The VW ‘clean diesel’ engine is something that many people in the U.S. embraced in a big way. I was one of them. The engine is said to last roughly a quarter of a million miles. Oil changes come every 10,000 miles. And best of all, the 4 cylinder engines from VW get about 45 miles to the gallon or better. On top of that, it was after all, a CLEAN diesel engine.
Or so we thought. We’ve now discovered that a nefarious software design allows the engine to far exceed pollution standards – except when the car is being tested for smog. It’s like something out of a dark lord science fiction movie. And VW has even admitted that it’s true.
This means 482,000 diesel-equipped Volkswagens and Audis have been motoring around the U.S. spewing up to 40 times the EPA limit for nitrous emissions under the Clean Air Act. Officials have said the penalties could reach $37,500 per car – or just over $18 billion in total. It’s not a pretty picture.
For the time being, VW has stopped selling these cars in the U.S. And of course there will be a massive recall. But it strikes me that the damage to the brand will be almost immeasurable. VW is now that brand that cheated on pollution. And they did so knowingly.
One can only imagine the meetings that are taking place in both Germany and the U.S. at VW headquarters right now. I’m sure there are speakerphones buzzing in conference rooms with top level managers and the heads of various PR firms offering advice. One wonders what they will do. After all, no one is going to breathe any easier until the problem is fixed. And even then, the fumes will linger.
Here’s a related article about ‘The Wrath of Volkswagen’s Drivers‘.
And finally, this from Green Car Reports: Over the weekend, two friends of this site have already contacted us for advice about car-buying. One intended to buy a 2016 Jetta TDI, and now won’t; the other plans to dispose of his 2014 Jetta TDI SportWagen and will no longer buy VW products. We think that’s only the beginning.