controls on their people and for hidden, and not so hidden, tax raising.

    Trump seems to understand all of that.

    • I used to think the global warming movement had a humanitarian agenda, but was never entirely comfortable with the idea. But since learning of the coercion of western governments by demands made by the Arab oil states in the early ’70s, I am now convinced that the global warming scare is a political strategy to reduce the political leverage of those oil exporting nations.

      The method employed, of course, is to reduce the dependence of our economies on fossil fuels. By transferring to alternative energy sources each nation will have a more independent supply of energy, and far less dependence on imported fossil fuels from nations engaged in religious conflict with their neighbours.

      • Physically, we already have that. Always did. The Middle East was never the only source of oil. It was just the cheapest. We only bought from there because we are basically cheap and there was a political benefit to people thinking only OPEC had lots of oil (which included Venezuala). None of this in any way reflected the physical existence of oil throughout the world. It was basically just another scam.

      • This would be a very shortsighted plan. The current threat from radical Muslim extremists is tied more to their medieval cultural values and education than it is to their religion. The wealthier they get the more secular and Westernized they become. More poverty in the Middle East means more unemployed youth and more willing terrorists. The problem won’t go away until there is democracy and decent employment in the region.

  8. How is this “collusion” any different than computer makers creating standards such as motherboard size and hole configurations?

    Secrecy!

  9. According to the Spiegel report, the five German car brands met starting in the 1990s to coordinate activities related to their vehicle technology, costs, suppliers and strategy as well as emissions controls in diesel engines … Talks may have also involved the size of tanks for AdBlue fluid for diesel autos …

    Or maybe they were working to set standards that would be good for the industry and its customers. If there’s a gun here, its not smoking.

  10. The latest UK announcement will kill the UK power system dead. There is nothing like enough generating capacity to allow for 20 million electric cars, or the money to build it. It would be interesting to know how the UK is going to build another 20GW of reliable 24 hour generation in the next 25 years or so, it is unlikely that the Hinckey C will even be running then, and no other nuclear plants planned. Perhaps they think that more GAS is the answer, which is plain stupid. Why not just put the LNG in the cars, which is as green and more efficient! This must be stage 1 of banning personal transport, because the announcement of money for battery development will go nowhere for good scientific reasons, as will city sized batteries for storage once they realise such would be dangerous beyond belief should any fault occur, being equivalent to many hydrogen bombs in one place! Such is green politics, unthinking, unknowing and uncaring!

    • In my close neighbourhood there is a household with two ‘hybrids’, they were told they should charge only one at the time.

    • There are in fact nuclear plants planned at several locations – Wylfa, Moorside and Bradwell.

      Wylfa is awaiting approval and could be built in 5 years at much less cost than Hinkley.

      You also miss the point that ‘smart charging’ is very likely to be the norm by 2040 – little chance all those cars will be charging at the same time.

      Meanwhile the UK continues to increase wind, solar and tidal power, reduce demand and provide battery storage and lessen demand through demand response.

      • You need more than just extra power plants. You have to upgrade the distribution network, all the way down to local homes.

      • “You also miss the point that ‘smart charging’ is very likely to be the norm by 2040 ”

        In other words, you go to your car to drive to work and the battery is flat because the government didn’t let you charge it.

        Actually, as I understand it, the intention is that the government will be able to suck power out of your car to feed the grid when there’s no power available because of crappy windmills and the like. So, basically, they want everyone to pay lots of money to provide free battery backup for them. I think that explains a lot more about why this is happening than most of the other theories.

    • “… and no other nuclear plants planned. ”

      See here for who is currently doing what where or here for a more detailed breakdown.

      • The breakdown will be in consumers’ wallets as the cost of capital for these new nukes hits the rate base. If consumers are not informed of this, then the whole electric auto thing qualifies as a scam, imho. Full disclosure requires that the effect on electric power rates of all this new nuke plant construction be disclosed now. Of course, in a socialist economy “squeeze the people” is the order of the day.

  11. Diesel swindle?

    Please note that the same people who try to demonize CO2 are behind this Diesel swindle meme. These are the extreme enironmentalists in cooperation with the EU bureaucrats. First they want to kill the diesel with its NOx emissions then the remaining petrol cars will run into the CO2 regulation trap. After that only electric vehicles will be allowed whereas nearly nothing will be saved in terms of environment since the EU is scaling down nuclear power and the intermittency of the renewables already causes problems with the european grid.

    I had a look into the NOx issue and it is as laughable as the CO2 fear mongering. There is no danger for our health from it. Currently we have an average concentration of about 20 µg/m³ in Germany. Next to some roads with the highest traffic burden we have about 80-90 µg/m³. The official limit before 2010 was 200 µg/m³ and since 2010 it is 40 µg/m³ which comes from the WHO and which is based on some statistical reports where a few of them found a correlation between higher mortality and NOx exposure other reports did not find any realtion at all. Although there is no proff they are definig that with every 10 µg/m³ 5,5% more people are going to die earlier.

