A Little Perspective On Dieselgate…

I’ll preface this with an obvious statement: Volkswagen messed up. Big style.

The internal decision to create a defeat device to help selected diesel engines (and now it’s looking like petrol variants too) to get around the EPA will likely go down as one of the worst decisions any major manufacturer has made, which is quite an achievement in some respects. What has most people – quite rightly – miffed is that it was a purposely made decision. It wasn’t an accident or a simple error – it was by design. No idea what I’m talking about? I’ll let Wikipedia fill you in.

However, and I can’t stress this enough, nobody has died.

You might think that’s a bit melodramatic, but really in the grand scale of things, it’s not. General Motors has only recently acknowledged the deaths of 124 people in the United States due to a faulty ignition switch. It seems to have been a genuine mistake with no intended malice, but do you think that’s of little comfort to the families of those left behind? There are plenty of examples throughout history where car manufacturers have tried to cut corners or made unintentional mistakes where people have died. For me, that’s the ultimate f**k up.


In fact, in the grand scale of problems the world is currently facing, this debacle shouldn’t even register. We’ve become so immune to the atrocities taking place across the globe that our perspective on things is truly messed up. On the same day the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued a notice of violation to Volkswagen, 182 people were killed in an explosion in South Sudan. Have we reached a point in humanity where a corporation’s failures are more newsworthy than the loss of human lives? Part of me does think that a lot of the uproar is more related to the opportunity to seek reimbursement than legitimate environmental concerns, but that’s just the cynic in me.

As a non-US citizen, I think there’s also a certain amount of irony surrounding this uproar. Since records began, the United States has been the largest contributor to emissions being pumped into our atmosphere and continues to be in the top four today. If you removed every TDI motor from the US market, would it even make any difference at all? It would be wrong of me to use this as a stick to beat the United States with, seeing as this all came about by the EPA trying to make a difference, but it’s something that I couldn’t help but point out.

If there’s one upside to this, it’s that the focus on diesel engines is finally shifting towards their NOX emissions rather than CO2 as it does across most of Europe. In most European countries, consumers are rewarded with cheaper annual motor tax rates and sometimes cheaper fuel for choosing the diesel variant. This was done in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions, but completely overlooked the more harmful NOX rates. Whilst sales of diesel cars thrived, manufacturers have been forced to create incredibly efficient petrol engines which will almost certainly see a resurgence in years to come. The benefit to the likes of you and me is that they’re capable of creating performance cars which won’t empty your wallet quite as quickly as before.


I might drive a Volkswagen, but that does not cloud my judgement. If anything, it means that I hold them to a higher standard than most. However, I can’t help but feel sorry for those who are left to clean up the mess and are left to deal with the stigma that has been attached to the brand. There are some truly wonderful people working for Volkswagen who are trying to put things right. With those likely responsible for this already having been shown the door, it’s akin to that friend who turns up at your house party, wrecks the place, abuses your neighbour and leaves before the cops come, leaving you to deal with the mess.

I’m not saying they’ve done no wrong, I just think we could all do with taking a breath and give them the opportunity to put things right before stomping on them any further. A little perspective wouldn’t go astray…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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Not to mention the recent deaths caused by Takata seatbelt failures. Oh wait, you didn't.
Like you say though, it is the intentional deception that irks people.


It's politics. Like the American EPA gave oil companies free regain to Frack. Fracking does more Environmental damage then a few rouge diesels.


Not only nox, sulfur emissions in the most "green" diesel engines are "off the charts" by gasoline or ethanol standards.
The main problem in emission control is that they use gasoline standards to test other fuels, making diesel and ethanol appear as "much cleaner alternatives" because they produce different chemicals when burned, that to be properly controlled, should be tested to they own characteristics, those would show then the  "true colors" of other fuels.

Now, about what is and what isn`t important... yes the humanity needs to be more human but the media still plays a role on influencing what is important. Newspapers preffer to show failure/misery/death than happiness. A corporate scandal draws more attention than some people dying , people dying draws more attention than people making charity efforts, and so it goes on and on. News are both what people make of it and what the media makes of it. Huge discoveries in medicine (or other scientific fields) go unoticed everyday because a bombing is more important, for example.
Im not talking down on speedhunters, i`m a big fan, but, even with cars its the same way: what is important, the things you feature or the things that are happening everyday? sometimes, for the sake of earning your keep you feature a "regular" built by a sponsor while some kid in a underdeveloped country drifts a dropped diesel truck with three stacked superchargers and nobody`s looking at it (just an example). I see local guys everyday talking down on other people`s efforts because their cars don`t look like "the things you see in speedhunters (or other sites)", same thing, each media channel stabilishes its priorities and there are people out there ready to follow the news the way they are told without thinking twice.


I think the big uproar is because VW are so squeaky clean i cant think of many big scandals or recalls in my honestly limited knowledge but its kind of countless with gm every week it seemed there was another recall and then another because they didn't actually fix it


I also think your pretty spot on with the financial reimbursement point its the unfortunate reality of how people work


The Wikipedia article which you reference, but didn't bother reading, quotes a statistical analysis which estimates between 12-69 deaths (AP estimate) based on released NOx. So, YES, people actually have died.


One good thing has come out of this, though. Prices for the VAG diesels are going down on the used car markets; all of a sudden, as if overnight, I can afford that Audi A4 Avant 3.0TDi SE Quattro 6 speed I've wanted forever. Yay!


People will die in the future because of it. The Planet will die.


Isnt takata a sponsor?

Speedhunters in on my daily list to check out.  No disrespect.


LucasHubmann of course planet will die. Not because huge factories release a huge amount of poison in the atmosphere, but because VW cheated emissions. lol


DerekAlexander so by your logic only cars release NOx? There are huge factories who release a much bigger amount of NOx and no one cares about that. And I can bet that there are a lot of stuff made by those factories in your house.


I wonder .. everyones so fed up about this defeat device VW uses ..
But it makes me think ... How in the world it can be VW is the only one using it ? I highly doubt ford, bmw and most of the car makers are without guilt in this field...

I strongly believe that most of the car makers have and will use such devices... VW had the rough luck to get cought ..
But all the ford eco boosts and such... 
Doubt they are that clean .. Correct if i`m wrong.. but VW isn`t stupid .. People who did this know what they are doing.. It`s not like they are some yard company that`s just gotten into the game..

Just think about it - all that power everyone is offering and still being as clean as they should be? I study vehicle engineering now.. so it`s not like I wouldn`t now what i`m walking about .. but, still, I might be mistaken .... just a thing to maybe pay attention to ..;)


worst article ever wrote on this site...


This just proves that there is a flaw in the current emissions test. Who will be next into dog box? I guess it could be all fossil fuelled vehicles soon...

Just a question: Top fuel dragsters seem to run every other day all across the USA... What's their NOx readings? Yes there are lots of different forms of motorsport, and I do not believe that a racing team's first priority is to meet emission laws. So where do we go from here?

BTW - I love all forms motorsport (except lawnmower racing)


i like to think that it´s someone fighting the nanny state, this ridiculous war against cars no matter what. like you said, petrol engines are evolving in leaps and even when they are no harm to the environment this "righteous" society will continue attacking cars from another front, ignoring its enormous benefits like they do today. vw did wrong, but i think it´s a little funny and deserved.


