Can VW be trusted ?


Asked by Sep 22, 2015 at 09:57 PM about the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Question type: General

Now that VW has admitted to deliberately rigging their cars to fool emissions
standards and pollute up to FORTY TIMES over other cars,  would you think
they might not be honest about other things.    Do you think that the cars once
recalled  and modified to correct standards will suffer performance in the way
of engine and fuel-efficiency.   This only applies to diesel engines,   but,  is this
the tip of the iceberg?

12 Answers


Yes, Mark I think it really is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. VW Spent millions upon millions of dollars to fool.. who? yep, they got away with it - for a while. Now it's gonna cost them BIG time. WTF were they thinking? Is the US EPA that head-up-their-ass? The answer is no. They are just slow. But now the hammer comes down.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

David, I owned two brand new VWS. Each of them started off on a high point and after four years, they started to fall apart. No more VWs for me and I think this latest debacle will really hurt them.

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Hi David, got a question for you off topic, do you know anything about the Mercedes Benz diesel 3.0 V6 engine in the Sprinter?


Not a clue.

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Around about 1980 or so, I has a VW Pickup diesel. For a while. It got 1000 mpg (just kidding of course) but it was by far and away the most economical vehicle I have ever owned. It got at least 45 -50 mpg. But the problem was it couldn't get out of it's own way. Pass a truck on Hwy395? HAHA I know you live in Calif but don't know if you are familiar with 395. Deadly Dangerous road, people live in Hesperia and Victorville and commute and are always late and in a hurry

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Scott Sr.

The software "switch" only applies to 2.0TDIs from 2008 - 2015 (excluding 2015 Passat with Urea catalyst). The pollutant of concern in nitrous oxide, a naturally occurring substance. Yes, the 2.0TDI can emit 40x the most recent EPA and EU limits on NOX emissions. VW did not spend millions to fool the emissions tests. The used software to avoid the expense of adding Urea catalyst systems to all vehicles to meet the new standards. It's probably a case of the accountants pressuring the engineers to find any way to keep costs down. To immediately discount ALL VW engineering as untrustworthy or scandalous is an imbecilic knee-jerk reaction. GM killed people with faulty ignition switches that caused fires. Toyota used known faulty airbags for almost a decade. You don't see people spitting, keying and throwing beverages on those cars. In the end, VW will do the right thing...fix the software...install the catalysts...and press on with business. Remember, everyone makes mistakes...its what they do about them that needs to be evaluated.

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Scott, you're right, I phrased this question to start a dialog and your answer has merit. Sorry, but, I have to ask, WHY did it take FIVE YEARS FOR THIS ISSUE TO COME TO LIGHT? Yes, I understand that mistakes are made everyday. There's no excuse for GM either on your ignition switch, they just wanted to cheap out and increase corporate profits. The only way this emissions thing came to light is someone challenged it and did some research. Subaru has a problem with some of their newer FB engines, but, they've owned up to that and are working with customers to replace the short blocks of certain cars that are demonstrated problems out of compliance with industry standards and their guidelines. You probably just heard that the head of VW just resigned and the stock of VW has lost half of its value since April, and there's concerns that this will have a rippling effect on the German economy. Look, when you have something this big, it's more than just a few renegade employees going solo on their own. This only could have been done with the knowledge of a lot of higher level management people. A lot of people are going to lose their jobs over this and think of the poor folks who had a majority of stock in VW. SO, while you may just think this is a knee-jerk reaction and something just easily fixed, it's a much bigger deal than that with ripple effects everywhere including suppliers. I suppose that all of this relative, at least no one died because of this. At least 100 people died as a result of the GM fiasco and more injured. Enough is enough. You should not just brush this off as a simple mistake or in the case of VW some "software or accounting error ". Tell that to the people who just lost half their retirement accounts. What's their recourse? And, sure you could tell them to wait until VW bounces back from this, but, what do you tell them in the meantime if they need that money? The responsible thing to do is not pull these stunts in the first place. Don't forget about air pollution standards and public health? Your assertion that all of those nitrous oxide being a naturally occurring substance may be true, but, the whole point of air pollution standards is to keep these to a safe level and 40 over the established standard set for this is not good. I don't know about you, but, I remember the 1st and 2nd stage smog alerts in Los Angeles with air pollution so bad that they advised people to stay indoors. You don't want to go back to that again, do you?


well when you put it in technical terms this is by far not a life threatening work around like other company's have done. Faulty air bags, taps on the back bumpers causing fuel tanks to explode or windows to shatter. These are some of the worst cases. VW is not as diabolical as you would think, Yes it is dastardly to pollute and yes it will hit the diesels in the ways of fuel efficiency. and engine power but not so much that it will be worse then a gas powered car. The numbers will only change mostly insignificantly. but will none the less. And as for the cars lasting 4 years yes all things these days are built to fail with in a certain amount of time. Because face it if you can't sell your new because your old is still doing good then you don't make money. cause face it its all about money these days and it always will since the 1980's and further on.


