EPA flexing their muscles

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
NOx doesn't hang around in the atmosphere long enough for something like that to happen. It actually separates back out on its own, depending on factors like ambient temp, sunlight, humidity, etc. it can happen within hours but more like days. That is what SCR does: it forces the reaction to happen right away, before it leaves the tailpipe, pulling nitrogen and oxygen back apart instantly with urea, which itself gets converted into mostly water vapor.

NOx is a problem in high concentrations in high sunlight with little to no air movement. The LA basin is a perfect spot for this to be a problem, however it is also a perfect spot for all the rest of airborne pollutants to cause problems.

The silly thing about the EPA's hard on for NOx and diesels is that they never seem to want to mention the FAR lower [everything else] that is coming out of the modern diesel's tailpipe vs. other gasoline cars, let alone the fuel economy difference. When the TDIs were "cheating", the levels of all the rest of the pollutants was down in the single digits of allowable limits. Meaning, they were running really, really clean (hence the clean tailpipes) for things like CO, HC, PM, etc. And even then, the allowable NOx limits were already said so ridiculously low that "10 times the allowable limit" is STILL a teeny tiny amount in the grand scheme of things.
 

wxman

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Completely agree.

The emissions measured for the Passat TDI in the 4,000 km "multi-state" testing in the WVU/ICCT study* were:

0.01 g/mi (THC)
0.0006 g/mi (NMHC (>90% of THC was methane))
0.03 g/mi (CO)
0.0002 g/mi PM (included 3 regeneration events)

*Thompson et al., "In-Use Emissions Testing of Light-Duty Diesel Vehicles in the United States." International Council on Clean Transportation Report, May 15, 2014 (Pages 77-86)
 
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mannytranny

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Starting to feel pretty vindicated when the time comes to 'unfix' my Touareg.
 

Matt-98AHU

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Completely agree.

The emissions measured for the Passat TDI in the 4,000 km "multi-state" testing in the WVU/ICCT study* were:

0.01 g/mi (THC)
0.0006 g/mi (NMHC (>90% of THC was methane))
0.03 g/mi (CO)
0.0002 g/mi PM (included 3 regeneration events)

*Thompson et al., "In-Use Emissions Testing of Light-Duty Diesel Vehicles in the United States." International Council on Clean Transportation Report, May 15, 2014 (Pages 77-86)
I have been beating the drum on that one on other sites and publications everytime one of them blows the emissions scandal out of proportion, which is pretty much every media outlet due to lack of technical understanding and laziness to actually go through and get the full scope of things.

They get so fired up over the NOx issue, it's almost as if they believe NOx is the only regulated pollutant.

It doesn't go over well with those who have an already established point of view based on the poorly informed media that can't get any of these stories right to save their lives.

The vaunted Jamie Kitman thinks Adblue is called that because the fluid is blue... I can't make this stuff up.

I call him out on it and other inaccuracies in his article and I get another commenter responding to me "I'd be careful, Jamie is a well respected journalist!"

I don't give a crap how well respected anyone is. If they're dead wrong, I'm calling them out on it. I'm not here to play nice and suck up to those who are well respected, I only care about what the reality of the situation is. If he's misinformed, I'm going to correct his ass. I'm tired of watching the image of diesel being murdered all due to misinformation and journalists who can't be bothered to do their due diligence and give readers the full scope of emissions.
 

Kevinski4

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I have been beating the drum on that one on other sites and publications everytime one of them blows the emissions scandal out of proportion, which is pretty much every media outlet due to lack of technical understanding and laziness to actually go through and get the full scope of things.

They get so fired up over the NOx issue, it's almost as if they believe NOx is the only regulated pollutant.

It doesn't go over well with those who have an already established point of view based on the poorly informed media that can't get any of these stories right to save their lives.

The vaunted Jamie Kitman thinks Adblue is called that because the fluid is blue... I can't make this stuff up.

I call him out on it and other inaccuracies in his article and I get another commenter responding to me "I'd be careful, Jamie is a well respected journalist!"

I don't give a crap how well respected anyone is. If they're dead wrong, I'm calling them out on it. I'm not here to play nice and suck up to those who are well respected, I only care about what the reality of the situation is. If he's misinformed, I'm going to correct his ass. I'm tired of watching the image of diesel being murdered all due to misinformation and journalists who can't be bothered to do their due diligence and give readers the full scope of emissions.