Its all about the environmental agenda. It is one of the lefts strongest talking points because they claim it threatens all mankind blah blah blah. The problem is that the people who make the biggest deal about it still continue to fly around the world putting out far more "pollutants" than any of VWs TDI's.  VW is a nice big juicy target with alot of money and thats why it fits their agenda.


Okay, how about VW apologises once and for all & swear to never do it again?

& once that's cleared up let's move onto a more important matter. How the hell did Speedhunters let itself be used soo recklessly in a videogame where the cutscenes were the cheesiest, hardest to watch, most cringeworthy peices of shit ever created?


RacingPast lawnmower racing is awesome


Spot on Paddy! 

I for one simply cannot get over the timing of the
"dieselgate" discovery!
On September 17th GM settled nearly 1,400
Ignition-Switch Lawsuits for pennies on a dollar: $574 million where there were
confirmed 124 deaths and more than 200 injuries! 

All of a sudden he very next
morning news comes out that some small lab in the middle of nowhere discovers
the VW cheating system and the entire automotive world is in an uproar!


Many years ago I bought a Sony CDPM 71 CD player. It had a chip inside called muting controller that detected very low level audio signal on the cd track and if they persisted for more than few seconds the audio output was muted "to some degree".
The degree of muting, that determined a valuable measurement parameter called signal to noise ratio, measured for determining the quality of the product (and its price)  was (after the operations of this chip) determined by the resistance of two resistors (value few US cents). So different Cd players, with provable different commercial value because of different measurements of signal to noise ratio were sold by Sony... But these measurements did indeed measure the resistance of the muting resistor, not the real parameter. Basically they were almost all the same. Look at the schematic diagram!

The muting controller was indeed developed by Sony to mask imperfections (easily detectable with measurements) of the digital to analog conversion technology developed by Sony in those years.  Years later that technology was substituted by a better one, that had no need of such muting controllers and related probable frauds.... Previous technologies did not have those imperfections but were much more expensive..

There is an analogy


animala I guess you don't know that EA basically founded speedhunters.com for promotion of the Need for Speed series... ;) I don't know which NFS it was, but this is really the true story.


superalekZ animala Well that's upsetting.


I'll just leave this right here..

...And that's with just the roughly 0.5 million cars polluting in the U.S.



The GM thing cannot be compared to this, and I wish people would quit doing it. The GM ignition issue was a mistake, and a supplier's mistake at that. Yes, some (emphasis on some) people at GM tried to cover it up, but that's neither here nor there. The VW scandal differs in that VW started out with the intention of deceiving environmental groups, and lying to their customers. Remember the clean diesel ads and the incredible emissions statistics laid out by VW every chance they got? Outright and total lies. Worse, this was not the decision of one or two engineers. This involved dozens of people, as well as many higher-ups.

Oh, and "Nobody has died"? First: That's wrong.


Second: Since when are the number of deaths as a result of a scandal an accurate measure of the severity of said scandal? After all, Bernie Madoff didn't kill anybody. He might've stolen, cheated, lied, and ruined the financial livelihoods of hundreds of people, but he didn't kill anybody so it wasn't a big deal, right? 

I know you love their cars, and I feel bad that your favorite company did this. But give me a break. Volkswagen intentionally cheated environmental tests (placing profits ahead of the health and well-being of the general public), and continually lied to its customers. It did this for years, and it would still be doing it as we speak had someone not called them out.


irony....vw sales went up in the US hmmm


There is so much truth in what you say! I'm amazed at how much DRAMA is packed into the automobile. How in the hell are they ALWAYS the scapegoat for EVERY environmental issue!???!! I drive a TDI Cup Edition, and boy do I pollute!!! LOLThe car is parked right now - has been parked since SUNDAY!!! And yet........ EVERY SINGLE DIESEL TRUCK HAS BEEN DRIVING EVERY HOUR SINCE, and you're telling me they passed emissions? Prove it. Let's have an independent study of semi-trucks, let's put a probe on that pipe THROUGHOUT THE DAY, and just see where the NOx levels are at. Because it's quite obvious that diesel truck has polluted the environment more in the last HOUR than my car has since Sunday. Let's consider that the current EPA test DOES NOT EVEN TEST THE MOTOR UNDER LOAD!!!! "Testing vehicles in controlled laboratory conditions establishes a level playing field for all cars
and ensures that the test results are consistent, accurate, repeatable, and equitable among different
vehicle models and manufacturers. Vehicles are driven on a dynamometer (a device similar
to a treadmill) using five standardized driving patterns or test cycles. These test cycles represent
a variety of driving conditions including speed, acceleration, braking, air conditioning use, and
ambient temperatures. The test results from the five driving cycles are combined to yield individual
“city” and “highway” values, and a “combined” fuel economy value that assumes a 55%
city/45% highway split.1" http://www3.epa.gov/fueleconomy/documents/420f14015.pdf 

Consider the "cheat" wasn't discovered by the EPA, but REAL world driving - and the evidence shows, cannot be simulated

Look, I'm not happy with what VW did, and I'm not happy that my car STILL POLLUTES given the fact it's completely choked up by EGR and DPF. VW spent a ton to market diesel engines, created the TDI Cup Racing Series to showcase the tech, got me interested in owning a TDI, and I eventually bought one. I'm certainly not getting rid of the car. It's paid for, it's mine, but it's not my only car. It is the most maintenance free car I've ever owned. Oil changes every 10,000 miles, I'm paying less than $2.50/gallon (sorry to my EU friends), and I'm never getting less than 33mpg. Heavy foot, and I drive in the city (I get 42mpg highway).......I purposefully drive in front of Prius drivers........

here's a good article


then this one


"For dedicated work trucks, CARB approved the addition of a broader mileage exemption: work trucks and construction trucks that travel less than 20,000 miles per year annually. A new phase-in schedule requires work truck owners to add diesel particulate filters between 2015 and 2018."

..... my car has been parked since Sunday..... it's a 2010..... it has 67,000 miles on it.......anybody want to do that math? Go ahead, calculate my mileage per year........... (HINT: it's under 20,000 miles)

but I live in a state where diesel cars are exempt from emissions anyway....... for now

THE CAR is the least of our problems.......... 



(metric ton is slightly less than a US ton)


Paddy mate, you say that 124 have died because GM and 182 died on the same day as Dieselgate scandal erupted. Have you ever thought about what 11 million cars polluting 40 times more than legal standards can do me and you, to all of us, and to the planet? I do believe that VW has to pay into an inch of his existence and be thankful if they will make it again as a brand.
Wonderful people work at VW? They have been poisoned as well as the rest of us from the same engines that they service every day. Maybe they deserve a better job at a Toyota dealership or service. What do you say about that?

And for how long SH will look away at the TAKATA scandal, just because is a partner? You dont know about TAKATA scandal? Take your advice and look it up on Wikipedia.


Well said, but putting aside all the other bits, comparative loss of life, US love guzzling fuel, blah blah blah, I must say I agree that they should be given the chance to put it right. And they will, end of. The great thing about this is that its uncovered how devious companies (not just car companies) can be when attempting to meet strike regulations surrounding energy consumption, emissions and such like. So they should all, rightfully,
be sh#tting their corporate pants right now!!!

