I saw a Motorweek test of the TSI sportwagen and TDI hatchback last night. As part of the report, they discussed possible TDI fixes in the US market. Motorweek said that some reports say that TDI mileage might decrease by as little as 5% with just a software fix. It’s early and we have to wait for VW to announce the fix for our market, but I though you might like hearing an upbeat report from a disinterested 3rd party.
BTW, Motorweek enjoyed both cars but said they couldn’t recommend any VW product at this time.
“Motorweek said that some reports say that TDI mileage might decrease by as little as 5% with just a software fix.”
That would be amazing if the whole excess pollution thing could be cured with only a software fix and 5% decrease in MPG.
However, some owners are not going to be happy with any decrease. Many will join with lawyers to turn this into a nightmare.
Also, to me, it makes it seem even a stupider decision to cheat the Feds, deceive the consumers, and damage Volkswagen, financially and reputation-wise.
I’d get over this quickly, but some of the tree-huggers that bought these cars are going to hold a grudge. What the heck, some companies put special low-rolling resistance tires on their vehicles, that could wear quicker, offer worse traction in some conditions and cost more to replace, just to tweak MPG. To me, that is a bit deceitful, also, when their customers are comparison shopping cars.
The MPG game will really heat up with the new and much more stringent EPA mileage standards. Look forward to overstressed small 4 cylinder turbo engines in large and heavy vehicles, and tiny 3 cylinder engines in compact cars. Hyundai has already stopped putting V6 engines in all their family size and smaller cars.
Power plant durability and reliability will definitely suffer and maintenance costs will go up. Drivability will suffer as well. Europeans put up with this when paying $2.00 or more per liter ($7.60 per gallon) but with cheap gas in the US many drivers may just keep driving their older more reliable cars.
The Azera is only available with the 3.3L V6 in the US. I consider that a family sedan. Other than that, I agree. The Equus, Genesis and Santa Fe are the other Hyundai vehicles available with a 6 or 8 cylinder engine. I saw Jay Leno driving an old Fiat las night on his show. He said it made all of 13 HP, and estimated that it could go 50 MPH - off a cliff.
@jtsanders I should have said POPULAR PRICED family cars. The Azera is in the near luxury line and won’t sell in large enough numbers to materially affect the corporate fuel mileage of Hyundai.
There was a Fiat model in the fifties called the “Topolino” or little mouse. It was very frugal on gas and has a 2 cylinder engine, I believe like the Citroen 2CV.
Time to buy a used VW or Audi TDi of any style! Prices are down, its a buyers market.
Recall or not, they still get good mileage and are nice cars. Better if they are cheap!
@Docnick, Jay Leno drove his Topolino on his show in a recent episode. He said at 13 hp, it was, very, very slow.
Most likely its a two-part compromise, MPG and performance; e.g. 0-60 mph times. An owner might react favorably to just a 5% drop in MPG via software change, but whether they accept the “fix” also depends on how they react to any performance degradation.
I agree that there is likely a trade between power and emissions. Otherwise, the existing software would take advantage of the update. VW TDI 0 to 60 times are from mid-8s to over 9 seconds. People that want to make a buck off lower power may feign indignation, but if they really cared about power, they would not have bought a VW diesel to begin with.
With the new requirements, I’ll bet that all new cars will be hybrids and EVs within the next 15 years. At least in the U.S.
There seems to be a lot still to be known about the VW cheat problem. One thing I do know; if I owned a VW diesel and got the recall notice… and I lived in a state that didn’t do annual emissions testing… I’d ignore the recall notice! I’m guessing that states that do annual emissions testing will, under pressure from their automobile dealers’ associations (there’s money in them there recalls), set up a system to identify and fail VW diesels that weren’t reprogrammed.
It’s amazing, that the deeper one digs, the more diesel models VW installed the cheat software on
It really makes me wonder why they didn’t just come clean 100% when they were caught. Are they so arrogant that they thought the other models wouldn’t be discovered . . . ?
When VW got caught, did anybody at the company have a meeting and ask “Guys, is there anything else I need to know about?”
I was reading a German car magazine lately. Oldtimer Markt, by the way. Some of you regulars probably know it. One of the articles was about our buddy Ralph Nader and his books. They went on to talk about safety, emissions, lawsuits, etc. in the US, and how Nader in a way set some of that in motion. And then they mentioned that VW had better dress appropriately, because the weather is going to turn decidedly nasty, and they’d better be prepared to weather that storm
I think one of the main points of the article may have been that while car companies may be able to get away with some shenanigans elsewhere in the world, it won’t fly in the US
“It really makes me wonder why they didn’t just come clean 100% when they were caught.”
Maybe depends on who “they” actually are. Normally the CEO would be calling the shots but if the Board and CEO and other family members are arguing about it there might be a whole bunch of “theys” going different directions like a dysfunctional family.
Interesting about Ralph Nadar who I lost interest in after the Corvair fiasco. At any rate he sent a letter to Janet Yellen, the Fed Chair, complaining about how low interest rates are hurting people and telling her to have a discussion on it with her husband, who is an economist. The guy must really have lost a few of those screws that were always loose. What a baffoon. Reminds me of when our female school superintendent at the time, was shopping for a car, the salesman told her to come back with her husband. He he, I don’t think the salesman was ever the same after that but probably likes his new career selling vacuum cleaners.
There are a lot of possibilities concerning why it unfolded the way it did.
Best case: They change the software, there is a small performance decrease, that’s it…
Worst case: The TDI’s can not be made to meet emissions standards without MAJOR modifications CAT, urea injection, Possible registration restrictions until that has been accomplished…
Regarding Ralph Nader . . .
It would be best for everybody, if he just withdrew to his home and became a recluse
I think it’s safe to say nobody wants to hear anything he has to say, anymore
At this point, he’s pretty good at making a fool of himself
he had his time, but that was long ago
@db4690 I agree; In the mid 60s he helped launch the crusade for safer cars, and better consumer products. I still have his book, “Unsafe at Any Speed” which has some serious technical flaws in it. I did my engineering thesis on the Corvair in 1960 and I drew attention to tire pressure being very critical to ensure decent handling.
Most of these “breakthrough” personalities don’t know or want to know hen they have outlived their usefulness.
Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote a breakthrough book on baby and child care and became a beloved person in that area.
When a whole generation was educated in proper child car he became an anti-nuclear activist and made a fool of himself mixing with the demonstration rabble. Sixties hippies were against everything except pot.
Few of these self-righteous self-anointed savers of us from ourselves turn out to be more than a flash in the pan. Most have extremely myopic vision. And overly inflated self images.
On the other hand, Nader had his day… I never had mine!!!
A few years ago, I read a book called “Engines of change” . . . which was about the automobile industry and car culture in the US
One of the chapters focused on Nader. They mentioned that he also tried to “go after” VW because of their rear-engine designs. The book didn’t go into much detail about that, except to essentially say that Nader got SPANKED
Of course, that’s not the way the author worded it. I’m no historian, but I assume Nader, drunk with power after his book came out, decided to feed his ego some more and try to make VW and the beetle look bad. But it didn’t work. I think VW was better prepared, and was able to beat him down
I’m pretty liberal, but even I don’t want to hear about what he is up to nowadays. He should only be talked about in a historical context, in my opinion
I agree. He may think he’s still relevant, but I don’t know anyone else who does.
I remember an interview with Nader when he was running for president. He described how the solution to everything was to collect the smartest people in D.C. to form committees to decide everything for the rest of us. The interviewer said, “That kind of sounds like communism, which has been tried and never seems to work.” Nader’s reply: “It just hasn’t been done right yet.”