Kinda like an NYT article about Fitzgerald and the gliders they build?
 

turbobrick240

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I just listened to this podcast interview with an attorney who represents clients in the diesel performance sphere. From what he's saying, the EPA is really just cracking down on dpf and egr deletes and the software that accompanies those mods.

https://youtu.be/PW7Dzlt66Rs
 

Mythdoc

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I have been beating the drum on that one on other sites and publications everytime one of them blows the emissions scandal out of proportion, blah blah

Apparently your feelings were terribly hurt by whatever awful treatment you received as a commenter somewhere, poor you, but you are dancing around the basic point, which is that automakers are not supposed to engineer their fleets to what you or they think is a reasonable standard. They are supposed to follow the laws of the land, which they did not do. And made millions. It really is quite simple. And yes, they could have complied. It would have caused concessions and compromises, both to fuel efficiency and in areas like including larger urea tanks, etc. They would have had to pass these costs along to the consumer. They would have had angry customers complaining about their crappy emissions components, which they have now, anyway. They chose to take the ethically bankrupt route. And probably barely thought about it.

This really was an interesting conversation with a fair amount of give and take, an exchange of thought provoking views, until you tried to make us digress into relitigating an old, dumber version of the argument. Do you really think that it is ok to ignore laws you don’t agree with? Is this case on a par with, say, refusing to kill innocent people just because your commanding officer told you to do it? You know what, let’s not even bother. I just pity anyone who ever does a deal with you, ever. You seem like a person who’d “forget” to tell a buyer about the termite infestation in your house for sale, and sleep like a baby at night. After all, everyone does it, right? You’re really the victim here.
 

Mythdoc

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PS: I was watching a TV drama last night (from the 1960’s) that featured a mock trial of a concentration camp doctor who was infecting prisoners with bubonic plague, in order to develop a vaccine. He kept insisting that he was trying to make a historic contribution to humanity. Yes, some patients died, but it could hardly be compared to the lives his work would save. One of the other characters stated he shouldn’t be executed for his actions because he was a “moral imbecile,” thus not able to fully understand the wrong he did. It all seemed somehow relevant to the world we live in today.

When you put ”do the right thing” up against all the clever ways to justify corrupt, dishonest, and unfair dealings it hardly seems like a fair fight, does it?
 

turbobrick240

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I think that's a bit harsh. Matt is a very thoughtful mechanic who happens to derive much of his livelihood from VW tdi's. Try to see things from his perspective. The absence of new tdi's absolutely impacts him more than most of us. It's only natural for somebody in his position to rationalize why the regs that VW flagrantly violated were unfair to begin with.
 

Mythdoc

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I think that's a bit harsh. Matt is a very thoughtful mechanic who happens to derive much of his livelihood from VW tdi's. Try to see things from his perspective. The absence of new tdi's absolutely impacts him more than most of us. It's only natural for somebody in his position to rationalize why the regs that VW flagrantly violated were unfair to begin with.


I apologize then. The moral imbecile remark was not directed at Matt. But VW could have complied, as I stated above. It would have made for more business for those who take care of servicing TDI’s, not less. In the vast majority of cases, two wrongs do not make a right. I just don’t think that we are in a good position right now, as a society, to understand the ethical dimensions of situations we are presented with on a daily basis.
 

tikal

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Very shallow information :-(

I believe the true intention of post # 95 by Matt-98AHU has been lost by poster Mythdoc.

I do not think at all that poster Matt-98AHU was trying to cover up for VW top management dishonesty, greed and malice on post # 95.

To me, personally, to give an overall environmental score to the total emissions from a passenger vehicle you need some kind of scoring system using a Life Cycle Emission model for passenger vehicles, such as the one from Argonne National Labs called GREET. Unfortunately this is too much trouble for the average American to investigate properly, so instead we watch the news or listen to FM and/or AM radio stations that give, in general terms, very shallow information. Well frankly they provide mostly entertainment. It is almost like talking down to people and insulting their intelligence. So then unfortunately many journalists do not do their homework properly and do not learn about the overall pollutants and CO2 emissions from a passenger vehicle and they only pay attention to one, in this case NOX.

