How come Mercedes, BMW, GM can do it but VW can't?

asolo

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VW's been building diesels since the seventies. Seems to me they would have as much expertise as anyone.
So...how come Mercedes, BMW, and GM can build and sell compliant diesels but VW and Mazda can't? Or has the EPA just not gotten around to nailing the others yet?
I regard the engine/drive-line in my TDI as one of the best ever put into a car...really superior in many ways. Very satisfying drive. I think it's a shame the small-diesel market's dead.
 

wxman

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Rico567

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I think this has been discussed elsewhere. VW cheaped out. To make diesels that passed, they would have had to fork over $300 per vehicle to license the appropriate technology from M-B. They decided to do it otherwise, by cheating. Some years back (as I was reading in one post), GM engineers were doing diesel development, bought a VW and tried to reverse-engineer it, and thought some kind of black magic was involved when they couldn't replicate VW's performance in their own design. Now we know why.
I really enjoy our VW's performance and fuel efficiency, too, but that's because it's what one poster called a "unicorn" — it never should have existed.
 
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rbreding

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You would have thought those smart GM engineers would have been able to use some ECU monitoring to figure it out. College students did it.
 

autdi

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You would have thought those smart GM engineers would have been able to use some ECU monitoring to figure it out. College students did it.
Actually the college students recognized a discrepancy, but didn't bother to try to figure out what was going on. Two security researchers in the EU actually found the relevant code, and figured out what the cheat was.

One would think that if two folks with no access to the manuals on the ECU could figure it out, a company with the manuals on the ECUs should have no trouble at all figuring it out. Then again, I had a similar job in the past, so breaking things was basically what you did every day.
 

asolo

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@wxman....thanks for response and links. Very interesting.

Looks like I'll be driving an orphan if I keep it...or a "unicorn". Pity...it's a terrific ride.
 

bubbagumpshrimp

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VW = cheap bastards. They could have done it right the first time, but it would have been cost prohibitive (ex. No SCR in older CR TDI's) and likely wouldn't have netted them the performance that they were looking for. Heck...if they'd just tuned the ones with SCR to actually use the DEF fluid at a quicker rate (rather than change at 10k service)...that might have done it.
 

Perfectreign

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Or has the EPA just not gotten around to nailing the others yet?
What other said - but also because the whiners at CARB and EPA think they know better than we do.

Of course, i'm sure one forest fire spews out way more toxic stuff than all cars combined.
 

GoFaster

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And to answer the other part of the question, Mazda and Honda didn't do it because they found that doing it correctly (not cheating) was either going to add cost or have substandard performance.
 

Rico567

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And to answer the other part of the question, Mazda and Honda didn't do it because they found that doing it correctly (not cheating) was either going to add cost or have substandard performance.
^^^^^^
This is a very good point, which I didn't make in my earlier post. Maybe the reason the GM engineers "couldn't figure out" how VW did it was because they didn't consider cheating. Therefore, in the short run (2009-2015), VW comes off looking like magicians. In the long run, the magicians are paying a heavy price.
 

rfortson

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VW's been building diesels since the seventies. Seems to me they would have as much expertise as anyone.
So...how come Mercedes, BMW, and GM can build and sell compliant diesels but VW and Mazda can't? Or has the EPA just not gotten around to nailing the others yet?
I regard the engine/drive-line in my TDI as one of the best ever put into a car...really superior in many ways. Very satisfying drive. I think it's a shame the small-diesel market's dead.
Because they don't get the same performance (combination of mileage, HP and torque) that VW did? There's no magic bullet. BMW, Mercedes, GM and many others build nice diesel engines, but the TDI was just a little better in it's class. Now we know why.
 

newyorktdi

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It's quite simple: the Bush era EPA put forth stricter regulations regarding diesel engines that would take effect for model year 2009 vehicles. VW realized that to reach these goals, they would be forced to install costly equipment to the emissions systems of their vehicles raising the retail price of each car about $300. VW had an aggressive plan to become the number one automaker in terms of sales and any increase in price was no good. Also, more warranty claims will have to be paid when the emissions equipment failed. So rather than going the route everyone else did, they cheated because they did not care about anything except their bottom line. It's called corporate greed.
 

