AD #2538 – Whistleblowers Speak Up at Ford, Trump Breaks Off Talks w/ CARB, New Porsche 911′s Active Aerodynamics

February 22nd, 2019 at 11:59am

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Runtime: 8:42

0:06 Ford Says Its FE & Emission Tests Might Not Be Right
1:29 Trump Admin. Breaks Off Talks with the CARB
2:43 FCA Pays First Ever Dividend
3:02 CR Pulls Tesla Model 3 Recommendation
3:34 Old Teslas Still More Efficient Than 2019 EVs
4:09 New Porsche 911′s Active Aerodynamics
5:09 Maserati Gears Up for New Electrified Sports Car
5:45 Kia to Show New EV Concept in Geneva
6:18 Ford Learned A Lot from Chariot

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53 Comments to “AD #2538 – Whistleblowers Speak Up at Ford, Trump Breaks Off Talks w/ CARB, New Porsche 911′s Active Aerodynamics”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Maybe the auto companies just need to meet the more stringent standards of CARB (and the 13) to keep production homogenous and hopefully let economies of scale keep the extra costs in check.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The biggest problem with the Tesla 3 would be the touch screen not working properly, a big deal, since it is used for nearly all of the controls. The percentage of them with a problem must be fairly low, or owner satisfaction wouldn’t be so high. From the CR report:

    “….some members reported that the Model 3’s sole display screen acted strangely.

    “The touch screen would intermittently begin acting as if someone was touching it rapidly at many different points,” one member wrote in. “This fault would cause music to play, volume to increase to maximum, and would rescale and pan the map in the navigation system.”

    We should know it due time if the issues have been fixed.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I wonder how carefully, and accurately energy usage of the Model X, E-Tron, and i-Pace were measured. It doesn’t make sense that the X would do that much more efficient, being bigger and heavier. It probably has more efficient motors, especially compared to the kind of oddball motors in the Jaguar, but not that much more efficient.

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    John- another way at looking at Ford’s actions with the third party audit is that they are showing full due diligence in having an outside party audit the system. Nah sayers will have less to ammo for conspiracy theories this way.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    1 That would me my suggestion too.

    3. This is not the first time Tesla models were found much more efficient than smaller, less powerful models, in terms of EPA MPGes and other measures. Much more thought and innovation has gone into the design of Teslas than in the design of the largely “compliance vehicles” by other makers. It seems Musk has found a way to exploit the difference between good engineers (the kind that the traditional makers have) and great engineers who are thrilled to do what they do, which is the type he has been able to recruit. (including himself!)

  6. Larry D. Says:

    Ford: “..its computer modeling for fuel economy and emissions tests might not be right ..”

    I love the euphemism. I remember that clown Nair, a Ford Bigwig VP who was recently and unceremoniously fired, due to (allegedly) sexual harassment charges. He was also the one who took all the credit for the fraudulent 47-47-47 pie in the sky, when pigs fly, EPA MPGs fro the Fusion and some bulky pig Ford Hybrid van. Would not be surprised if he was found to be at the center of this new debacle.

  7. Drew Says:

    @6 That “bulky pig Ford hybrid van” is C-sized and smaller than any Tesla. It had the disadvantage of being launched in the winter. When early customers complained of the lower than expected fuel economy, Ford voluntarily revised the labeling downward, despite the original label being in compliance with EPA methodology.

    Also, I see no reason to personally attack Mr. Nair, as insider whispers indicate his departure was NOT related to sexual harassment, but other Internal Ford policy violations. Any further speculation would be unprofessional.

  8. Clem Zahrobsky Says:

    Do they build cars now just to meet Calif standards or do all their cars meet Calif standards that are sold in the other 49 states??