So, perhaps it is not quite misinformation that gets disseminated but very shallow information :-(
 

Mythdoc

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^^This has all been argued before in other threads that were about dieselgate specifically. This particular thread has now migrated back to the old argument. I was part of allowing that to happen, much to my chagrin. I didn’t miss the point, Tikal. I’ve heard it over and over. I also know the data. Maybe you missed *my* point that the regulations were known to everybody. And that disagreeing with them does not justify violating them. Would the automotive press be more open to presenting a nuanced picture of the different types and amounts of pollutants had VW’s colossal fraud never been perpetrated? The answer is obvious. In fact, that was indeed the case before the scandal broke. The vast majority of the press given to TDI’s was favorable pre-scandal.

Anyway, apologies again for being harsh. Dieselgate is clearly the wound that will never heal over, for many. If anyone wants to talk about the original thread topic, I’m still in. Otherwise, I’m out.
 
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Matt-98AHU

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Apparently your feelings were terribly hurt by whatever awful treatment you received as a commenter somewhere, poor you, but you are dancing around the basic point, which is that automakers are not supposed to engineer their fleets to what you or they think is a reasonable standard. They are supposed to follow the laws of the land, which they did not do. And made millions. It really is quite simple. And yes, they could have complied. It would have caused concessions and compromises, both to fuel efficiency and in areas like including larger urea tanks, etc. They would have had to pass these costs along to the consumer. They would have had angry customers complaining about their crappy emissions components, which they have now, anyway. They chose to take the ethically bankrupt route. And probably barely thought about it.

This really was an interesting conversation with a fair amount of give and take, an exchange of thought provoking views, until you tried to make us digress into relitigating an old, dumber version of the argument. Do you really think that it is ok to ignore laws you don’t agree with? Is this case on a par with, say, refusing to kill innocent people just because your commanding officer told you to do it? You know what, let’s not even bother. I just pity anyone who ever does a deal with you, ever. You seem like a person who’d “forget” to tell a buyer about the termite infestation in your house for sale, and sleep like a baby at night. After all, everyone does it, right? You’re really the victim here.
For the record, I've never, nor will I ever, defend willfully cheating rules on VW's part. I will, however, argue that maybe the regulations changed too dramatically too rapidly for the technologies to properly be engineered to be reliable, long-lived and cost-effective.

My main beef has been the media as a whole is now attempting to tear down diesel technology as a whole and more or less encourage its abandonment and banishment, and they're doing so with very poor information. So, guys like me merely point out that how much NOx the cheating cars were emitting is still a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, especially when you see how much lower emissions they are in literally every other regulated category. Again, not excusing the excess NOx, just attempting to put into perspective the actual numbers and effects vs. the hysterics encountered in a hit/click driven media.

The article I was referencing is found here: https://jalopnik.com/the-big-diesel-lie-grows-while-the-trump-administration-1837177598

See how many inaccuracies you can find... and if you want to see my ranting responses, look for "dieseldub" in the comment section.

Jamie "Adblue is Blue" Kitman is my new name for this ill-informed journalist.

Hell, we could just start with his opening paragraph for an accuracy check:

Who can forget Dieselgate, the headline-grabbing, reputation-destroying pollution scandal of 2015? In which Volkswagen AG, one of the planet’s largest carmakers, was exposed for installing defeat devices on up to 11 million of its diesels to trick regulators around the world into thinking these cars complied with emissions standards when in fact they didn’t come close, exceeding U.S. limits, for example, by 40 times or more.
Wrong, it wasn't 40 times or more. It was 10 times and upto 40 times occasionally. The actual average of emissions over the limit they were producing was somewhere closer to 15x by the numbers.

This article is a hit piece, pure and simple. And it's a shame this is so rampant in the media, because all it does is give Donny Trump credibility when he bellows "fake news!".

As I'm parsing through the article, it looks as if it has been edited after my comments were made, since he no longer calls adblue blue in color like the article originally stated.

No correction was issued, the article was just simply, quietly edited without an edit history to review.