I do think though, rather obviously, this will always be the decision of the hierarchy to say right, "can you engine department types make our engines meet the emission regulations without spending 9 billion pounds/dolars/euros or redesigning every engine in our range from the ground up! No? well ok whats the alternative?" John from the ECU department pipes up and says "Yeah I can write a program into the engine management to fool testing methods and that will cost around £50 of my time". (John in ECU's has now been paid off and sent to the Bahamas for an early retirement)

My point (and I may be missing the mark here), is like Paddy said. Don't shoot the whole company down in flames just because of the mistakes of the few..... that would sack the ones who didn't agree with the idea in the first place.

Anyway, naughty VW.... bad VW.... grrrrrr


rook56 I think Paddy made his point clear that he was differentiating between deliberate choices, and accidental mistakes and oversights, I'm sure the Takata issue is the latter. The world isn't perfect, sometimes things don't work how they're supposed to and people die, it sucks, but its the world we live in. That's different to people deliberately misleading people to make a profit, at the expense of the environment and peoples health.


TurboHippie o keep people happy, make them buy a chunk of the amazon rain forrest and protect it.... or re-plant some of it... would that not be a "sorry planet earth, we f*cked up" as thats who needs apologising to.


To be honest, I'm not glad it happened. People have died and that sucks. BUT I am glad they've been caught. It will shine a light on the industry testing standards, that we've all known to be a joke for a long time. Manufacturer stated fuel consumption figures are a joke. As are the ludicrously low road taxes the UK Government is putting on some diesel cars, whilst simultaneously considering banning all diesel cars from built up areas due to amount of air pollution they kick out.

Also, if all this gets some diesel car owners off their high horses, I'd appreciate that too. I'm sick to the back teeth of people sitting smugly talking about how their diesel is so eco friendly and gets such great mileage, only to watch them drive off in a cloud of black smoke. Also, they're bloody awful to drive, and yet I've spent the last few months sat on the fence over whether to buy my wife a diesel Audi to get to work and back in, as the tax on our Renaultsport 2.0l petrol car is constantly on the rise, and with the high price of fuel we could really save by switching to Derv.


I laugh as I hear neighbours talk about the resale value of their diesel tanking, and I keep thinking that you didn't buy a diesel for resale, you bought it for an engine that could do 200,000 kilometers before it's broken in. 

By the way, what is the average emissions from a commercial airline? With over 100K flights PER DAY, I'm pretty certain all the diesel emissions don't compare to the emission from aircraft!

If we are curbing emissions to save the planet, then we need to do this everywhere, not just focus on one scapegoat, and say that we fixed the problem. 

I'm waiting for the images of Polar bears holding anti VW signs as to why their iceflows went next. :)


greenroadster airbags, not harnesses, different product, different issue of causation. Don't Jakarta deserve supporting for trying to put it right now though? as do VW, they made a MASSIVE bad choice, but everyone deserves repentance and a second chance. 

case in point: Siemens made Zyklon B, used in death camps, mitsubishi made planes and weaponry during WWII but I'm willing to put you have at least one microchip, product or item patented by Either (probably both) of them in your house./car. 

They made a mistake, give them the chance to fix it. if you had just ballsed up a relationship based on trust with your S/O - wouldn't you want at the very least that?


As soon as they lift the sale stop of the diesels i'll be buying a new one. Dirt cheap due to all the media for a great daily driver.


I am wondering about all the other manufacturers. Nobody of them laugh or blaspheme at VW ! Why?

I think, its because many of them knows that their own cars use more fuel then they claim!

And a few of them are may be waiting to see VW fall abart and get the bits of it...


Robo_No1 nobody died. When was the last time you honestly saw somebody drive off in a "black smoke"? You are full of it.


VW is Genius .... we've all wanted a system just like this for our cars... and if you say you dont, you're lying.....


Stuntdrvr I was just about to post "does anyone know where I can get one of these Bosch units from as I have an MOT coming up..." but decided my inbox didn't need the stress :)


@Io Actually nobody has died, and even if some people have due to a disease that could be linked to NOX, there is noway they could actually blame that on VW. Trains, Tractor trailers, and older vehicles put out far more NOX than the small fraction from VW cheating the test. Number of deaths in relation to severity is because humans place more value on human life than anything else.


@renge it is an estimation based off of an early study, in no way conclusive.


@Io Amen to this. This article was a poorly written rationalization. I really like VW cars too but Paddy got on a soapbox at the wrong time.


They do have the opportunity to make things right by paying their fines, attending legal issues and somehow making sure they don't screw up like this again.


Turn up!


Can't believe I just read that.  It's as if Donald Trump is now a member of Speedhunters.

"In fact, in the grand scale of problems the world is currently facing, this debacle shouldn’t even register."

Ignorant much?


As an american... I really really have a strong disdain for some of our regulations pertaining to emissions and a multitude of other senseless laws/regulations.
I agree completely with the fact that the U.S. media is practically dehumanizing people trying to suffocate it's own citizens about why it's important to not care about the rest of the world and only look out for ourselves. Which is incorrect.


Not altogether a bad idea. Actually very similar in concept to what a certain US government agency asks of petrochemical and mining companies.


THOR275 Serious?  Like, what is a common topic in the presidential debates? I'll give you a clue.  Two words.  First word begins with F.  Second word begins with P.

Actually, you're right.  Emissions controls are a stupid idea.  I mean China looks like it has fantastic air quality, and it's not harmful! Jesus christ lol.


@ABE24 I've definitely written worse.


animala superalekZ How so? EA have allowed us pretty much free reign to cover some of the best car content in the world since day one. We've always been fully open about their involvement and make no mistake, this wouldn't exist without them.


@Io There's a lot I could go into, but essentially I think that report is nonsense. There's absolutely no way that any single death can be directly attached to VW. There are so many contributing factors - and countless other guilty parties - that it would literally be impossible. 

Unless you can somehow track and account for every single gram of NOX and where it ends up. 

Again, I'm not excusing what they did but people need to tone the hysteria.


@AnonymousPeromyscus I admit I might of stolen the idea... but it was gold mining that gave me the idea oddly, principles the same though "You made a mess, you clean it up" 
considering the amount of trees they could buy with, say 10% levy against all future profits across the group.... Literally healing the planet.


greenroadster I think it's worth remembering that no matter what brand of car, or if it's petrol, diesel or electric, every single one contributes harmful emissions to the environment in one way or another. So to condemn one and ignore the rest is hypocritical (Not calling you a hypocrite, just addressing the overall issue)

You like drifting, right? You can probably guess where I can go with that...

With regards TAKATA, I'm genuinely not familiar with the precise details of the whole case (I will read up on it) but it's another example of a company making a mistake and trying to put it right. I'm not attacking anyone with this piece, just trying to bring some rationale to the table.


@Beany I've felt that way about Paddy ever since his trip to Qatar


@Nate Robo_No1 If he lives in the UK, I would say he sees it quite regularly. Cars from pre-2007-ish were not required to be equipped with DPFs and can be quite smokey. 

I do agree with your first point.


@Beany I'm really not sure how that's ignorant? Unless your purposely ignoring my entire point, just so you can feel offended? 

Do I think VW need to make reparations and to put things right for what they've done? Absolutely. Am I tired about reading about in on the news nearly two months later when there are far worse things happening around the world? You bet I am.


butterballs I like how you've signed up just to have a pop at me without bringing any discussion or debate to the table.


@Beany THOR275 I'm not familiar with your presidential debates, can you explain what you mean? 