  9. Roger t Says:

    At 75 mph what counts the most is aero. Tesla seems to be the best at that metric, arguably at the cost of style. The other two look better but I’d still take the model x myself.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    7 I am fully aware what it is. It is still ugly and bulky and its advertised 47-47-47 MPG was laughable. NO Tesla, not even the X crossover, looks as ugly and bulky, indeed a fat pig. AND certainly no Tesla is as poor a performer and market FAILURE (which is what really counts) as that Ford with the phony MPG was.

    As a footnote, it is 100% RIDICULOUS for the lazy bums at the incompetent EPA to delegate determining the MPG to the automakers, they should not only do it themselves, but also do it under real-world conditions and NOT, as they have done all these decades, in a little room indoors with the dynamometer.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 Those initial C-Max numbers were pretty suspect, especially the highway rating, but the downwardly adjusted numbers were in line with what you’d expect vs. EPA numbers for other hybrids.

    Here are MPGe numbers for all of the 2019 pure EVs:

  12. Larry D. Says:

    7 I already said myself that I doubted Nair was kicked out just because of the harassment allegations, (EVEN if they were true. Nair was the MPG Czar Ford VP when the phony MPGs were bragged about by none other than Nair himself, and he is the most appropriate person to blame for them.

    If you know him that well, tell me the specific accomplishments that he himself made which justified his promotion to such a lofty and lucrative position.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 The Model X has a lower drag coefficient than the others, but it is 7 inches wider, and 3 inches taller than the iPace, so probably has more total drag.

  14. Mark Says:

    It is baffling how CR ever thought to give the Model 3 a recommended rating when Tesla does not have any track record of creating a quality vehicle. They used to have a policy with most manufacturers that they needed to prove reliability before they could be recommended.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    17 good summary table. It is remarkable how much better are the Highway MPGes for the Model 3 vs much smaller, much less powerful, and much lighter, Pure EVs from other makers on the same list. The Model 3 is 10 to 20 MPGE better.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    14 That is not baffling at all, as CR’s reliability recommendation are based on Owner-reported data. Any Tesla is not any different than any other maker’s models. If the dog does not eat the dogfood, it is not recommended.

    What IS baffling is that it recommended the 3 very shortly after it was on sale, and usually CR refuses to rank NEW models on Reliability until a significant amount of these owner-reported data are collected.

  17. Drew Says:

    @12 Nair was never the MPG czar. For people who love the Ford GT and the Gt350, they can thank Raj Nair. His other major accomplishments were achieved when he was in Manufacturing.

    @11 Yes, the highway number was optimistic, being the product of a shared fuel economy label with the Fusion Hybrid… but the C-Max’s larger frontal area means the Fusion does better on the highway.

    @8/10 Aesthtic assessments are very personal. Relative to other HEVs in the early/mid part of this decade, the C-Max was inoffensive. Let’s be honest, many brands have been “way out there” in trying to present a style that is different. If the choice is between strange-different, ugly-different, and inoffensive, I’ll take inoffensive. Ideally, I prefer “good” or “great” style and tend toward the mainstream part of that continuum (instead of the “different” part of good/great) to preserve resale value.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 CR used to not recommend a car with less than a year of reliability data, except that they would sometimes recommend a new generation of a car with a very good track record, like Camry or Civic. I don’t know what their specific guidelines are now, if any, but they seemed to initially recommend the Model 3 with very few on the road, and only for a few months. They may have surveyed a lot of those owners, though.


    I am all for CARB setting limits on tail pipe emissions as per the exemption that was given to them. Where they cross the line for me was mandating what types of cars to be sold and creating a framework of carbon credits that the entirety of the USA is paying for, but california is solely benefitting from monetarily.

    It will head to court because CARB will not want to relinquish power to the federal government. CARB certainly doesn’t want to give up those cash cow carbon credits which become even more lucrative as they demand emission levels which exceed any known technology.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It is probably a number of little things. The Tesla motor itself might be more efficient than the others. With the Model 3, for which I’ve seen a “rolling chassis,” the motor shaft was transverse, eliminating bevel gears, which helps efficiency. Is it be possible that Tesla’s cylindrical battery cells could have a more efficient charge-discharge cycle than the more typical “pouch” cells?