Perfectreign

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. It's called corporate greed.
I live fairly near the South Coast Air Quality Management District office. I sometimes feel I should buy a mid-90s IDI Ford with the 7.3, add a smokestack, and power it around the office campus.

Of course, I can't go very fast around there because it is next to one of the worst freeway interchanges in the country.

http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-n...-rated-worst-freight-bottleneck-in-california

Hey - maybe if we reduce the population by a few billion there'd be less pollution.
 

gulfcoastguy

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I would easily have paid $300.00 more for the car. I might just have skipped the floor mats. I might have insisted on a better way of topping off the tank than the Passats had though.
 

mrchill

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The answer is...the others dont. Now....can the cars be made to pass? Likely...at tremendous cost. If you are selling a 25K car....and you need to put a 6k emissions system in it...it isnt as economical...or even sensible to do vs selling a 50k vehicle with the same 6k system in it. At the time that these cars first came out...there was no way to pass by the rules. Now there is...and vw has one. But the game is done and it no longer matters. Overall, most vehicles, both gas and diesels dont pass todays standards. If they were all checked....it would be rather obvious. Somehow vw became part of a witchunt...no one really knows why...but the fact remains that their cars are the cleanest of them all...but the ones that were also punished. Its interesting that so few have even questioned what this is really all about after looking at all the factors at hand.
 

Rico567

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The answer is...the others dont.<snip>
But this is not the issue with VW, and never has been since Dieselgate broke. I've read a lot of posts about how "NOx doesn't realliy do anything," and links to articles showing how much European cars pollute, etc.
There is only one relevant point: VW cheated, got caught at it (and admitted it immediately they were caught), and everything else has just been icing on the cake.
That's what this has all been about: VW cheated, they broke US environmental regulations, everything else is irrelevant.
 

vintovka

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What other said - but also because the whiners at CARB and EPA think they know better than we do.

Of course, i'm sure one forest fire spews out way more toxic stuff than all cars combined.
As A retired environmental engineer I FULLY AGREE. Cal epa (with the support of govt employees unions) make decisions in which $ comes first and the environment and the nations well being aren't even an afterthought. California now believes it is a sovereign nation on to itself and its laws are commandments from god. The VW deal seems like Cal EPA (arb) decided what would happen and dictated terms to the remainder of the states via Fed EPA. Science and engineering are now just annoying impediments.
 

slk23

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Actually the college students recognized a discrepancy, but didn't bother to try to figure out what was going on. Two security researchers in the EU actually found the relevant code, and figured out what the cheat was.
One would think that if two folks with no access to the manuals on the ECU could figure it out, a company with the manuals on the ECUs should have no trouble at all figuring it out. Then again, I had a similar job in the past, so breaking things was basically what you did every day.
And the college students (West Virginia University) were only doing the testing because ICCT in Europe noticed "discrepancies between the emissions of diesels in the lab and on the road, across the industry". They then teamed up with CARB to check real world emissions, hiring West Virginia University to perform the testing.

Details on how it all unfolded at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/business/as-vw-pushed-to-be-no-1-ambitions-fueled-a-scandal.html?_r=0
Also at:
http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/n...a_scandal.html
 

GoFaster

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The answer is...the others dont. Now....can the cars be made to pass? Likely...at tremendous cost. If you are selling a 25K car....and you need to put a 6k emissions system in it...it isnt as economical...or even sensible to do vs selling a 50k vehicle with the same 6k system in it. At the time that these cars first came out...there was no way to pass by the rules. Now there is...and vw has one. But the game is done and it no longer matters. Overall, most vehicles, both gas and diesels dont pass todays standards. If they were all checked....it would be rather obvious. Somehow vw became part of a witchunt...no one really knows why...but the fact remains that their cars are the cleanest of them all...but the ones that were also punished. Its interesting that so few have even questioned what this is really all about after looking at all the factors at hand.
There is a difference between "gaming the system", or "teaching to the test" if you will, and actually "cheating" which VW did.