Emissions controls are very important, but they're pointless if they're only selectively enforced.


AmcMcm A perfectly fair expectation.


Kirk_B Very well said.


@truhidden Did they? They've reported a quarterly loss worldwide for the first time in 15(?) years. I think the next 12 months will be interesting...


abezzegh87 rook56 To be crystal clear, Takata Racing help keep this project alive and to allow us to provide the free content we do. Did Takata Corporation mess up? Yes. Are they doing what they can to put it right? Yes. 

What more do you want? I say that sincerely BTW.


Paddy McGrath You're stating that the issue at hand shouldn't even register.  Does the meaning and implication of this statement not register with you?


Paddy McGrath greenroadster I believe the issue was due to an irresponsible contractor based in mexico incorrectly storing explosives. Compounded by their not making any safety tests and take' not picking up the fact they were not sending much in the way of safety certificates and data. when they found out the company Higher ups panicked and tried to cover it up. cost Taka 70million plus.


Paddy McGrath No, you can't directly attribute a death from pollution to a specific VW. You can't say, "John Smith of California died because Jane Doe's Jetta polluted too much,". But, we do know that pollution and NOX kills, and VW's cheating contributed greatly to the overall amount of NOX in the air. This is pretty much indisputable. 

Also, the hysteria (which I don't think exists to the degree you believe), is less over the environmental damage VW did, and more over the lying and cheating. Plus, I think a lot of people are concerned that the guilty parties at VW are still there. Sure, some have been sacked/quit, but there's no way the very top leadership at VW (who are basically untouchable) couldn't have known something. This scandal was much too vast and went on for far too long for them to have remained totally in the dark.


And on that bombshell, Toyota announced that they will start to shift their focus from diesel cars to petrol, hybrid and electric cars. In fact many manufacturers are saying that they don't see a future to the diesel-powered cars, as this scandal would be the start of it all. I personally detest hybrid/electric cars!

Shots fired!

Anyways, Paddy, I do agree with you. Ok, They made their mistake, they now need to let them fix it and make assurances that they won't do it again, which they won't. I am sure of it.


Paddy McGrath THOR275 It was directed at Thor.  I wouldn't expect an Irishman to know about the US presidential debates.

They're are not pointless if only selectively enforced.  For example, they are enforced in the US, but not so much as China.  Does this discrepancy make the US enforcement pointless?


Surprise twist: everybody at VW is a hot rodder at heart.


You make some very valid points. Nice read as always, Paddy:)


@Beany Paddy McGrath THOR275 I try to keep up to date where I can, I'll take a guess that you're referring to foreign policy?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they selectively enforced within the US? Aren't the likes of big trucks exempt from a lot of emission regulations?


@Beany Paddy McGrath If you interpret it literally, it would mean that. I was using hyperbole to emphasise my point but can appreciate that might not have been clear. 

We need dedicated fonts for different inflections.


abezzegh87 We can change that.


I'm with you there too. Now to deal with GM, Toyota et al. who have continued to use Takata product long after they knew it was faulty. Oh, might be a idea to clarify Speedhunters association with Takata as well...


TCBeast LucasHubmann The planet won't die, but we probably will. 

If you're in the humour for some, eh, humour on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53h4


@Difinity Already done so below...


Well, that depends on whether you guys are photographers or photo-journalists.
Journalistic ethics compels you to tell the story with openess and impartiality.
If you consider yourselves as photographers then that is fine too. In that case the comments can be used to balance any bias.
I could have put my last comment in a less smartass way though so for that I apologise.


DerekAlexander Nobody HAS died. People MIGHT die. None of which can be directly attributed to VW.


"Since records began, the United States has been the largest contributor
to emissions being pumped into our atmosphere and continues to be in the
top four today."per cap·i·tapər ˈkapədə/adverb & adjectiveadverb: per capita; adverb: per caput; adjective: per capita for each person; in relation to people taken individually.

If you're going to shit up SH with politik, try to at least actually be interested in "perspective." While you're at it, kindly try to emit less than TWICE as much CO2 as an average US citizen (assuming you're irish and using 2011 data)... K THX.


You are absolutely right, but my issue with the Takata isnt the initial mistake, it is the apparent coverup that followed. If the allegations are true, then they have been hiding problems for a decade.


rook56 No worries, I always try to assume the best intentions in someone's comment. It can be difficult to convey tone with just text alone. 

Honestly, Takata never once entered my head when writing this. Mostly because I'm not trying to attack anyone or list examples of companies who may or may not have done worse. I'm just trying to get people to look at it in a rational manner and offer a different view on the situation.


"Nobody has died" except for the part where everyone dies in couple hundred years... I'm all for emissions standards that are crazy high on people movers, but I do think sports cars should be somewhat exempt...


milkplus The statistics I've sourced aren't per person. They're cumulative and absolute per country since records began. By the EPA's estimation the US is only second to China today.

Per capita figures can be misleading as they don't account for population size or land mass. 

I'm not trying to attack the US, it's just something worth keeping in mind.


What about the TPPA? Interesting this only comes to light now that TPPA signing crap has been in full swing... Anyway I don't care. A) Because its the USA and B) It's Volskwagen. Diesel is hardly a clean fuel.


@Io Paddy McGrath "VW's cheating contributed greatly to the overall amount of NOX in the air"

Have you a source for that or is it your opinion?


This is failing to mention Jeeps use of vw's diesels in europe, making them an accomplice in the act even if "ignorant", also forgets that several other brands fail emissions while rolling down the road but not in actual stationary tests.


Paddy McGrath THOR275

I really can't believe I am having to defend the use of EPA emission standards...

I am sure EA loves this...


Not all states do emission testing. Some states don't do it at all. This includes safety. Some states have emission testing on cars all the way back to 1975. Some states do only safety inspections. Personally if one state is doing emission testing why not all 50? Used to be here where I live, one would do emissions testing but the county beside it only required safety inspections. Now it is required through the state.
I hate what VW has done but honestly it was bound to happen. I'm not sold on emissions honestly. I know the cars are cleaner at least I think. But if you don't do something about developing countries and countries like China where cars are becoming a new norm. We need to impose some sort of laws to govern those countries. Why does air quality ride on our backs.


Paddy McGrath milkplus "Per capita figures can be misleading as they don't account for population size"
Actually, I think that's all it takes into account. If you're going to "keep it in mind" for the sake of perspective, it's worth noting that by any measure, the US is usually among the cleanest producers of anything when the numbers are per unit/ton produced, energy consumed, or per capita. Saying that the largest producer of things has the highest total emissions is a completely irrelevant fact. The U.S. is the second largest market for cars, if you're going to dodge emissions standards, but specifically in the second largest market with the strictest NOX standards, that's pretty nefarious and on a grand scale.

Personally, i think it's absurd that people can drive Escalades around while a VW getting 45+mpg is "destroying the environment" but saying that the USA is maliciously "pumping" pollution into the sky therefore VW is somehow less at fault is a logical fallacy.


This is bullshit. Don't gloss over it. They were claiming 35 TIMES LESS Nox emissions. That is an insane lie. And they launched their sales off being a green, forward thinking company. It doesn't matter what you think of the environmental or health issues and the fact that they put millions more tons of no in the air. 