I then also came to the defense of at least BMW, despite them having lawsuits flung their way in the U.S. over cheating and Kitman insinuating guilt without due process, a judge did recently throw out a case against BMW due to lack of evidence. And to further back my stance that diesels can indeed be made properly clean to these incredibly strict regulations, I pointed out that the initial ICCT/WVU study included 3 vehicles, the two that were very far outside of the limits were both VWs, the 3rd was pretty much right on target, it was a BMW, adding some evidence that maybe BMW never cheated at all in the U.S. despite being implicated in Europe as a cheater. Just another case of lawyers smelling blood in the water and slinging lawsuits wherever they think they might stick without full evidence and studies to back up their claims. See if the mob mentality can score them a few extra bucks.

I'm just tired of seeing diesel as a whole, not VW specifically, being viewed as impossibly dirty and a technology that should be abandoned when by the numbers, they're cleaner than gasoline engines in literally every regulated form except NOx, and even then, the number is so insanely close to zero, who cares? It's such a minor improvement on NOx for a gas engine, but the gas engine produces more vapors that are released to atmosphere every time you open the gas gap and fill the thing up. Diesels emit less HC, CO, NMOGs and, thanks to particulate filters, less particulates than gas engines too. Literally. Every. Single. Regulated. Pollutant. Except NOx.

Do you genuinely believe like the rest of these ill-informed journalists that diesel is inherently bad and should be banned based on the numbers? Should I pull up CARB Executive Order emissions approvals on some common car models to prove my point?
 

Matt-98AHU

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Oh I learned a lot from Dieselgate. I learned that the rules regarding NOx simply became too drastic too quickly, and I learned I must take better care of the older cars I already have since I evidently won't be buying anything new ever again.

It is like they said "OK, the are lowering the speed limits on the Interstate, from 70 to 60, to save fuel (they've done this before). Only we REALLY want to save fuel, so we are just gonna drop it to 40 MPH". :rolleyes: Actually, and Matt knows the figures better than I do, it would probably be more like 5 MPH. The cut was THAT MUCH, that fast.
Just to respond to this part and put the numbers in perspective:

I believe the earliest VW diesels were certified to emit no more than 1.2 g/mi NOx or so. I think by the time the earliest TDIs came to our shores, they were more like 1.0 g/mi.... and then 0.9.

By the time the PDs arrived here, that number was down to 0.7 g/mi through the end of 2006.

The 2009 commonrails and later were supposed to be certified to tier 2 bin 5 rules, which meant they were to emit no more than 0.07 g/mi NOx... literally moving the decimal point over one from what regulations were in 2006.

We didn't view PDs as being overly dirty at the time... some of us still don't, so long as the cam isn't worn... or it has bad injector seals... or a leaking EGR pipe or cooler flap. Heck, PDs make just about the same fuel pressure coming out of the injector as a commonrail does to reduce particulates, it just isn't as finely controlled with numerous injection events per cycle like a commonrail is capable of.

So yeah, when they say emits "ten to forty times, averaging closer to 15 times" the limit, I just kind of shrug and say "sounds about like what an older TDI emits." Not to mention they produce even less of every other pollutant than earlier TDIs, especially particulates...

Not that it should be excused, but I do like to counter the hysterics surrounding diesel technology as a whole thanks to the scandal and respond with actual numbers and historical perspective.
 
