AD #1708 – Japan Wants Toyota’s LPG Taxis, Dealers Are Job Machines, New Ford Super Duty

September 24th, 2015 at 11:37am

Runtime: 8:12

- Piech’s Poetic Justice
- Toyota’s Hybrid LPG Taxi
- Dealers Are Job Machines
- Ford Super Duty Goes on Aluminum Diet
- John Responds to Your Comments & Questions

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57 Comments to “AD #1708 – Japan Wants Toyota’s LPG Taxis, Dealers Are Job Machines, New Ford Super Duty”

  1. Bradley Says:

    Looks like VW used the same technology to get around Europe’s emission laws too.

  2. C-Tech Says:

    Dealers are “job machines” compared to what alternative? That’s right due to restrictions by law on other ways to sell and service new cars there is no alternative to measure and compare. Turn the buyers loose!

    My VW predictions: A large fine but no jail time for any executives, recall that will reprogram the pcm with reduced performance and fuel economy. The aftermarket tuners will then offer programming packages to restore the lost performance and fuel economy. VW and Audi takes a sales hit, about 20%. It will take 3-5 years to see a recovery. VW’s new chairman will focus on China.

  3. Sunrack Says:

    John – Current owners of VW diesels will NOT want to give them up or have them “fixed” since they otherwise will drive worse and burn more fuel. Since VW is not allowed to sell new ones, I predict that the price of existing ones will rise. Diesel vehicles worldwide will not be as popular as others adopt our ridicules NOx rules. Diesel fuel prices should therefore begin to fall.

  4. HtG Says:

    The cover up may be worse than the cover up

    Those vw people who were feeding EPA a lie for the last year may want to call lawyers.

  5. Hugh Says:

    The problems with VW and their diesel engines is a very serious problem and they should be fined accordingly, but to bar them from selling cars in the US market is ridiculous. If so, then GM should be bared from selling cars for 112 years, one year for each death with their faulty ignitions. GM knew of this for 10-12 years and did nothing. Of course that probably will not happen since GM is Government Motors!

  6. Lex Says:

    VW might be ripe for a corporate takeover once the dust settles on the “Diesel Deception”!

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #6,Lex: Enter sergio macaroni? Why he and ‘korny’ were best buds.

  8. Brett Says:

    Sergio *does* have a knack for picking up “distressed” properties and turning them around.

    Hmmm

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I predict that diesel car sales will fall in Europe, partly because of the VW thing, and partly because they may implement stricter NOx standards, matching those of the US. Given the air quality in some of the cities, they probably need tougher standards.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Apple could buy VW, and not have to develop their own iCar.

  11. HtG Says:

    If Sergio were really thinking, he’d lowball vw for just Audi and Porsche.

    Or as Kit said, he could wait for Apple to buy vw then have FCA buy the state of Lower Saxony.

  12. Lisk Says:

    VW employees and their dealers world wide are going to be the ones who will take the biggest hit in wake of the scandal. To prohibit VW from selling cars is foolish as many buyers will already shy away from their product as a natural reaction.
    This shortsightedness by those who approved this should be charged accordingly. The loss in the company’s value and future earnings will not be recouped for decades. The loss in the value of the stock may seem justified on the surface, but there are many pensions tied to the stock value, and those folks will suffer far more than VW.
    The only real solution is to take the cars off the road and buy them back. There will be some issues there because how much do they compensate? Is it fair to pay those who bought used ones for $13,000 to give them $20,000+, the same as those who bought the cars new?
    The lawyers are the only winners in this issue, everyone else loses.

  13. MJB Says:

    3.
    Disco! Furthermore, this may in fact be the first recall in history that owners purposely ignore.

    5.
    I’ll say it before John jumps in. GM paid it’s bailout debt back ahead of schedule and hasn’t been “Government Motors” since the government sold off its 73+ million shares of GM stock in April of this year.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Well before the automotive world once again turns it’s back on diesels,let me say this about that,Direct injection on gassers isn’t the panacea that the oems would like you to think it is.Nox a problem just on diesels?

    And particulates? Hell no.In fact we have all heard that particulate filters may become standard on future gassers,and that would also have to be cleaned with ‘def’ fluid,or the gasser equivalent. And these turbo di engines that are becoming more popular and available,they burn dirtier then na/port injected gassers.