It's the BIGGEST use misleading advertising to sell millions of products in the history of the world. They wilfully lied to the whole planet about their mission statement and their company priorities. They lied about their product. Whether or not their cars were good cars and "not that bad really compared to air travel/postal service/cows farting" doesn't enter into it. The ends do not justify the means.


I would be really interested in seeing a graph of VW's diesel emissions in terms of emissions per mile. I feel like a  "cheating" TDI getting 45 mpg versus a "non cheating", "fixed" TDI getting 35 mpg would actually produce less emissions per mile, even if its emissions at the tailpipe are somewhat dirtier. Ultimately, emissions per mile traveled are all that matters pollution-wise. That being said, VW lied and that's no good.


I like that you give a fresh view on this whole scandal, but I think you forget one thing: VW will also kill people with this fraud. Not now and not tommorow, but may be within 25 years.

It does however feel a little awkward that the US is now playing the role of the protectors of clean air. Why do they still exclude all those V8 powered monster pickups from laws that count for normal cars? For me as a European citizen it really doesn't make any sense to haul yourself around in an appartment-block powered by something you could use as an emergency generator for a small city. Ford came up with a somewhat more friendly and modern take on this concept (alloy ecoboost F150) and all those hillbilly's prefer the stoneaged Chevy's and Ram's that are still powered by an engine displacing about the same as an average swimmingpool with a consumption not even matched by the biggest alcoholic.

As a petrolhead I'm not saying that Europe is taking the right way per se. I live in The Netherlands and if your car has a 2 liter engine chances are that you have the biggest engine in your street. Everything using more than a drop of fuel for a trip around the world will cost you more in taxes than your average house (and with this the whole market is spoiled), but I'm pretty sure that we emit a lot less dirty gasses than the USA.

The real solution would be to cut all the taxes on buying and owning a car and include all this in the fuel. In that case it's up to you if you want to drive a million miles in one of those horrible VW Up's or Toyota Aygo's or that you want to go all out and spend the same on having an hour of fun in your Ferrari. This would really stimulate people to consider their poluting habits.


donkyyyyyy I have no idea if you agree with me or not...


Paddy McGrath  "The NOV alleges that VW developed and installed a defeat device in certain VW, Audi and Porsche light duty diesel vehicles equipped with 3.0 liter engines for model years (MY) 2014 through 2016 that increases emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) up to nine times EPA’s standard."


Is it a contribution on the scale of say, a major factory or fleet of container ships? No, of course not. So perhaps "greatly" was a poor word choice. But, Volkswagen's cheating did produce excessive NOX emissions; as stated above, up to 9x the emissions they would've produced otherwise.


Why does there have to be some kind of monopoly on issues and problems? Just because there's worse things that happen in the world doesn't mean the outrage is unjustified or unwarranted.

VW lied about a huge portion of their vehicles and image and are rightly being vilified.

Mistakes ruin brands all the time, and purposeful actions of the few even moreso - Are you saying this isn't justified?


Finn Holmquist I highly doubt the 10 mpg improvement makes up for a 40-fold increase in NOx emissions.


Very well said sir. I too find it mind blowing some of the things that have gained importance.
P.S. I still want a Jetta TDI Cup Edition


" In fact, in the grand scale of problems the world is currently facing, this debacle shouldn’t even register"
Diesel exhaust is a contributor to asthma and other respratory diseases, which many people die from.

And if global warming is real and if man is partly to blame for it that could be an issue that would "register". 

The people that did this are criminals, and what sort of company would even have a system that would allow this to happen? Stupid people to do it in the first place and even stupider to think they wouldn't get caught.


Paddy McGrath It's alright mate. On the internet all we have is text, and is frequently taken literally, so we can misunderstand each other easily too.
 "shouldn't even register". Myself, I understand the actual intent behind what you said. And stating you mean it hyperbole clears it up, but yeh it was also taken literally to some.
Intent, tone, sarcasm etc. can be missed when we just read lol.


TCBeast It is not MY logic. The model estimates 1 death for every 1300 tons of NOx released into the environment, regardless of the source.


greenroadster If you took the 16 most polluting cargo ships ( that use the lowest grade of bunker oil, that is all the left over crap no one on land is allowed to use) out of service that would be the equivalent of taking every single car in the world off the road, so no 11 million cars is not worth while. Also remeber taht is only a percentage of your emissions you are removing not all of them. 

There are an estimated 100,000 cargo ships in the world now, using bunker oil, so no cars are even close to been a problem.


Nope, they're a big company, they ARE held to a higher standard, and deserve the blowback.

They should be setting the example being as big as they are and should loose market share for their mistake.

It also strikes me a little odd that you would refer to GM, an American company, as the example to justify or ask for us to look the other way in terms of this ordeal. Because you have worked for VW and live in Ireland, it almost makes this post a little biased.


It is "interesting" that VW corporate culture allowed the whole cheat device thing to happen, and then for it to continue for years.  Very many VW managers will want to claim they didn't know but that will be difficult to sustain.  The 4 cylinder meets emissions WITHOUT urea injection?  (Logical next question, if we can do it on the 4 cylinder, why are we wasting time and money using urea injection on V6 and V8 engines??????).  The knowledge of the cheat had to be widespread at VW.

It also makes a mockery of emissions testing, given that technically the cars were 'passing' under test with one set of tuning parameters and then operating on the road under another.  Yes they are not supposed to have defeat device software but the testing is problematic.

Look at other manufacturers - car weight, gearbox tech, performance, fuel economy, emissions.  It looks likely to me that small diesel performance (with emissions actually met on road) is fictional for most 1.6 and 2.0L turbo diesels.  The physics of combustion and the tech knowledge is pretty similar for all auto manufacturers.  Their silence might well suggest a level of discomfort.


Paddy McGrath 1/4 loss yes because of the amount they have pay for there mistakes, but sales have risen in US....guess everyone thinks they can get a deal.


This is an object lesson in why you should operate honestly.

Volkswagen would've been in the right - would've garnered far less ill will among the general public, and been on far more solid legal and philosophical ground - if they'd just stood up and said, in broad daylight, "we cannot meet these standards in an economically-viable manner, and we have serious doubts regarding the science underlying these rules. We therefore demand that the government sufficiently justify the science behind these new rules it seeks to impose upon us, at our cost."


It is amusing when people lose sight of the forest for the tree. This story has nothing to do with cars, engines, electronics, emissions or ethics. Open your eyes.


I agree until a certain point with your view. But also everybody knows SpeedHunters loves VW cars just as they love Rays Wheels. So this article is no surprise. Is kind of a pad at the back of VW. Saying no big deal people they just contaminate more Lol!! No body got hurt.
Anyways this kind of issues on big players like VW Group begs the question.. How many other times have VW or other brands cut steps or redirect some serious cash to develop genius methods to cheat in order to make profit at the expense of polluting the environment our Only place in the universe that we can live or Put customer in danger or All the above.
Since we are talking about this...we should also talk about the fu#* up that our BELOVED TAKATA Company has done.


Paddy, I appreciate you bringing this topic up, but I must heartily disagree with you on how VW should not be responsible for any deaths due to NOX. Your argument is akin to taking Big Tobacco's side on tobacco deaths. They argued that a cigarette never killed anyone, it didn't. But 100,000 of them did. And they were held responsible. How many TDi's were sold in USA? EUR? A whole heaping load of 'em, enough to be responsible for some of the damage to overall life, They agreed to do their part to create clean engines, lied and cheated for years, and are offering a small cash payout as a "sorry". I don't think they should get a free pass on this.