Scott, in case you are wondering, an article on the front page of the LA Times reports that the "alleged crimes appear premeditated and carefully plotted rather than resulting from negligence, incompetence, or bureaucracy ". It further states that the company lied to regulators for more than a year before admitting to the deception. This could result in fines of up to $18 billion. That's a huge difference and much more than Toyota or GM paid. In the case of Toyota in which there was "unintended acceleration " , the key difference here is "unintended ". Not so with VW. Yes, this is a really big SCANDAL.

Scott Sr.

There are still many unknown factors involved here. Independent testing in 2014 revealed high deltas between several vehicles' emission performance on the dyno vs. real- road testing. See the linked report: -study_diesel-cars_20141013.pdf It may actually be a common practice in the auto industry to have engine management computers recognize when they are connected to a dynamometer/scanner. I am not in any way diminishing the implications regarding the economics, suppliers...even the sales people that will suffer less income because of this...but the fact regarding pollution remains a fact.. NOX emissions (natural and artificial) make up only 5% of greenhouse gas emission according to our own EPA reports. NOX emissions at 40x the current standard are still way less than the previously established NOX standards in both US and EUR. There isn't a complete backslide to the pollution of the 70's/80's. And if you believe Toyota and GM didn't know about the use of substandard parts in their processes and chose to use them anyways due to the impact to their bottom line, well, there's some swamp land for sale in Florida you should be looking at. For the record, GM and Toyota were also subject to very large fines but paid much less than that. GMs switch scandal has been linked to at least 169 deaths. Takata airbags have been implicated in 139 injuries across all automakers and has resulted in the largest vehicle recall in automotive history. Yes, VW screwed up...yes it is a scandal. But, where is your ire towards GM and Toyota? Seems disproportionate to me.


Scott, hmm, I've been thinking about how to address your concerns. The actions of GM, Toyota and others like Takata air bags is inexcusable, but, we're not talking about them here, we're talking about VW. It could be argued that many of these other companies used "poor judgement" when they selected the bad ignition switch or particular air bag or Toyota's accelerator pedal. GM got off way to easy on this, the results were tragic, people died. The big difference here is that these other companies cooperated to one degree or another and they came forward once the problem was identified. It's unfortunate that you can't identify every problem in advance. I don't think that GM put in switches thinking that "we know someone could die from this", they did it to save money. Was it wrong, YES IT WAS. HOWEVER, in the case of VW, there's evidence that this was a planned, executed and premeditated move on their part to deceive everyone and it looks like it filtered all the way throughout the company and people knew it. From 2009 to 2015, they knowingly sold cars with deceptive software on board to fool emissions tests. It was miracle that someone discovered this; it took hard and persistent research to uncover this. And, when they were confronted, VW still denied it for over a YEAR! Look, we're talking eleven million cars, damage to public health, damage to the environment, and it was all done to achieve better mileage and power. This was a planned carefully executed ruse to fool federal agencies. In case you were not aware, all of the 60,000 cars sold in California must now be fixed, and each owner has to prove that their car is fixed or the California Department of Motor Vehicles will not allow the car to be registered next year. This is a monumental task. And, it's hard to get all those cars fixed and checked, wasted time by customers and DMV people. The air pollution that you simply brush off as 'no big deal' and that it won't be a complete backslide to the 70s or 80s is true, but, do you know how hard it was to clear the air here in Los Angeles. There's 15 million people living here, do you think we appreciate having to breathe more contaminated air than we need to.? This is a complete mistrust by VW, I would not be surprised if this forced them into a marginalized car company. And, they would only have themselves to blame. Yes, this is probably one of the biggest scandals in years and it is a very big deal. I'll bet you don't live in LA? And, we're not even talking about the rest of the country. Don't know, maybe this will be the largest recall eclipsing the one you mentioned. Finally, the CEO of VW resigns and there will be others. They have basically admitted to all charges, this is very big fine, we're talking $18 billion. Take a look at this, it gets uglier.


If Scott's conjecture is correct about a urea catalyst recall solution being VW's pathway to compliance, then it seems only fair that anyone who owned a 2.0 diesel at the time of EPA exposure of this issue, should not only get the recall at no charge, but also urea refills for as long as they own the recalled vehicle. Many of us looked at other diesel alternatives that required the urea refill, and the failure to need that maintenance expense was more of a consideration for some of us than emissions concerns. To install something on my TDI Jetta that adds another maintenance expense is not a fix, it is proof of financial damages, which the courts refer to as "having standing", which means there is a basis for individual lawsuits rather than class action.

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