Volkswagen is currently the largest car manufacturer in the world, but that distinction is endangered by what mainstream media are dubbing a major scandal. Listening to the major news outlets, one would come to believe the German company’s actions are on par with a certain series of events from about 70 years ago. What heinous crime has this evil corporation burdened the good citizens of this planet with? Is it exploding gas tanks? Shoddy workmanship? An unacceptably low number of cup holders?
No, it’s because they programmed their cars to adjust their performance levels when they were being tested, and when the test was over, readjust to a more optimum performance setting. As a result, the diesel cars emitted 40% more nitrous oxide than “allowable limits” set by the E.P.A. Now that certainly sounds like a lot of NOx escaping into the atmosphere, doesn’t it? What they aren’t telling us is that it is not 40% of 100%. It’s 40% of a fraction of 1%. (Good luck researching the exact number.) The excessive pollution emitted by vehicles was largely taken care of by the late 80s with catalytic converters, port injection and computer monitoring systems. These exact same cars would have no trouble whatsoever passing the E.U.’s strict air quality tests, and the Europeans don’t seem to have ant trouble breathing. Even so, almost 500,000 cars in the U.S. are being recalled to repair what has been called appalling, and the Diesel Dupe. This will cost the company tens of billions of dollars, never mind the imminent fines that will surely be levied.
Volkswagen has committed one of the greatest sins imaginable in this world of government micromanaged protectionist bologna. They dared to try to put the customer, not the edicts of the almighty E.P.A., first. What is lost in the shuffle is that the cars actually got better mileage and performed better (i.e. the way people want a car to perform) by ignoring the orders of the Transportpolizei. These vehicles were not poorly made, nor were the diesel engines as “dirty” as the media would have you believe. They are, in fact, very advanced and efficient engines.
The problem is the government has for many years been pursuing the impossible; zero emissions from an internal combustion engine. If such a thing were even possible, it would mean there would be no more need for the E.P.A..
And we can’t have that now, can we?