    Anyways, there is no toxicological indication that low NOx concentrations are causing health problems. The toxicological limit where a body reaction is slightly measurable is 2.900 µg/m³. The maximum concentration for working places is 950 µg/m³ !!! Yes, that is no fake. You are allowed to work 8 hrs/day under 950 µg NOx but if you cross a road with 41 µg your health will immediately suffer and you are going to die. Another example: If you are a smoker you are exposed to 240,000 µg/m³. I agree, smoking is not good for health, but according to the NOx narrative you should die immediately after your first and last cigarette. All the epidemiology studies about mortality and NOx I have read are completely ridiculous with no proof whatsoever. But the WHO, the EU and the environmentalists in the governments and the NGOs are creating a threat out of nothing. Does that sound familiar to you?

    You should also note that the european carmakers did not violate the EU regulation concerning NOx because this regulation is by far not as hard as the EPA regulation in the US and most of the cars did not have that obvious cheating device that Volkswagen needed for “meeting” the harder US regulation. The legal situation, if you violate the regulation, is also very different between US and EU. Thus, Volkswagen definitely had a problem in the US and they had to pay for it. But the EU politicians and the environmental groups are pissed because they cannot sue and punish the carmakers in Europe.

    That is one of the reasons why they created the bully parade of collusion between the carmakers. The allegations are as ridiculous as the NOx and anything else that’s coming from the corrupt politics. The magazine “Spiegel” is writing about the Diesel swindle as part of the talks but mentions only ridiculous reasons, e.g. the carmakers saved about 1 Euro/car by using smaller Urea tanks which are supposed to be the reason why they are not doing better in tems of NOx reduction. Ridiculous! And Spiegel mentions the allegation that they agreed upon a maximum driving speed of 20 km/h for allowing the roof of a convertible to close/open for safety reasons. That is according to the magazine supposed to pretend competition which would have potentially caused higher speeds. I am happy with the 20 km/h rather than seeing a convertible fly into my windscreen because it opened the roof at 250 km/h.

    No, there is no Diesel swindle, except in the minds of corrupt politics, environmental extremists and the BS media! I understand if you don’t like Diesels but there is no reason at all to ban them.

    • Spot on. Linear toxicity models fail horribly but are de rigeur in the enviro movement. See the latest scare on Ben and Jerry’s ice cream where glypgosphate was found in ppb concentration.

      This idea fails due to hormetic effect. Consider the elements selenium, chromium and copper. Toxic in large doses for sure and very toxic in certain compounds like hexavalent Cr. Yet in trace quantities, absolutely essential.

      Beets are now promoted as a superfood as they are a good source of dietary nitrates. Nitrogen oxides? Kissing cousins to nitrates. Not to imply sucking the tail pipe of a diesel is equal to a bowl of borscht..

      • Linear toxicity models
        =========
        They are a fraud. Everything is toxic if toy have too much. Even water.

        The idea is that if drinking 100 litres of water is toxic and 100 people on average drink 1 liter of water each, that is 100 liters so statistically 1 person must have died from all that water.

      • Yes, Keith. Absolutely the same strategy that was used to fight nuclear. Increase fear from low doses by LNT calculations and deny any hormesis effect.

        The latter is the denial of adaptation capability of nature and finally the denial of evolution. There is no such thing as a steady state in nature. Everything is changing, all the time!

    • Very good summary, thank you. The bonnet (hood) of my father’s staff car once flew up as he was being driven on the Autobahn, not a good moment!

    • Yeah well, go explain that to this ‘legal activist’ who nobody ever voted for.

      Since you are from Germany listen closely to what he says about Munich.

      • Interesting! Thanks for the video. Do you know what company or NGO this gentleman is working for?

        This is really interesting because that could explain what is happening right now in Munich and Stuttgart. These are the two cities with the highest NOx concentrations in Germany (80-90 microgramm). Ironically both cities rank #1 for life expectancy in Germany (M for boys, S for girls). The administration in both cities are willing to ban diesel vehicles due to NOx “pollution”. The initiative in Munich started just some months ago which could match perfectly the timing in the video.

        Furtheron the strategy of this legal activist is right now being copied by a German environmental NGO named DUH. They are suing about ten German cities because they do not comply with NOx regulation. They hope to ban diesel vehicles in every city and later on in the whole country. This specific NGO earns its money with suing companies if they do not comply with formal requests of european environmental regulations. (e. g. a missing energy consumption label on a product at an exhibition). They send a letter with the non compliance issue and if the company does not respond within 5 days and in the correct legal way it already lost and has to pay a part of the fine to the NGO. This mafia style activism is unbelievable but legal. Welcome to Banana Republic!