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nicklockard

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The spike in engine replacements, or at least, engines in need of replacement, that our shop sees, is pretty astounding. Granted, *most* of the time it stems from neglect, but it isn't like THAT is anything new. People have been neglecting cars as long as cars have been around.
It is the lack of resilience so many of the newer stuff has makes poor choices but more costly much more quickly. We've probably had 50+ GM engines through our shop this year that needed replacement. We do not sell all the jobs, since in many cases the owner cannot afford it, and/or the vehicle in question is a valueless turd that would only serve to lower the value of the new engine once installed. That 1.4L turbo engine GM has is one of the worst (Trax, optional in the Cruze and Sonic, as well as the Buick versions of those cars). Followed closely by the 2.4L DI Ecotec engine and that 3.6L V6 that GM cannot seem to figure out the chain drive (they are on the 6th or 7th revision now). And of course the truck V6s and V8s with that stupid cylinder deactivation nonsense and cam-in-a-cam phasing stuff that has zero tolerance for poor oil condition/level. We JUST did a 5.3L in a 2014 Silverado last week.
And Ford must've realized 20 weight oil is not any good in the trucks, because the 2016 F250 6.2L V8 we did a couple weeks ago (which spec'd 5w20) was replaced with a brand new updated version (seriously, updated... since 2016!?!?!?!) with an oil cap that showed 5w30, a different oil pan, dipstick, and dipstick tube, with a little note attached to it stating the change in oil requirements and the additional .75 q of capacity.
FCA did something similar with the Hemi V8s in their trucks, that now spec 0w40 instead of the 5w20 they were using.
I think this is why Honda is having so many problems with their turbo fours, they still spec a 0w20 in them. Most of the rest (Hyundai, Ford, GM) may spec a 5w20 or 0w20 in non-turbo engines, but still use 5w30 in the turbos. Which is why I fear for the new VAG engines with the 508/9 0w20. I regularly see EA888s chomp through 5w40 like a fat guy through donuts on cheat day, I can only imagine the perpetually dry dipsticks that will ensue with 0w20 in the crankcase. :(
OH, you're going to like this. Whenever I drive my damn-near bullet proof 1998 Mercedes E420 lately, I tend to get thumbs up and admiring looks. It kinda surprised me at first. Some people love seeing old cars running original everything and running well down the road.

If manufacturer's of today's cars put as much attention into mechanical serviceability and reliability as they did into touch screens and interior quality, things would be way different. But they basically gave up on making them more robust and better. After all, planned obsolescence pays their bills.
 

jackbombay

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By the time the PDs arrived here, that number was down to 0.7 g/mi through the end of 2006.

The 2009 commonrails and later were supposed to be certified to tier 2 bin 5 rules, which meant they were to emit no more than 0.07 g/mi NOx...

People often ask if my TDI (2003) is "one of the cheaters", I tell them it isn't, but it is legally allowed to be much dirtier than the cheaters, so maybe it's an honorary cheater?

I never knew the numbers for allowable NOX, crazy that it was cut by %90 from one generation to the next, no wonder there were no TDIs between 2006 and 2009.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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I got that question at a gathering with friends today. One person was surprised I was "allowed" to drive a diesel car. Right or wrong, VW's cheating and the court's response has, perhaps irreparably, damaged diesel's reputation.
 

Matt-98AHU

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I got that question at a gathering with friends today. One person was surprised I was "allowed" to drive a diesel car. Right or wrong, VW's cheating and the court's response has, perhaps irreparably, damaged diesel's reputation.
Yes, yes it has. And the damage worsens with every ill-informed anti-diesel article that gets published, and they get published all the time in the wake of dieselgate. But exactly none of them offer actual numbers or historical perspective of regulations. Just "diesel, bad."

@Jackbombay, hah. I've said something similar before when some random person came asking questions if my car was one of the cheating ones.

One instance I remember pretty clearly, I was in Oregon a couple years ago filling my own tank (which is an odd sight for a small car owner to be doing) and a few motorcyclists roll into the station and one of them rolls up to me and asks if my Jetta was one of the emissions cheating cars. Now, I was driving a Mk5 with the BRM in it, so anyone could make that mistake. Same bodystyle DID come offered with the cheating diesel afterall.

But anyway, I was thinking of being a bit of a smartass myself and said "No, actually this one is NOT one of the cars affected by the scandal. It's actually dirtier, it was just legal for them to be that dirty in 2006."

Blank stare in response... yeah, the joke didn't really land or register how much of that statement is true... but I was entertained! Sometimes that's all that matters. heh
 

where2

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Blank stare in response... yeah, the joke didn't really land or register how much of that statement is true... but I was entertained! Sometimes that's all that matters. heh
I frequently offered a similar response as I had a MkIV (BEW), and my wife had a 2006 (BRM). As you said, most people offered a blank stare as if they couldn't believe their ears and what I said. Driving my wife's post-fix '13 2.0L JSW TDI still puts a smile on my face. I see why everyone loved these cars, the extra 40hp that the 2.0L has over the 1.9L is addicting... I'm glad VW didn't simply send them all to the scrap yard after the recall.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
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outside St Louis (where it's safe)
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There are just too many to list....
I am with Matt on this one, regarding the media's skewed approach to reporting the whole fiasco. If one were to go by that and that alone, you'd think the higher ups at VAG were intentionally trying to destroy the planet as quickly as they could.