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 speculation on why Tesla cars are more efficient than most EVs

  22. Larry D. Says:

    11 another surprising result in the list is why the heavier long-range Model 3 would have significantly better, (by 7 MPG) rather than worse MPGe than the cheaper, lighter, shorter range Model 3. Am I missing something here?

  23. Drew Says:

    @19. You are correct about the CARB requirements being beyond known technology. They want things that they don’t want to say in public… fewer vehicles and a majority of EVs or PHEVs. But they are selfishly moving the source of polution and don’t have a plan to expand the grid capacity. They also don’t care about renters, who won’t have a place to plug-in.

    I’m glad I don’t live in California. But I wonder about the sanity of the other 13 states (we already know about California).


    19) It is likely a lot of little things, but the biggest would be the use of an AC induction motor in the Tesla versus the DC brushless in the other vehicles. AC induction is highly efficient at light load (such as driving on a highway at 75MPH). Had they done this comparison for city driving, it would have shown the TESLA to be less efficient. One thing working for TESLA in city driving though is that the regen efficiency is slightly better on an AC induction motor.

    At this moment I don’t see too many people going to AC induction motors because they are very complex to control properly. A fact easily found when I tested a Model X versus an I-Pace on ice. The I-Pace ran circles around the Model X.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I, too, found that, well, interesting. Assuming the tests were, in fact, accurately and carefully done, all that I can think of is that the battery cells have a little more efficient charge-discharge cycle at the lower discharge current you’d have with the bigger battery. Either that, or the power electronics are more efficient when working with a higher voltage voltage from the pack, if that is the case. I haven’t been able to find if the mid range has fewer series modules, resulting in lower total voltage, but the mid range has lower top speed, indicating that might be the case.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 The Model X has somewhat a somewhat better city rating than the i-Pace, 86 vs 80 MPGe, but the highway difference is greater, 89 vs 72.

    Your ice test results are interesting. I never would have expected a big difference, assuming the traction control/motor control of both would work very well on “slick stuff.”

  27. Dan Says:

    All these auto manufacturing companies ‘cheating the system’ to meet environmental standards – maybe the standards are too stringent to be accomplished within reason in the first place. Cars made in the past 10-15 years are the ‘cleanest’ we have ever had. The real problem is the millions of older vehicles [Pre Yr 2000] still out there.

  28. Bob Wilson Says:

    We have had problems with CR since they started their anti-Prius articles in 2001. In 2012, we had to drop them because of: (1) no valuation for MPG; (2) bought into unintended acceleration; (3) false MPG metric, and; (4) the “Bell the Hybrid” movement. Then we reverse engineered their vehicle ‘score’.

    CR puts a very heavy reliance on driver comfort, some on passenger comfort, and no value on operational efficiency, MPG. Given their abysmal mismatch with EPA mileage metrics, we were only able to replicate it by doing 1/4 mile sprints with a cold engine using maximum acceleration and braking. Nothing useful if you have a 5-10 mile commute. It was only the enthusiasm of Prius owners that kept showing up year after year.

    After CR went through three editors, did I find a news stand version that appeared to be accurate and fair. We subscribed and found it OK but the really interesting stuff are the news stand versions that are NOT part of their subscription. So we’re dropping the subscription.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 I guess I missed the anti-Prius articles, because I didn’t have much interest in the car until it became a liftback in 2004. When I bought mine in 2010, they recommended it for multiple reasons.