      • Thanks a lot for the link to Clientearth, AJB. You can follow the trace from Client Earth to the ECF (European Climate Foundation) which is the regional NGO of Climate Works, an US based philanthropy fund, who spent the amazing amount of 800,000,000 $ on funding climate change Propaganda. Most of that money came from the Flora Hewlett Foundation (family of Cofounder of Hewlett Packard).

      • “Most of that money came from the Flora Hewlett Foundation (family of Cofounder of Hewlett Packard).”

        Hmm, did you also run across this purported ICCT connection from 2015, paulclim? It seems the well of ‘philanthropy’ runs deep, a veritable gusher.

    • Whereas the right way to do this is by careful measurement and ongoing real science. Not some virtue signalling bigot subverting democracy – one minute “falling in love with diesel” (regardless that the outcome was obvious from day one) and the next using underhand lobbying and legal intervention to force kneejerk government reaction which will lead to far greater problems. IMHO guys like the above are a bloody menace to all of us.

      • I agree. What these people won’t tell you is that particles, NOx and Sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced by 70%-95% since the mid eighties, although number of cars and driven kilometers have increased substantially. There simply isn’t much left to reduce. But they need a threat to legitimate their job and their income.

      • Yep, did you spot the lithium monitoring at about 3:22? That’ll be Harrabin fodder in 2025 no doubt.

  12. Loved the comments on Fiats. My opinion was formed in the 1970’s when a coworker kept getting the fixed in two days response from the dealer. He finally pleaded with them to fix it because he needed his only car and got the response “you mean you have a Fiat and don’t have another car?”

    Now my pickup truck is a Fiat Chrysler America product.

    • “Bob Greene July 26, 2017 at 5:59 am

      Now my pickup truck is a Fiat Chrysler America product.”

      So in about 5 minutes after your purchace it will be a pile of rust on the driveway, like a Lancia?

  13. Collusion ???
    Sounds more like “Collaboration” to me ! These emissions standards are Pure BS. Standards from the late 80’s/early 90’s are perfectly fine for health and the environment. Heavy Diesel trucks are the only vehicles needing to be cleaned up better. Passenger diesel vehicles are fine.

    • I agree,GW. But say this in Europe and you will be looked upon as a criminal. Most people believe the BS they are told by politics and media. In the US you have a polarization but at least you still have different opinions in politics and society. We are one step ahead in Europe, at least in Germany. Main stream defines the right opinion (that of government and media), people with opposing views are denounced as crazy or extremist which is easy to show because they are deviating from the huge main stream setting the standard of the new normal.

    • Is there any end to the “phenomenal, just-around-the-corner” hype of products? Really, this is getting old.

  14. In the late 60’s, I used to drive a ’66 Sunbeam Tiger around Philadelphia. Nice small car with a Ford V8.
    0-60 in 7.5 secs. Great gas mileage, even if it was only $0.25/gal then. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun to drive, not so much fun to work on. things were a bit cramped under the hood…

  15. Not all information sharing is collusion. Did this in any way limit their competitiveness with each other, diminish the ability of non-cooperative parties to function in that market, or were prices propped up by this information sharing? My guess is that some lawyers will say yes and others will say no, and it will be up to a single judge to make the decision that will only ultimately benefit the legal industry and hurt everyone else, all in the name of saving the planet.

    • +1. My questions: Is the collusion illegal or even unethical? Did they try to hide it? Did they collude in order to defraud? None of these central questions were even addressed in the article. Collusion has become a dirty word, especially in U.S. politics. But collusion is not necessarily conspiracy.

  16. It costs more in wear and tear on a battery to discharge/charge, than to buy gasoline with the equivalent amount of energy. By a factor of about 4.

    Even before you start to pay for the electricity.

  17. Ah ha! German auto makers, surrender! We have you dead to rights, on suspicion of intent to collude!

  18. My VW Caravelle just passed it’s MOT (UK road worthiness inspection) test with the tester saying he was impressed at how low the emission readings were which for a 21 year old vehicle was good to hear.
    What amuses me is that it doesn’t have all the stuff that fowls up modern diesel engined vehicles.
    It’s part of the reason why I keep it as everything is mechanical “I can fix mechanical” when electronics goes wrong there’s not so many fixes other than replacement at high cost.

    James Bull

    • The same applies to me. 1993 Golf, second hand, 85k miles on the clock, automatic gear and running like blazes.

  19. Cheating on the emissions test might mean that the prerequesites cannot be met otherwise. The narrative of man-made global warming did inspire the rulers to -completely unecessarily- tighten the reins on the car industry. If we agree that CAGW is a Mann-made hoax, we should not complain about the car industry ignoring this non-existing threat as well. I don’t drive a German Diesel car, and I do give a darn whether they cheated or not.

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