I've had to educate the "educated" on this very subject many, many times.

I do not, nor have I ever, condoned VAG's chicanery on this. I have, and do, disagree with the draconian regulatory hurdles that pushed them to it however. And as you'd expect, the guise of "clean air" gets whitewashed over the bigger picture in that we've (elected lawmakers, many of which shouldn't even be in their lifelong positions drowning in money) allowed ourselves to be in hasn't really been helped by this. Poorer fuel economy vehicles dominate the consumer buying market, much of the "replacements" for these "dirty" TDIs are consuming more fuel than they ever did, not to mention the environmental cost of the disposal of thousands of perfectly good working order vehicles and the factories that built these replacements. If clean air was what they were after, this didn't do anything for it.
 

kjclow

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Apparently your feelings were terribly hurt by whatever awful treatment you received as a commenter somewhere, poor you, but you are dancing around the basic point, which is that automakers are not supposed to engineer their fleets to what you or they think is a reasonable standard. They are supposed to follow the laws of the land, which they did not do. And made millions. It really is quite simple. And yes, they could have complied. It would have caused concessions and compromises, both to fuel efficiency and in areas like including larger urea tanks, etc. They would have had to pass these costs along to the consumer. They would have had angry customers complaining about their crappy emissions components, which they have now, anyway. They chose to take the ethically bankrupt route. And probably barely thought about it.

This really was an interesting conversation with a fair amount of give and take, an exchange of thought provoking views, until you tried to make us digress into relitigating an old, dumber version of the argument. Do you really think that it is ok to ignore laws you don’t agree with? Is this case on a par with, say, refusing to kill innocent people just because your commanding officer told you to do it? You know what, let’s not even bother. I just pity anyone who ever does a deal with you, ever. You seem like a person who’d “forget” to tell a buyer about the termite infestation in your house for sale, and sleep like a baby at night. After all, everyone does it, right? You’re really the victim here.
I'll take a further step back. They (VW, MB, BMW, big three) all had a chance to debate the proposed regulations and try to get the EPA to slow down on their proposals but the first three on my list chose to walk out of the meeting room and stop any meaningful discussion. I am by no means saying that they got what they deserve just that if you want to change something, you don't do it by walking out the door.
 
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kjclow

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I got that question at a gathering with friends today. One person was surprised I was "allowed" to drive a diesel car. Right or wrong, VW's cheating and the court's response has, perhaps irreparably, damaged diesel's reputation.
I get raised eyebrows when I tell people that I don't own a gasser anymore, especially when they see me pull up in my Ram 1500. Then the comment turns to "I didn't know you could get a diesel in a smaller pickup".
 

compu_85

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I'll take a further step back. They (VW, MB, BMW, big three) all had a chance to debate the proposed regulations and try to get the EPA to slow down on their proposals but the first three on my list chose to walk out of the meeting room and stop any meaningful discussion. I am by no means saying that they got what they deserve just that if you want to change something, you don't do it by walking out the door.
This is my standpoint too.

But, I'd also point out that AFAIK GM and BMW didn't pull the same software trickery that VW did.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I get raised eyebrows when I tell people that I don't own a gasser anymore, especially when they see me pull up in my Ram 1500. Then the comment turns to "I didn't know you could get a diesel in a smaller pickup".
I get similar reactions when I tell people my BMW is a diesel. But the one that no one expects is my colleague's Cruze.
 

nicklockard

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TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
I still think that the most sensible policy is to harmonize our emissions policies with that of Korea, Japan, and Europe. It works for nearly every other industry to harmonize rule sets via ISO standards organization.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I still think that the most sensible policy is to harmonize our emissions policies with that of Korea, Japan, and Europe. It works for nearly every other industry to harmonize rule sets via ISO standards organization.
How many F150s get sold in Korea, Japan, and Europe? That answer will relate to why it won't fly here. (I am not disagreeing with you, just stating the obvious). ;)
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
Working in the paint industry, very few of the regulations from one region to the other carry over. The varied regulations within our boarders are bad enough but then add to it each and every other country in the world and try to keep track of it. Car regualtions are easy.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Vallejo, CA
TDI
2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
Just for further information, let's see how tiny pollutant output is vs. CO2.