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just cause there’s some poop in there.Get rid of the poo,keep the kid,and do a major top-down cleanup.Bring in macaroni and his cleanup crew.Jmho…

  15. JDay Says:

    @3 I think you rite about the value of VW diesels going up as they become sought after by people in the know. In a weird way I almost want to try and acquire one now. I know if I had a VW diesel I would try my hardest not to have it “fixed”/dumbed down. Not to mention I’ve never had good experiences with recal situations, when ford sent me notices in the mail that my trucks could both spontaneously catch on fire and I shouldn’t park them near my house or anything else I took them strait to the dealer for the “fix” and they looked at me like I was an alien. Still never got it fixed.

  16. LVcurious Says:

    John, reprogramming the engines will negatively affect the performance, but I am not sure it will negatively affect fuel efficiency. I can see that reprogramming will result in increased fuel efficiency, according to the old adage: more performance, less efficiency. Should apply to Diesel engines as well.

  17. LVcurious Says:

    And now Marcchione (Fiat Chrysler) can merge with someone! VW is cheap and Piech no longer around.

  18. Bob Wilson Says:

    #3 Sunrack,

    An interesting question is to what extent would current owners be vulnerable to an EPA fine for operating their cars AFTER notification that it is not in compliance?

    If I remove or disable emissions equipment from my car, I’m subject to an EPA fine. But if someone learns their car is non-compliant even if no fault of their own . . . does it become subject to the EPA fines?

    I don’t know but perhaps the Autoline Daily lawyers might offer an opinion.

    Bob Wilson

  19. Wim van Acker Says:

    6,7,8,11,14,17: I believe Autoline reported over the past year that Mr. Marchionne made public overtures to have FCA merge with or bought by another OEM and that Mr. Piech specifically snubbed him on behalf of VW Group. Is that a correct recollection?

    If so, an example of how quickly a company’s situation can change.

  20. Marshall Says:

    Two points about the VW mess-
    All of the effected cars will eventually have to come into the dealers for a flash reprogramming. Afterwards they may be down slightly in power, but the MPG should not be effected.
    For anyone that thinks they can avoid getting their cars fixed, think again. You will have no choice. These cars are in violation of federal clean are laws. You will likely be unable to renew your vehicles registration or license plate without getting them fixed.

  21. Marshall Says:

    #20 Yes, I meant to write Federal clean air Laws. [When will Autoline let us edit and fix our posts?]

  22. HtG Says:

    If the states decide they want to fine vw for polluting, think how much they want to fine drivers for doing anything to keep their precious TDIs dirty. Maybe vw will be compelled to alter their software in such a way that it either can’t be tampered be with by tuners or shows evidence of tampering.

  23. John McElroy Says:

    #18. The EPA’s “tampering enforcement” does not apply to individual car owners. You can pretty much do what you want to your car. However, if you live in a state with emissions testing, you will still have to meet your state’s standards. The EPA regulations on tampering only apply to car companies, dealers and after market companies.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 I suspect the TDI cars will migrate away from areas with routine testing, like California and a number of urban areas. I would think someone could take one to most places, including anywhere in Florida, and drive it without having any recall done. We’ll know more about the actual “fix” in due time, but if I had one, I’d probably “just drive it.”

  25. HtG Says:

    If I were a tuner, would I want to risk being caught messing with vw stuff now? You have to know your customers will rat you out in a heartbeat and maybe some of them are really feds in peoples’ clothing doing a sting.

  26. Duke Says:

    I seem to recall John reporting (back in March) about the proposed (Fed) bill that was being put together – to require all owners to get the recalls on their vehicles fixed – or face not being able to renew licenses on said vehicles. Far too many owners do not take their vehicles in (a significant percentage IIRC) to get recalls fixed. This might be the impetus to get that bill through this do-nothing Congress.

    Personally, I have never found one single problem having recalls taken care of – including the one that JDay mentioned. I took it in and in less than 5 minutes they took out that Texas Instrument switch and I was on my way. Then they notified me by telephone when the replacement part came in – another 5-10 minutes. Some peeps spend more time in a fast-food drive-thru line.

    And the Feds have the right to require states to implement such regs/laws – if they want Federal $$$ for highways and roads and such. What is the point of have OEM recalls – if owners don’t get them fixed?