On another note USA needs to put it shits together when it comes to talking about environmental law & policys.
As donkyyyyyy said not all the states and US territories to proper emission testing. For example Florida does not..hell you just show proof of insurance pay and you are done. They don't even see the car. Georgia is serious about it...they dyno the cars and are no joke. Puerto Rico in the other hand is a complete Joke. They do emission testing and normally you just tip the guy gave him the vehicle registration. And comeback in 30minutes. And your car is ready to go and they never saw the car. On the other hand we have California with they're freaking Cali Spec Cars and Charcoal Canisters. And it just goes on and on per state.
So yes the USA have come a long way in this subject. And is doing way better...but still there's a lot of work.
But please lest not turn this in to a USA Vs the world debate. We as americans cause im one even do I live in europe. Needs to remember that the USA cannot be the World Police.
And this is a Race and a War that we all needs to come together. Cause We Only have One Planet to live. Is not like we can jump on the Milleniun Falcon and in less than 12 parsec be in another one.


I'm doing research on catalytic converters for future emission laws...all i have to say is that VW fucked up big time! Just go over to Wikipedia and have a look what NOx really is! (It's NO and NO2 etc. combined) Go over to wikipedia and take a look how harmful those two gases are. With that said i just leave another thing here...Vw cars are totally overprized for what they are.



I laughed pretty hard at the Puerto Rico part because its so true. I went to a privately owned inspection place and i knew the guy for years so i just paid him $30 bucks and he would give me everything without even taking the car there.


Paddy McGrath Paddy, I like drifting in my drift car. And I dont feel guilty about that. But for sure I would like that my street car with baby seat in it to be eco-friendly and steet legal. For that I blame VW. That it lied 11 million times until now.


this article reeks of spin...


Paddy McGrath greenroadster What? "Every single car contributes harmful emissions to the environment in one
way or another. So to condemn one and ignore the rest is hypocritical". So Paddy, all cars cheats emission test by the factor of 40 times? No. Just VW. With 11 million cars. To you that's looks the same with other brands that pollutes within the legal norms with all cars? I do believe that you have a problem understanding the issue. I'm sorry to say that.


Anyone else from SH would like to tackle this subject. Please. This is not ok.


I think a lot of people are missing the point of this article, i don't think its really about vw, or the whole scandal but rather about the global perspective of the whole situation. 
Where this vw scandal can take front page on most news websites, and newspapers for a couple of weeks, where other real problems such as deaths, civil wars, and humanitarian problems elsewhere in the world are put to one side because our consumer lifestyle is not what its said to be. 

I think first of all, the emissions test was a fault, proof? it is now being changed for the cars to be driven on the road in the real world, with random breaking, acceleration...etc, Why they ever thought it could be done in a air tight closed room on rolling road that allowed vw to make this modification, this is more of the environnement used to test user technology, than cars....

And second of all, i think that this will be forgotten in a year or so unless there is a reason to bring it back to front page. Why? because today there are "big" scandals happening all the time, like clothes retailers who pay next to nothing for their clothes to be made, but their profits have not fallen and every primark is still jammed packed!
And with all the other crisis in the world in a few years this will be irrelevant, it might lead to ultra low emission diesel cars, something vw is already into with the XL-1. And anyway, vw has enough money and power to fix itself and return to form and probably will have a whitty publicity campaign to say sorry as we all know they are good at!

So lets focus on why we are all here, the cars, this isnt a reddit thread!


Bigger problem for asthma: rape seed. It's believed to be the biggest cause in the UK, and it has killed people in Spain. I'm willing to bet you have veg oil or canola oil in your home. My lungs don't thank you for that. As for diesel, sorry but anyone who believed that diesel is cleaner is a fool at best.


"Nobody has died yet" - nobody cares! It's all about the money governments are missing out. Germany and Austria have tough rules regarding emission and the government feels like they've been cheated out of alot of money. The question here is: Who has to pay back the state all of it's missed income? The answer always has to be VW since Winterkorn pushed his employees to a point where they had to cheat.


greenroadster Paddy McGrath I have no problem, I'm just not being hypocritical. 

Regardless if a car is above or below the legal norms, their production, delivery and usage will be detrimental to the environment. Just because a car is below its legal emissions target, doesn't mean that these emissions are somehow different to those which occur above the legal limit. They're all bad. 

For everything else, read the start of the story again.


Well i believe its more of a big guys fighting rather than planet saving... There is always those who seek benefit and that is all there is to it. I believe this scandal show it perfectly, after this if VW gets even more cornered there will be someone who will raise above and conquer the VW share of the market.. Not to mention that VW engines are placed in Skoda, also Audi are using very same TDI engine designs, for some reason I believe that this scandal is made to shrink or even destroy EU car manufacturers. I wonder how come 1.9TDI engine is more harmful to the enviroment than the 6 liter cumnis? or any other car with bigger engine capacity? 
Looking at the bigger picture I think its all about the politics, refuge crisis, drop in economics, now VW crisis its all connected.. Car manufacturers are the spine of economy same in EU same in USA. I think that EU is slowly drowning and now the volwes are attacking to conquer what is left of it..


JesusMartinez I'm not saying they shouldn't. 

As regards GM, it was the most relative reference I could make seeing as the results of it were announced the day before the EPA issued VW with their notice of violation.


Zebra P Knee It doesn't though. It's just one asshole's opinion.


I like to spree kill at weekends, but disagree with the killers in Raqqa
I like sniffing glue at weekends, but imagine my horror when I found out my WEEKDAY glue was doing the same damage to my lungs!


Chri5 Duncan I've addressed the intended tone of that line elsewhere in the comments, but essentially it wasn't intended to be taken literally.


Takata: Mexican contractor incorrectly storing explosives was the cause of that, they were producing under the takata name under license so takata took the fall for it. Really not the same situation.


I just think its funny that the yanks are loosing their minds over emissions when every second car on the road over there is a 5+ Liter V8.........


"Same thing we did with FIFA and getting Americans to watch American soccer: point out others failings while ignoring our own!"
"Don't sweat it, we Americans are great at pointing fingers and shouting while ignoring our own part and fault in a matter...."


@JP NOx is a by-product from every diesel engine, not just VW's.


@Io Paddy McGrath I'm in no disagreement with that fact, I guess I'm just trying to say that even if you remove VW entirely from the equation, we would still have a huge air quality problem around the world. If people really care that much about the environment, there are bigger fish to fry. Reading through some of the comments here, I get the impression that VW are being made a scapegoat for all of the world's environmental problems.

Like I said, I'm just asking for people to take a look at the big picture. Nothing more, nothing less.


D1RGE EXE I think your analogy only works if VW was the only car manufacturer in the world. Diesel cars are not clean, regardless of who makes them so hopefully this puts a bigger spotlight on a lot of the shit they put out. 

I'm not giving VW a free pass or saying that they've done no wrong either, just asking people to look at the bigger picture.


Paddy McGrath is that sooo??? i wasn't aware of that....do you also have a Ph.D. in chemistry?it's hillarious how those VW fans try to support that shit company...NO and most of the other stuff are carcinogen...and playing with this is the worst a car company could do...just to release their new Golf in time instead of finding a solution for this problem THEY have...just so they can more profit....