So, the TDIs after the fix have a slightly changed target for NOx output. Instead of supposed to emitting only 0.07 g/mi of only NOx, they're supposed to emit no more than 0.15 g/mi of NOx and NMOGs combined where previously, NMOGs and NOx were regulated individually.

Combine that with the outputs of other pollutants wxman listed and the total amount of pollutants per mile is less than 0.2 g/mi of ALL pollutants... Let that sink in. ALL regulated pollutants COMBINED, less than 0.2 g/mi.

Now, let's just say after the fix, someone is averaging 38 MPG.

To calculate how many grams per mile of CO2 output that is, let's first take what the EPA says a gallon diesel will emit when burned, which is 10,180 grams.

In order to put into perspective pollution numbers as measured by CARB and EPA in grams per mile, let's find out the grams per mile CO2.

Easy enough, take 10,180 and divide it by your miles per gallon (38 in my example above).

10,180 / 38 = ~267.9 g/mi CO2.

Now, let's take about what the cheating cars were averaging as far as NOx and other combined pollutants. They were measuring an average right around 1.2 g/mi NOx from what I've read. And the rest of the regulated pollutants COMBINED for just shy of 0.041 g/mi.

Now, the EPA also said that after the fix the gen 1 engines were going to lose upto 2 MPG. Some report far larger losses, some right around that number, some are a little less than 2 MPG loss. But, let's just assume that 2 MPG loss was accurate.

So, let's add 2 to the 38 above (since I stated the 38 MPG was what someone might average post-fix). 40 MPG. Let's figure out what that is in terms of g/mi CO2.

10,180 / 40 = 254.5 g/mi CO2. A difference of 13.4 g/mi CO2.

So, in order to reduce pollution near 1 g/mi, the gen 1 engines now output around 13.4 g/mi extra CO2. Add that up over a lifetime...

One could realistically argue that with how much cleaner these cars are in every other regulated form of emissions, relaxing their NOx targets a little isn't a bad thing, especially if that means you can gain some efficiency if you believe that the minimal impact of local air quality from the small change in NOx output vs. encouraging the adoption of any and every form of transportation that emits less CO2 thanks to its efficiency, one could certainly make the argument that the tradeoff is worth it, depending on where you place your priorities as far as local U.S. air quality vs climate change concerns.

Especially once one sees and experiences for themselves that the areas with the worst air quality in the U.S. are also dependent on what the weather is doing. L.A. in particular has had more and more hot, sunny and stagnant or offshore wind days that compounds air quality issues, and if one is to believe that excess CO2 output is contributing to warming of the planet which is affecting areas like L.A. and they're experience even more of the weather patterns that create bad smog days, and less of the windy, rainy days that help clear things up then you can see where some of us rationalize that anything that helps reduce CO2 output is a good thing, even if that comes at the expense of a small increase in NOx.

Besides, there's always "the weekend effect" study that was done in L.A.. where they noted an uptick in bad air quality on weekends, which are the days which there is much less diesel truck traffic and thus less NOx. That's because in those hot, sunny and stagnant weather conditions, NOx interacts with VOCs in the local air to create more smog, and there's a specific ratio of those two pollutants that when reached, actually maximizes the production of smog. And it just so happened to be that when that study was done, reducing NOx output got the ratio of NOx to VOCs closer to optimal to maximize production of smog. For the record, gas engines emit far more VOCs than diesels, and the refueling process alone emits quite a lot of VOCs with gasoline, which is why California has these vapor recovery boots on their gas pumps (but not diesel, because diesel doesn't turn to vapor at normal ambient temperatures. No evaporative emissions equipment at all on diesel vehicles. No charcoal canister, leak detection pump, purge valve etc).

However, other studies claim that if NOx can be reduced down to near nothing, the air quality will noticeably improve. The one I can think of was done here in the Bay Area in the Caldecott Tunnels. But, during the transition period to vehicles that produce near zero levels of NOx, there will be an increase in bad smog days because the ratio of NOx to VOCs will be closer to optimal, as noted in the previous weekend effect study mentioned above...