Every auto manufacturer "teaches to the test" - calibrates their vehicles to perform best on the tests that it will be subjected to. What happens outside of those test conditions can be quite another matter, as a number of studies have indicated. But the way the regulations are written, there isn't much the regulators can do - although Europe's upcoming RDE (real driving emissions) testing is going to try. It's widely recognized that the European NEDC test procedure is far from being a good representation of how people actually drive. Many powertrains are getting re-engineered because of upcoming RDE testing - notably, Mercedes-Benz seems to be going through all of their powertrains because of this.

What's not allowed is for the calibration to be different depending on whether the car is running in the lab or out on the road. At a certain RPM and load then the status of the emission control system should be, let's say, "X". It must not be "X" if the ECU thinks the car is in the lab but "Y" if the ECU thinks the car is on the road. That's where VW crossed the line.
 

atomicfront

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There is more than a 300 dollar difference in cost or they would have done it. You are comparing cars that cost in the 50k range to ones in the 20k range. As we can see how little the Toureg sells I am guessing a 50k VW doesn't have much of a market in the US.
 

asolo

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Thanks to all for responses.

Trying to look on the bright side...at least I don't have one of the six-cylinder versions that they haven't even begun with yet.

Have to make a mental adjustment. Notwithstanding my excellent experience and opinion about my TDI, the game's over. The world doesn't care what I think. Doesn't matter if I understand it or not. Appears to me that diesel car market in the US is dead and that's just the way it is.

With the amount of money VW's paying me to buy the car back, there's really nothing to think about. Glad they stepped up (under compulsion) but I'll be moving on.
 

Got Haggis?

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There has to be more to it than the $300 bit.....as couldn't they just install that system as the 'fix' - yet seems like they can't even develop a fix.
 

DanB36

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There has to be more to it than the $300 bit.....as couldn't they just install that system as the 'fix' - yet seems like they can't even develop a fix.
What's the incremental cost to put a DEF system in a newly-designed car vs. not having one? Tank, heater, injector, lines, a pump? Anything else? A few sensors? I could easily see that being on the order of $300. But to try to retrofit that to an existing car, much more.
 

asolo

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Retrofit to existing Jettas would be nearly on the order of re-manufacture. Suspect well beyond dealer capability to accomplish...at least for several hundred thousand cars. Also note no proposals yet for Passats that already have SCR.

There's nothing yet...and judge has said they don't even need to comply. Said coming close still superior overall to junking the cars and he'd pass on that. Stay tuned.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
I live fairly near the South Coast Air Quality Management District office. I sometimes feel I should buy a mid-90s IDI Ford with the 7.3, add a smokestack, and power it around the office campus.

Of course, I can't go very fast around there because it is next to one of the worst freeway interchanges in the country.

http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-n...-rated-worst-freight-bottleneck-in-california

Hey - maybe if we reduce the population by a few billion there'd be less pollution.

I had a '90 F350 diesel, that had a Hypermax turbo kit installed on it when it was brand new (it was born a non-turbo).

Never got around to a stack, but when I was messing with a few things under the hood, I found the fueling stop screw had come loose, because the tamper proof cap had been, well, tampered with, when the turbo kit was installed and had loosened up and actually DEfueled it.

I had always thought it was kinda slow, even though I knew it was no Powerstroke and never would be. But it was a 170hp engine, the kit says it added 15hp which was the max recommended due to my truck being cursed with a slushbox (and even then, they really did not recommend installing the turbo in the first place).

When I realized the screw was backed out, I screwed it in to what I *thought* was about where it should have been. It ran a LOT better, and there really was no smoke. So I kinda went by my old seat of the pants thing that I used with the old VAG IDI diesels and started to crank it in further until I got some smoke, then would back it off. Well, at some point it went from hardly any smoke under hard acceleration to "OMG SOMEBODY CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT THAT FORD IS ON FIRE" levels of smoke.

That test drive was priceless, though, as I got to "roll coal" for the first and only time in my life, right into the open window of some punk kid in a Mustang that thought I was trying to race him. There was soot literally rolling across the light tan dashboard INSIDE his car. :eek: The side exit exhaust was probably not a good thing. I backed the pump off after that, and got it dialed in and running pretty good, but man that was as funny as the first time I watched the movie Borat. Poor kid.
 
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