    As far as CR’s mpg numbers, they are the best we have available. Their “city” ratings are low, but are realistic for typical short trip driving, and are pretty close to what I get in non-highway driving. They are much closer than the EPA numbers. Their highway numbers are for a steady speed of 65 mph. I’d rather they did steady speed of 75, to better replicate normal driving on the interstate, but their numbers are, again, more useful than the EPA numbers. Overall, though, both CR’s and the EPA numbers are useful for comparing cars, with a caveat for the EPA numbers, at least from my experience. Hybrids turn high EPA numbers relative to regular gas cars, and diesels turn low EPA numbers. There may not be any diesel cars sold in the US any more. Mine was a manual transmission VW 1.9 liter TDI wagon, which consistently beat the EPA ratings, “no matter what.”

  30. FSTFWRD Says:

    @26 Bob Wilson. Just curious, who is “We”?

  31. DonWagner1239 Says:

    For those Tesla and Space X followers, you might have seen Elon Musk on the 10 to 10:30 repeat showing of the 9th show of the 9th season of the Big Bang Theory on TBS. He was doing a cameo/extra part washing dishes in a soup kitchen that a couple of the BBT cast were doing volunteer work. Wolowitz (Howard) naturally couldn’t get excited enough about the fact that Elon Musk was there next to him. Best line: “What are you doing here?” Elon said: “Washing dishes”. With Howard “an astronaut”, he couldn’t believe who he was doing dishes next to.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    29 I have the very basic cable subscription, and as a consequence I get my evening news from PBS (which is not news really, but a 5 min news summary and 40 mins of discussions and editorials with a clearly non-representative cast of anchors.

    Recently I did subscribe to emails directly from Tesla, but I do not read any of them except for their weekly summary email. The rest are SEC filings of interest only to accountants.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    26, 28 is “we” you and your spouse, your organization (name?) or just the royal plural?

    I would never have imagined that CR would be “biased against the Prius”, or against any Toyota for that matter.

    The first gen Prius was really bad, a tiny Toyota Echo with a hybrid plant. The next ones were all good, each 10% better than the prior one.

    CR always liked the Prius, and even when recently the Civic/Insight Hybrid, according to CR’w own test, beat the Prius MPG by 2, CR still preferred the Prius.

    Historically, CR liked the Japanese makes far more than the domestics (and with good reason) and even the Germans, which make far better but more complicated cars, which are infinitely more fun to drive than the Japanese, but CR evaluated them on reliability and ‘ride’ and how many shopping brown bags fit in the trunk, rather than handling and peformance.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    27 Steady 75 is when you go on a long highway trip, 500-1000 miles. On shorter highway daily/weekend drives, you do 75-85 on maybe half the distance and considerably less the rest of the time, with traffic, highway construction, entrances and exits to the highway. Steady 65 is even less realistic, unless you are doing an experiment to measure MPG, no auto enthusiast goes a steady 65 for long.

    23, 21, these little differences would not explain the consistent 7 mpg differences and in the opposite direction of what one would expect.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 CR’s highway numbers are very high, but still work for comparison of different cars. A higher speed test would make aero drag a bigger factor in the results, and would widen the gap between trucks/SUVs and cars. The last I knew, CR did their highway mileage test on a public interstate in Connecticut, with a speed limit of 65 mph. That might explain the test speed they use.
    As far as going a steady 65, I do some of that in Indiana in the summer, on lightly traveled two lane roads.

    Regarding the MPGe tests of the mid-range vs long range Tesla Model 3, I suspect the main reason for the unexpected result is some flaw in the testing or calculation. I expect to hear more, at some point. I found a couple discussions about it, and they made no more, if as much sense as what I speculated in #23.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 CR liked the current Prius a little better than the new Insight and Clarity, but there wasn’t a big difference, other than the Prius being more reliable, according to the survey results.

    31 Regarding German cars, the closest current Asian competitor to the E-Class, is the Genisis G80 that you hate, and CR rates the G80 4 points better in “road test” score. If you go down the side-by-side charts using the web page, it’s easy to see why. There are more areas where the Benz is worse, than where it is better, such a rear seat comfort, rear access, “usability” of controls, where there is a big difference. Also, the G80 has more standard safety features, which I think affects their “road test” score. The Benz is better in “emergency handling,” and they essentially tied in braking. As I’ve said before, CR can be a useful tool, but you need to look farther than the “points score” they give.