SO, there you go. The L.A. basin is being doubly screwed currently by not only having increased number of hot and sunny, stagnant weather days due to climate change but also because the transition to exceptionally low NOx output vehicles is making the local air closer to the optimal ratio of VOCs to NOx to make smog worse... at least for now. The idea being that once older diesels are cycled out of use, the extra low NOx emissions of the newer generation vehicles will change things for the better... eventually.

So, for those of us who've been following emissions issues for some time are a little hesitant to believe that the rapid ramp down of NOx was the right way to go about it, especially when you talk to technicians and fleet owners who've had nothing but increased downtime and headaches due to reliability issues of the new smog equipment. Not that they should never be implemented, but that they maybe needed more time to develop and mature before being strictly required. That and combined with the above observations that a reduction in NOx does not always make for a reduction in smog and that bad smog days are also related to what the weather is doing. And when you put into perspective how many pollutants per mile vs. CO2 output, you could be excused for putting a larger emphasis on the CO2 ouptut since there's a couple hundred times more CO2 coming out of your tailpipe than pollutants...
 
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Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Vallejo, CA
TDI
2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
And on the case of reliability issues introduced with the new emissions equipment, if the technologies were allowed a longer gestation period to ensure better reliability and effectiveness we would see many less people purposefully removing said emissions devices.

What's the #1 reason people 'delete and tune'?? Because their check engine light came on for an emissions controls related failure.

Allow some time for the equipment to be better developed and made reliable, you'll see a sudden decrease in people bothering to remove their emissions equipment.

Decreasing allowed NOx output by ten fold in just a couple years time? Probably not the smartest thing. Should have allowed a few years for automakers to just focus on at least getting DPFs reliable, and then ratchet down NOx regs progressively as the technology matured and automakers have more time to do R&D and testing. Especially on passenger cars where the more frequent stop and go duty cycle is hard on such equipment.

I liken the last 15 years of diesel emissions technology to the first 15-20 years of smog regulations since their first time getting more aggressive in the 1970s and the growing pains and weird compromises manufacturers made back then to get their engines properly clean. There were a lot of people who just removed smog equipment or at least swapped carburetors and changed timing to get their engines to run better, and then would have to change back when they go smog. But, as the control systems got better, and less tweakable with simple tools, cars got better drivability and more power and were much, much cleaner as better sensor feedback was developed, electronic fuel injection and control systems and you had far fewer people tweaking their cars to make them run better, as they already ran pretty dang good and were reliable as we got into the 90s with the mass adoption of EFI and effective 3 way catalysts.

Give the diesel emissions tech the same time to be better developed, mature or even have other new breakthroughs and new ideas in how to better control emissions and do so reliably and the scandal just becomes another footnote in the arcing story of automotive history. That's the view I take.

But to constantly be bombarded with stories about how bad diesel as a whole is and more or less should be abandoned the way most of the media puts it, I beg to disagree. I've looked at the numbers and the history of pollution regulations and I see no reason to ban diesel outright, especially once the emissions technology has been allowed the time to mature and become reliable and effective.

All I'm doing is attempting to counter the falsehoods and general hysterics and outright factual errors I read constantly in relation to diesel technology as a whole, not just VW's cheating. There is a LOT of it in the media thanks to the scandal and it's largely due to two things: 1) media is view driven and they will make things sound scarier than they actually are just to get your attention and 2) this is a very technical subject and we can't honestly believe that most journalists are going to take the time to fully wrap their heads around the entirety of the technical realities involved in this.

I have. It's sort of my job as a technician. I've also been pretty much obsessed with cars in general since I was a kid and I absorb information relating to them like a sponge. And in the wake of the scandal, especially since I had excess free time due to waiting for shop permits to come through, I took a lot of that time to better educate myself on this very topic to try and get a view of the big picture surrounding it. It just so happens that doing my homework on this topic has made me come to the conclusion it's not anywhere near as severe as what the media portrays... of course, that's usually the case on any topic, but the topic gets extra muddled when the writers are simply not technical minds and haven't taken the time that I have to fully wrap my head around the finer details and regulations involved.
 
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