    The real question for me is if this going to (and how many) spread other cars and engines:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/22/taxpayers-wasted-51-million-on-vw-diesel-credits/
    and of course those tax credits will have to be repaid.

    Oh, it does appear that this may spread to others:
    http://blog.caranddriver.com/report-bmw-x3-diesel-emissions-also-exceed-legal-limit/ (a Euro car)

    Wait a couple years and you should be able to buy those V-Dubs for cents on the dollar. And if that bill (par 1) doesn’t get passed, and you own one of them, and don’t get it fixed – you might want to get in the habit of checking for a banana stuck in your tailpipe. Neighbors can sometimes get irate at such things.

  27. JDay Says:

    There is ways around California smog but it’s getting harder and harder every time around. The thing is that the VW diesels ALREADY do pass emissions when being tested in the regular way so if u took one in that hasn’t been reprogrammed the smog people are going to have to develop a special procedure just for these cars to see if they have been reflashed to pass smog all the time not just when they are going thru there predictable procedure. This could get interesting.

  28. MJB Says:

    20.

    Hmph. Your assertion could only be enforced in states with mandatory emissions testing already in place (Kit provided this link two days back: http://www.dmv.org/smog-check.php )

    Ironically enough though, all that would be necessary for a current owner of one of these diesels to evade the mandated fix is to go and pass the DMVs mandatory emissions test – which, by the way…It is already designed to do automatically.

    In essence, a test will not prove a car has been fixed.

    So the only way for any DMV to know a particular car has been “fixed” (neutered ;) ) is by having a database of VIN numbers available that only VW can edit.

    Of course, then you possibly run the risk of owners bribing dealers to get their VINs on that list… It’ll happen for sure.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if any state (Cali) can ban any automobile or brand to be sold there. based on pollution issues?

  30. JDay Says:

    Maybe they will make u go to these new STAR smog stations we have now here in California. Those guys are real smog NAZIS. Last time they said I couldn’t smog cause I had off-road tires. This time I registered in borrego springs. No smog, problem solved.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 I suspect CA, and other areas with testing, will find a way to over-ride the over-ride of the test. Some people at WVU might be able to help them.

  32. MJB Says:

    Okay, completely off-topic:

    What’s with this new Mercedes GLE Coupe? It’s clearly an SUV, but they’ve dubbed it a “Coupe”.

    I understand the coupe classification with respect to a select few 4-door sedans. But isn’t Merc stretching it just a bit too far here? THIS IS AN SUV – NOT A COUPE!

    http://assets.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAssets/FutureModels/Responsive/2016_GLE_Coupe/Gallery/2016-GLE-CLASS-COUPE-FUTURE-GALLERY-008-GOE-D.jpg

  33. JDay Says:

    30 I’m sure that if the law makers want it bad enuf and they get creative enuf they will figure out a way to make people do something they don’t want to do. Basically hold your vehicle registration hostage until u comply or die. But on the other end of the spectrum I wonder if there is a remote possibility that these cars could be given a pass or be (grandfathered) in as some people would call it. I mean lets say there is no “good fix” for these vehicles and the reprogramming makes them run like crap and owners resist the fix. You can’t realistically expect VW to buy this many vehicles back to melt em down, and all the compensation for owners and on and on. Might be easier to just fine VW into bankruptcy and let people keep there damn cars.

  34. JDay Says:

    We’ve only been smoging diesels for a little while anyways. We all see people “rolling coal” what’s up with that. Maybe these VWs will officially be the last dinosoars….

  35. G.A.Branigan Says:

    There’s a hell of a difference between ‘rolling coal’ and the vw diesel thing.With vw,they just don’t burn as clean as they are supposed to,it’s not like they are spewing black smoke all over the place.Geezzz.

  36. JDay Says:

    Well thanks for pointing out the obvious. No duh they aren’t putting out as much pollution as a diesel dually I never said they were. What I’m saying is that there is like a million slightly older diesel vehicles on our roads today that would be considered super gross polluters by today’s standards and make this VW thing seem like child’s play.

  37. Steve H Says:

    VW not seen so “bullet proof” now with their latest shenanigans exposed….maybe a boon to GM’s new small diesel or cause the public to give diesel engines thumbs down altogether.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The half life of the cars will be about 10 years, and most of them will migrate out of places where they do smog testing.

