AD #1831 – Volkswagen Sued for False Advertising, New Headlights Need Improvement, You Said It!

March 30th, 2016 at 11:57am

Runtime: 8:52

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- VW Sued by FTC for False Advertising
- Opel to Report Real-World Fuel Economy
- Rules for Autonomous Cars Coming Fast
- IIHS Starts Testing Headlights
- You Said It!

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22 Comments to “AD #1831 – Volkswagen Sued for False Advertising, New Headlights Need Improvement, You Said It!”

  1. Todd T Says:

    John, if you’ll recall I’d predicted the FTC action as the next step in the legal issues that could face VW if they continue to obfuscate, which seems to continue to be the guiding strategy. Next up: matching suits from the attorney general or state’s attorney of every state and territory. $70 billion is seeming more-and-more conservative, rather than the extreme.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe cars need to go back to sealed beam headlights which, with proper standards, could work quite well. No, I’m not serious. Car styling would suffer too much.

    Interestingly, the car with the best headlights in the tests is the soon-to-be-replaced, or discontinued Prius V. Newness of design doesn’t seem to be an indicator of good headlights.

  3. Bradley Says:

    I doubt my 2014 Corolla has the same headlights as the Prius V, but my Corolla’s headlights are strikingly good. When I drive at night it still amazes me.

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I really don’t know,without looking in the owners manual,what type of headlights my van has.But whatever they are,they work very well,as in,I can see clearly.When driving at night though,I always run my fog lamps as well.They light up the sides of the road really good for me.Hitting an Elk would not be good for the Elk,or my van.

  5. Rob Says:

    Sean/John Even if the DOT develops some standards for autonomous cars, what prevents states from establishing their own regulations?

    The states typically develop and enforce their own DOT laws since what is acceptable in Nevada may not fly in New Hampshire. Not to say some standardization isn’t a good idea but the only time I can remember the National DOT establishing a standard for all states was the national maximum speed law of 1974 that limited everyone to 55mph. Once that act was repealed in 1995 speed limits reverted back to the individual states. (basically because the est. 2.2% fuel savings only ended up being about 0.5%) So that worked out well.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #5 Huh? Form what I have read over the years, and from some fairly careful checks, mpg drops about 12-15% between 55 and 70 mph. If the fuel usage only changed a small amount after the the end of the 55 mph national speed limit, it was because everyone ignored the speed limit, as I did.

  7. Rob Says:

    Kit certainly slower speeds achieve better mpg especially in cars from the 70′ and 80s with 3 and 4 speed transmissions, but just pointing out that some of the best intentions often times don’t pan out to the expected results. Especially when it comes to the government.
    I could easily see the National DOT establishing criteria for autonomous cars that some very conservative states will still not allow on their roads.
    Below is the site I referenced.

    https://www.motorists.org/blog/fortieth-anniversary-of-the-nmsl/

  8. Ron Says:

    Some of the new cars headlights may be good for them not so good when you meet them is there no standards how bright they can be ?

  9. Rob Says:

    #6 That’s another good reason the testing for published MPG HWY should be revised to what most states have for current speed limit (which is 70 mph). Manufacturers gear and tune cars to achieve the best mpg at a speed most people never drive. If their target was 70 I bet the percentages would be much less than shown below.

    Most cars achieve their published MPG at 55mph
    - 3% less efficient at 60 mph
    - 8% less efficient at 65 mph
    - 17% less efficient at 70 mph
    - 23% less efficient at 75 mph
    - 28% less efficient at 80 mph

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With the “downwardly adjusted” EPA numbers, most cars now get better mpg than the EPA highway number, at a steady 55 mph. My base 2010 MINI gets over 40 mpg, using careful checks on highway driving on two lane roads at ~60 mph. The highway rating is 37 mpg. Going fast drops the mileage, a lot. Three years ago, I drove it from Florida to Indiana, going 75-80 on the interstate, and averaged only 34.x for the trip.

    The gas mileage of my newest car, a Corvette with the 8-speed automatic is not affected much, between 55 and 75 mph. Assuming the readout is the same accuracy at 55 or 75, the car gets 29-30 mpg at either speed. One reason, is that the gearbox is still in 7th at 55, but also, engines are not particularly efficient when delivering a very low percentage of maximum power, as the Corvette engine would be doing at 55 mph.