So, wait, this news about one of the world's largest carmakers is unnewsworthy because there's other stuff going on in the world?  
Or would I be correct in assuming it's more of a riposte to the no doubt rampant pisstaking that's now being heaped on the VW scene in various corners of the internet?
Either way, it's a bit Chris Crocker... "LEAVE VW ALONE!!!11!!!1!"


hypodermic Yeah! And coal rollers! WTF!


Paddy McGrath You are missing the point again. You really say that it doesnt matter if a car meets the legal standards for pollution or brakes them by the factor of 40? Explain how I understood you wrong? "They're all bad."

You my friend are an ignorant dude that shouldnt try to explain us why VW is just guilty as everyone on the market. We know better than you. Did you receive any money from VW for this article? SH did?


Paddy McGrath It is funny how many people say they disagree with you, but I reread the article, and at no point did you stand up for VW, or make it seem that you were wanting anyone to not blame them for cheating. The article was more about why is VW taking all the blame, when the BMW X3 also failed the same tests, there are Merc and Volvo tractor trailers that wouldn't come close (and in fact, the tractor trailer industry has exemptions from the same rules in many countries).

Air travel, sea freight, military fossil fuel power plants, ore smelting... they are all responsible for the exact same emissions, and some worse, but we only blame VW? This is the main point of the article. 

To the folks who say that you can blame poor air quality deaths on VW directly, really need to see what emissions their personal life style is doing to the environment. 

If tire smoke becomes a proven link to cancer, can you go after Fredric Asaabo for being a great drifter, and you were in the crowd, so he's to blame? Or do you go after Hankook?

BTW: Vulcanized Silica burning into a 100 ppm airborne particulate probably does cause cancer, if not some other serious respiratory disease. It's still fun, but we should know the risks.


TarmacTerrorist Racing cars in my country = 400 or so
VW-Audi-Porsche diesel engines from 2009-2014 = 150.000 or so

Racing weekends in 2015 = 31
Average distance covered by one car in Romania = 12.000 km / year

So the weekends look pacefull. Weekdays are a killer.


Not entirely sure what the point of this article was...? Bottom line: VW purposely cheated. Whether it was found by 'Murica or the EU, cheating is cheating. Calling it ironic because it was found in the U.S. is a little arrogant, no? Thankfully there wasn't any loss of life at the very moment but if you want to dig into it, there are scientists claiming all the unreported NOX dumped into the atmosphere will ultimately claim lives in years to come. Stay classy Speedhunters.


hypodermic ...generalize much.  On my stroll to work, through the city, I saw perhaps 3 V8's, a lot of BMW's, Audi's and Camry's.

It's like saying all people eat potatoes in Ireland


Does SH now have an OP-ed column?
more click-bait? (worked on me :)


@Beany hypodermic Thanks for the little bit of casual racism.


greenroadster Paddy McGrath I don't know why you're so angry to the point where you have to personally attack me and invent incorrect conspiracy theories, but I'm trying to have a respectful conversation with you. 

Simply put: What VW done was completely wrong. Do they deserve to have the entire world's problems blamed on them? No, in my opinion. There are others doing worse on a daily basis but no one bats an eyelid.


Kirk_B Paddy McGrath I'm so glad someone can see what I'm saying. Thank you.


How many sets of tyres do you go through in a weekend? I know what I can use at the track, and how much I replace my big fat Japanese 4x4's tyres. And it's a HYBRID.... You can't blame a company for your choices when they turn out to be not correct.


Jobby No where did I say that this is non-news worthy.


wlahara I'm not excusing VW, I'm not saying we should ignore it, I'm just saying lets look at it with a little bit more perspective. It's hardly an outrageous suggestion.


Paddy McGrath Zebra P Knee
Every asshole is entitled to an opinion, even me :)
Whistle I can see a bit of your point Paddy, I can't see things like you do.
I do agree with you about  the "circus" the US is making around this matter, and while retaining reason, it's a bit ridiculous coming form the land of v8's and the coiners of the movement "rolling coal".. 

We however, in Europe (I'm from Portugal by the way), that's a different matter. On the market now, we have plenty of offer for TDI's trying to be competitive and sell cars. Well for me that's the biggest problem. People bought something that isn't what was "sold" to them. As simple as that. I don't own a vw, or a seat, or an audi.. but if I did, I would feel ripped off.. Even more if what they are proposing to "repair" the problem is a new ecu map.. well it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it involves reducing the power output of the engine, again, not giving the owner's what they bought. 
Also, there is the point of other manufactures. They've lost a lot of ground to the VW Group on the last year's, not being able to offer the same package for a competitive price/gain. They are big company's of course, but still have people working for them, some of them nice people too. Company's that saw cut's in staff, between other things, for not having enough sales.. 
Of course, I'm saying this hoping they didn't do something similar!  
We live in a twisted world, there is no denying, but just because there is a lot going on, these matters must be headlines, mainly to set an example to the Major company's that "rule the world". Crime, and yes, it's a crime they committed, doesn't pay off. And let's not forget that the VW Group is one of the biggest company's of that "perfect" Country, with growing economy and strong ideals that is Germany... Also, this problem wasn't discussed in the EU meetings, but the Portuguese being too close to the limit of their annual fishing quota of sardines took 1 full day..  I digress, but it's something to think about :)

Yeah no body died, but it wasn't a mistake, and there is no excuse, so full responsibility must be taken, and the best way to punish is bad publicity, through the media.

That's my 2 cents, probably worth less :)

Keep up the good work!



walshatron I agree with you to a point. My whole introduction to the piece calls it 'one of the worst decisions that any car manufacturer has ever made.' They were 100% wrong and they will pay for it. I don't see how that's glossing over anything?

What I'm trying to get across is that other industries do far worse damage to the environment on a daily basis and have been doing for long before this all kicked off, but no one gets up on their soap box about that? Is the damage that say the shipping industry is doing not matter? There's a big picture that I think a lot of people are missing, because they're so angry at VW.


Luis Ramos Paddy McGrath Zebra P Knee Great post, with many valid points. 

From what I've been told, there should be no loss in performance or economy when the fixes are applied. Some cars will require just software, others will require software and hardware. 

Do you think it's worth giving VW the chance to fix things?


Paddy McGrath Luis Ramos Zebra P Knee

I strongly believe every one is entitled to a 2nd chance.
But the decision is up to the owners affected.

What they can't escape is the penalties that must be applied, in the EU and other communities. 

I don't really believe that they can fix it just by software and few "tweaks", as there would be no need for this whole matter in the first place right? 
At least we hope this is a good thing on one side.. Engineering & Development of the diesel technology even further.


You guys forget that there is still a ton of over the road trucks, equipment, generators, etc that have no particulate filter or emissions regulations of any kind here in the US.  Or what about the fleet of older air planes and helicopters.  I am sure that 10 TDI cars could run wide open all day every day and still be cleaner than one of the old engines still being used.  A common rail diesel without any emissions systems is plenty clean enough for me.  Add in a half working DPF and catalyst and it gets even better.


Paddy McGrath My comment wasn't negative :) I think Speedhunters is one of the greatest places for cars. And even if I don't like EA, I think it is a great accomplishment that they started something like Speedhunters!


Nice view on essentially a media beat-up. VW sure messed up big time, but where are the discussions about what this means at the tail-pipe? 35x has been spoken of, but where does that sit compared to a new truck ten times the capacity, and old Benz, etc.

