Monday, November 9, 2015

Volkswagen, who knew what?

I am directly affected by the diesel emissions controversy.  I am disappointed, not upset.

Many people have pointed out that the cars are pouring out 40 times the legal limit of emissions but I often pass cars and trucks from the 1960s, which are probably worse.  There are also boats, which don't seem to be restricted at all, and trucks have been given a virtual pass for years.  Even trucks in the 1990s pollute quite heavily, as I recall.

What is important to me is who knew that this software was in place.  Was the engineering team as far as the involvement went, or did it go from there all the way up to the CEO?

I know that the CEO wanted some incredible goals reached.  They were possible but at the cost, where they achievable?  I don't believe so.  If that was the case, wouldn't Mercedes-Benz be using the cheaper controls over Bluetec?

So, now, there are something like 11 million cars that are affected, including some that use gasoline.

Another question I have is how many other companies have cheated?  Considering how many companies tried to cheat safety goals, should we consider any company beyond suspicion?  I don't believe so.

I was sadly amused that former General Motors boss Bob Lutz made some nasty comments about Volkswagen on CNBC.  What got me most was that he said that GM never meant to kill people with their ignition switch design cheapening.  His tone told me that all those deaths were not even important to him.  That's just so CEO-like.

I would not be surprised if GM, Ford, Chrysler, Fiat, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, and others will be found to have cheated on emissions and fuel economy tests.  We only know from Volkswagen that their cheating was real.

Hopefully, this will push regulatory agencies to develop better ways to deal with everything.  Laziness is unacceptable.

As far as VW is being pushed, they have developed a Customer Goodwill Package to calm their customers:

Update 2015.12.01: Carbon Dioxide emissions are also being investigated.  As well, the fuel economy in Europe is supposedly 18% lower than stated.  I haven't seen exactly which vehicles, but that is somewhat more difficult to gauge, from my experience.

I believe my 1999 Golf GLS was supposed to get 30 at highway speeds and I was getting 35 mpg without air conditioning and 25 mpg with air conditioning.  This 2012 Golf TDI is rated at 42 and I've gotten a high of 48.8 mpg on a trip through the mountains.   However, when I'm aggressive, I usually get around 35.5 mpg--driving 80 to 90 mph does hurt fuel economy but California traffic rarely goes slowly--unless it's in the passing lane on state road 99.

I see plenty of news on the company and not that they're making progress on figuring out what to do, but more of it is petty--clickbait, if you will.

Oh, and supposedly CEO Martin Winterkorn knew a year before the situation became public--disappointing.

Update 2016.10.31: It's almost over.  In the next few weeks, they're supposed to start paying for the cars they're buying back.  In addition, the money that would go for fixing the emissions problem is added to the buy back price total.

I'm skeptical, as I never received the Goodwill package after two registrations.  It's time to put all this behind me.

Update 2016.11.18: I uploaded my documents to the Volkswagen diesel web site, and supposedly, they're in the process of determining my eligibility.  I'm wondering what more I need to prove.  I could swear that they should be kissing my behind for being patient with them.

I need this to end soon.  My life is ending but I still have to pay bills until I die.  Even though it says that they'll contact me within 10 days, it all feels quite uncertain.  That added to my not receiving the Goodwill package (plus my horrid health and lack of money) leaves me uncomfortable.

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