    It turns out that the average mpg readout on the Corvette is very accurate, over ~4000 miles of fill ups.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 I too, would like to see steady speed ratings at 70, or better yet, 75, which is closer to what people actually drive on the interstate. The ratings would be more realistic. Also, I’d like the fact that higher speed mpg ratings would show people the REAL gas mileage difference between cars and SUV’s. The current low speed ratings show tall vehicles as doing much better than they actually do at speeds people drive in the highway.

  12. Drew Says:

    Most internal combustion-powered vehicle achieve their best fuel efficiency when the engines are closest to their lugging limits in top gear. In other words, they do best at the minimum speed that maintains top gear. 4-Speed vehicles from 15 years ago often attained top gear around 45 MPH. 6-Speed vehicles attained it around 50-55 MPH. I don’t have enough experience with 8, 9, or 10-speed transmissions to make any claim. Of course, optional axle ratios can influence the equation.

  13. Lisk Says:

    The biggest enemy of mpgs is not necessarily engine speed but drag. One running at a steady state, the engine does not need a lot of throttle opening to make the engine run at those revs. Drag is exponential as speed increases. To run a car with a low aero number at 60mph, it might only only take 10-12 actual hp (even though the engine might be developing more at that point) at 120mph the demand goes to 100-140hp.

  14. RobG's World Says:

    Re VW’s $70b lawsuit – Wow i imagine it’s going to be tough to get a hot deal on a new Vee Dub TDI in the next few years while Volkswagon predictably tries to protect and maximize profit margins [or, in a twisted bit of irony -could the reverse happen? LOL]

  15. Jonathan Says:

    Fun show and thanks for not doing a story today on autonomous cars!

    Looking forward to autoline after hours Tommorow!

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I received the May CR today, and they have a lot of stuff on the state of autonomous cars. It would be a very good “one stop” source of info for non car nuts who are curious about what is on the horizon.

    Also, they tested the new 7 series, and liked it better than an S-Class, the first I remember that happening. They also like the refreshed MKX.

    Yes, I’m aware that some people out there aren’t interested in what CR has to say about cars.

  17. Don B. Says:

    Still waiting for the health based lawsuits from people with asthma and other breathing issues. Will we see that tv ads to sue VW?

  18. Earl Says:

    I look forward to seeing a list of makes and models of cars and trucks with inadequate headlights. I would like to see an annual disclosure of headlight tests.
    Incidentally we had a Toyota Corrolla (1993) that had better headlights than my ’94 Cadillac Sedan De Ville.
    Presently I have a Ford Explorer Limited that has HID’s and I’m quite satisfied….automatic high beam on and off works great.

  19. Marshall Says:

    I have wondered aloud here several times why after some one hundred years there is now the big push and rush to implement autonomous cars.
    Why do the manufactures and government want to take driving out of the hands of the public?

  20. Rob Says:

    #19 I don’t believe the government nor the manufacturers “want” to take driving away from the public. This is a technology that hasn’t been available for the last 100 years and now that it is becoming possible its just pure evolution. There are plenty of advantages to the technology and I believe most manufacturers see a future demand.

    There are plenty of people like myself and I assume you too Marshall that enjoy the driving experience. However car enthusiasts and people that enjoy driving is on the decline. IMO.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The technology to make autonomous cars possible is only now becoming available. That probably has a lot to do with the current push toward autonomy. Also, it seems that many people would rather text than drive when in cars, creating a demand for autonomous cars, when they become available, and affordable.

  22. Andrew Charles Says:

    One correction you need to make, Opel is not “adding” SCR to engines from August, they are upgrading the SCR systems for better emissions on the road, in anticipation of future new European RDE (Real Driving Emission) tests. Models with the 2.0 L diesel (similar to the one in the 2015 Cruze) have SCR, but the some new Euro6 1.6 diesels and commercials supplied by Fiat, Renault, or built by GM UK with Renault engines, do not, the latter only need to meet Euro5 standards for commercial vehicles, and like VW, Renault is lagging in SCR introduction even for Euro6 engines.