What are the media panicking over? A corporate mistake to start.


Funny I guess I do.......


It's funny, my wife and I are looking into buying an 09-12 TDI Jetta Sportwagen right now.  Partly due to values dropping, and partly due to her Jeep Cherokee with 211k miles (probably highest mile jeep ever built) slowly dying.  

I'm trying to put everything into perspective, and the NOX emissions appear to be an eye opener.  What is worse on the environment, a gas burning jeep getting 17/8mpg, or TDI getting 45mpg, but emitting more harmful emissions.  

That being said, I daily drive a 2000 Tundra V8, getting 15mpg.  Both gas guzzlers are consuming much more fuel per mile, and therefore likely emitting more harmful gasses per mile than the much more efficient TDI.  What will emit worse gases per mile driven?

I'm not giving VW a pass on this, but I am going to capitalize on their wrong doings and hopefully pick up a very reliable, economical daily driver for well below market value.  I am an ugly American, but we're all speedhunters on here... raise your hand if you're racecar/weekend car has no catalytic converter any more.


Paddy McGrath hypodermic how is it racisim?

this is a storm in a teacup, its just governments are pissed because of lost tax revenue and private consumer greed looking to make a quick buck / get a new car out of it.


Paddy McGrath wlahara fuckin brilliant article mate, this is what ive beeen thinking from the start


Apologies, I wasn't referring to you, rather Beany making a completely irrelevant comment about Irish people and potatoes.


@JP Paddy McGrath JP, how come VW is a shit company? Why is a shit company for you? Care to elaborate? They will fix it, but it'll start next year.

NOX IS indeed a by-product of every diesel engine, EVERY diesel engine, be it small engine or truck engine, like Paddy said. Do some research damn it!


One thing I'd like to mention is that vw is not the only manufacturer that has "cheated" the emissions test, but you don't hear a word regarding the rest. I am glad that they've found the loop hole, hopefully in future this will be correctly addressed and result in even more efficient vehicles being made. At the same time things also need to be put into perspective, what's the point of only focusing on the 5% and ignoring the 85%? What diffrence is really being made to the environment with this narrow focus?


PLEASE STOP HATING ON VOLKSWAGENS. its only a phase, like being a teenager


TarmacTerrorist Talking about Spain, here in Madrid they reduced speed to 70 km/h on the highway near city centre due to very high polution rates, also parking is forbidden. It doesn't rain very often, so you can see a pretty noticeble cloud above the city. For 2020 they're planning on forbidding going downtown with a diesel.

I'm not saying that they have to ban diesels, I have a 1.9TDI like in the photo above, what they have to do if they really want people to stop buying diesel is to lower taxes for petrol, nowadays there's not much difference between consumption like 20 years ago...


EvolveWRC TarmacTerrorist reduce the global population and use electric cars.


Do bear in mind that in the US lots of trucks and pickups etc have historically got breaks in the emission laws, yet are used as daily drivers, and the regs are also swayed towards less efficient large capacity petrol engines, as the emissions are ppm, not absolute levels of emissions.
The auto lobby has a lot of sway in making regs, so why would US manufacturers make it easy for foreign competitors to take market share with technology they don't have and don't want to invest in to compete in the foreigner's home markets?


Wlahara said it right. CO2 damages the environment. NOx damages people.


wlahara said it right. Basically, CO2 damages the environment. NOx damages people.
i love my Volkswagen but I've always been proud that it runs on petrol. Far and away a cleaner fuel.


If you read Beany's comment you'll see he was using it as an example of an inaccurate generalisation...


"A Little Perspective On Dieselgate…"  This is the 1st article I have read on Speedhunters that is politically tainted.  The "gate"suffix is a political one.  Is it really a big deal?  Compare it to the the shootings in Paris for a "Little Perspective".   I love this site for its pure car enthusiasm and lack of politics.  Please keep it clean.


John Evans Did you even read it?


SlipDiff CO2 does no damage to the environment.  All the food you eat, all the wood in our homes, and most of our clothing, comes from CO2 that plants scrubbed from the atmosphere.  Yes, it is a greenhouse gas, meaning that sunlight warms it, but water vapor is a greenhouse gas - of highly variable concentration, but hundreds of times higher than CO2.  CO2 is less than 1/10th of 1 percent of our atmosphere - .04%.  Consider that plant growth stops when CO2 reaches .02%.  The public has been lied to about CO2 so that politicians can tax it, and for other political agendas.  

Don't be embarrassed if you thought otherwise.  I am a chemist by degree, and I bought into the CO2 bs as well, until I researched atmospheric gas levels and their change with seasons for purposes of conducting ultra-precise engine dyno runs.  I was stunned by stark contrast between reality and the hype.

NOx emissions are considered bad, not because they directly hurt people, but because they can cause acid rain.

The really bad part of diesel exhaust is the particulate (soot).  It is considered carcinogenic.  For a "Little Perspective", it would be interesting to compare China's daily output of soot from coal burning (not cleaned up, like our coal burning) to all the VW diesels that are out of compliance.  I would guess that VW diesels being out of compliance is insignificant in the scheme of things.

So when I hear that "VW is killing people and harming the environment", I have to call bs.  They cheated on an inconsequential government test.  Big deal.


TYRphoto John Evans Yes, and I thought it was a rational perspective.  I just wish I had read it on another site.  Maybe I'm hyper sensitive on the political thing and Speedhunters is an oasis of sorts.  One of the reasons it is a unique and great car site!  I do not wish to bash here, and apologize if I gave that impression.


I agree with you because being lied to by the governments about carbon tax is sickening.
However VW has also tried to make big $$ basically doing the same thing!


I own one of the affected Jettas and I do want reimbursement for the dive in value my car has taken. That's all I care about. Honestly the car runs great and we are happy with it, but now we can't get rid of it. Overnight we lost 5k in value when a day before we were even. That's not right.


DrowningVerySlowly greenroadster If you took a volcano and measured the shit that comes up, you find that cars are green flowers and we should all sleep peaceful in the night. We dont have to worry about pollution norm anymore. Smart dude, isnt it? Jesus.....


Posts like these should carry a of 'debate'! 
Good read though!


Honestly, I thought it was extremely clever and ingenious. Race drivers and engineers have bent the rules in all sorts of ways to get the edge on the competition, never cutting safety, and I can't help but see this in a similar light. 
Also, I feel perspective is definitely needed. People complain about their car's loss in value or paying a little more in fuel than they thought, what about those that can't afford new Volkswagens, or even cars at all? 
Maybe if owners are after the fuel efficiency they were advertised, they can ask the company to permanently activate the miserly 'test' mode :P


Paddy McGrath For a guy who writes articles, you're pretty bad at reading


I don't really have any issue with the emissions being high. The main issue that I have is that they deliberately lied to me as a customer. Also, not that I plan on selling my car anytime soon, but having the resale value drop is not something that I want to happen. And when "making things right" involves possibly lowering the performance of your vehicle, that is completely unacceptable.


VW purposely cheated every customer who thought they were buying a vehicle that was clean and legal. There should be a reimbursement program for customers and jail time for the offenders.


VW cheats has a very long history. It is not their first time and I presume not the last. In 21st century most of the stuff, cars also are simply made to break and make money. VAG Group seems to be the best at it.
They are not making the cars any more ... they are just making the money.


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