    I suspect California has more than its share of TDIs now, though. At least the last time I was in CA, in San Jose, I saw a lot of them, and also a lot of Minis and Priuses.

  39. JDay Says:

    @28 California has played that game before. My girlfriend a few years ago had a 79 Z28 with automatic and when we considered switching to manual we found out real quick that all the California models were 110% automatic only for smog reasons and also that if u switched it over to 4spd you would fail smog on visual alone as soon as the smog tech sat in the car. California is special. I heard some ware that California is the worlds 10th largest economy and no company wants to be barred from selling products here. That’s why they took BPA out of baby bottles.

  40. Bradley Says:

    I don’t have state or municipal emissions checks where I live.

    So in theory I could avoid a dealer and not get the fix.

    However, As long as VW gives me money back, I will accept the lesser performance.

  41. LVcurious Says:

    19. You are correct. Piech told him to get lost. Now is another chance for Wrangler to save the Germans from themselves.

  42. HtG Says:

    31 I don’t think I can be friends with anyone driving the GLE coupe.

    Most other stuff from Daimler? I’m easy

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wondering if Sergio’s diesels, like the GC and Ram 1500 have “special tricks.” If so, we should soon know. Maybe the regs are much more lax for trucks.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 I don’t understand why anyone makes these tall, slopey-roof hatchbacks. None of them sell well. You’d think M-B might have noticed that from BMW’s and Honda’s experiences.

  45. HtG Says:

    It is weird. They’ve got to have data supporting these ick-mobiles. What’s that BMW thing? The X4?

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, X4 is the new, smaller one. I like wagons and regular hatchbacks, but I don’t like these things. I don’t many other people do either, not just in the U.S., but anywhere.

  47. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #35: Yup,and even more gassers out there doing as bad if not worse.Still,all of our available powerplants(ice) are a helluva lot cleaner then they were back in the musclecar daze,which I remember all so well.

  48. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Wanna know who I think is cheating the system? Ford with their egoboosts.High comp ratio,turbocharged and higher combustion temps = a lot more Nox,and the dreaded particulates.I wonder just how far this stuff really goes.

  49. G.A.Branigan Says:

    We don’t have statewide emissions testing,here in Oregon it goes by county.My county has mandatory testing every two years.It cost 20 bux.All they do is hook up to your obdII port,start your engine,and hit you for 20 smackers.It takes more time to yank the cash out of your wallet then it does to ‘pass’ the test.No tailpipe connections,rollers etc.None of the stuff you would expect.

  50. JDay Says:

    47 Well that’s not much of a smog check at all. So if u got no codes and no white smoke u pretty much pass? Reminds me of the states that just do safety checks.

  51. JDay Says:

    I think all the high performance direct injection engines especially ecoboost are “tuned” or “rigged” to pass emissions in a very tight little sliver of operating parameters and as soon as u mash on it on a freeway on ramp or going up a hill u can kiss that goodbye. U can literally see the smoke coming out the tailpipes and it smells like a boiled rotten egg in vinegar.

  52. motorman Says:

    Cat and Navistar got caught years ago doing this on their over the road truck engines.

  53. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 49 JDay: Watch the autoline after hours,I fast forwarded to the vw part.They talk about how these tests are done to get certified.

    Yes,in my state/county,it’s a nothing test.It’s designed to remove 20 bux from you wallet and nothing more.

    @ 50: I think that’s why Cat got out of the over the road engine business.The ROI just wasn’t enough to go through all the epa bullshit.

  54. Rob Says:

    So John, if the EPA’s reach does not extend to the individual owner, and people can tune/modify their cars (as many already do)to the point they exceed fed regulatory emmissions. Then why even force these cars to be fixed? If people are required to have the recall done they can just as easily buy an tuner patch to change it back and in states and counties that require testing will still pass testing, so no one will really know if the fix is done or not.
    Currently it is no different than if every diesel owner already bought a tuner cheat that only makes the car pass during a test. hum

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just played AAH, and the discussion mostly ignored that some of the 2.0 TDIs, including 2015 Golf and Jetta, and all of the Passats HAVE urea injection. Can they legitimately pass the NOx test?

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I predict an uptick of Fiat sales for October, as the result of special product placement they have been receiving.

  57. ukendoit Says:

    I just found an old photo of that brand new Toyota Taxi!
    http://www.amcpacer.com/images/archives/4door2.jpg