VW; People’s Car or Government Car?
VW has made global news with it’s admission that it has installed a defeat device that detunes the engine while it is being tested for emissions. We need to look at the history of this type of action and it is not new. GM and seven different diesel truck manufacturers have already been punished for doing the same thing. What the government won’t tell you in all of their righteous indignation is that the defeat devices served a useful purpose. These defeat devices increased performance and fuel efficiency of these modified diesel vehicles – the Passat gets 44 mpg on the highway. Engines that burn more efficiently (and emit less carbon) release more NOx. The government does not want the NOx but also does not want the public to know of the trade-offs that always come with environmental controls. Fixing this will be very interesting to watch; will consumers voluntarily come into dealers and allow their car to be ‘fixed’ so that it gets worse mileage and less performance? What car do you want, a car designed for consumers or the government?
note: I do not agree with the tactics employed by VW – it is wrong but we need to understand how we got here – big government has it’s cost and many do not understand the tradeoffs.