  37. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Wind, humidity, temperature, road surface and other factors can (and do) effect real and actual fuel mileage; EPA provides a ratio of mileage values that can be factored on an even playing field for the most part, which buyers can glean useful data to make decisions. I believe 65mph is a good compromise speed for comparison as above that, and even up to that, mileages begin to tumble (drag induced).

  38. Larry D. Says:

    34 I do not hate any Genesis, but it is annoying that it gets all the gushing attention and award from the journalists while in fact it is the 12th attempt of the Koreans to make a true Luxury car, and still there is no comparison. The G 80 and 90 do not claim they are an E class competitor but in reality they are closer to S class (in size) than an E. Some (very few)cheap buyers may want to choose the G over the S or the E in their belief they got a good bargain. The closest Asian competitor to E (the gas versions, not my diesel) are the Lexus ES350 and, better, the LS460 or 500 now. Both price wise and in refinement.

    There is such a thing as experience, and Mercedes has been building really outstanding luxury cars since the 1900s and 1910s. Many 1930s Mercs at Auctions fetch 3 and 5 million bucks. Pity we can’t post photos here to show that they were actually superior to even Rolls Royces in quality and everything else. All these 100 years of experience (and successful experience) find their way to today’s models, which offer really top quality at rather modest prices by comparison.

    I’ll have to test drive a Genesis to say more about them, but what I do know is I blame Lexus for forcing Merc to cheapen their seats! I read that the seats in the 80s and 90s mercs had 400 parts or sth, they were more substantial and comfortable than the adequate seats on the E I drive. The one-class bigger and longer 740iL I drove from 2005 to 2017 had more substantial seats, although they were hard to find the ideal position. Maybe the S still has excellent seats.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Given the number of huge pickups and SUVs I see going 80+ mph on the interstate, I’d like to see higher speed tests to let people know what really happens when you drive big, draggy vehicles at high speed. Yeah, the people who buy them probably don’t care.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 The E-Class and G80 are very close to the same size in every dimension. The S-Class and G90 are very close to the same size. The Lexus ES does not compete with the E-Class. It competes with Toyota Avalon, Buick LaCrosse, etc. The LS is closer to the size of the S than the E, but is about midway between the two Benzes in price. I haven’t been in a recent LS, but everything I read indicates that it has been seriously downgraded from what it once was, compared to its most direct competition.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    Some guy who used to drive a 2014 Volt, then claims he drove a “Fusion EV” (probably meant a Focus Electric or Fusion Plug-in) who is obviously infatuated with his Tesla S does some ‘creative accounting’ and concludes with this in bold:

    “…So, my Tesla will cost just $5,060 if driven for 150,000 miles!..”

    TTAC had a story about this article and heaped a ton of abuse on the author for his mistakes and alleged miscalculations, followed by more abuse by the commenters, most of whom don’t like Tesla much

    I may read the whole article, it has lots of other info.

  42. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I read the article “14000 Leagues….” about the Tesla S ownership, and the author did bring up some good and important facts of owning an electric, in his case an “S”. I did have some problems with his optimistic accounting and generally always giving his vehicle the benefit of the doubt (for costs) and such. I’m glad he’s a happy owner but I’ll let you decide (if you decide to read the article) on what others think.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 I read both the Forbes, and the TTAC articles. There is a lot wrong with what the guy said in the Forbes article, and not just talking about the Ford that never existed. ICE cars don’t need a new engine and transmission at 150K miles. You have to be very unlucky to need either. Also, it is too early to know how long the Tesla battery will last, and how much a replacement will cost when needed. Of course, if he keeps the Tesla only 4 years and 100K miles, he won’t need to buy a battery anyway.

    I’ll read more of the comments in the TTAC article. They should be interesting, if biased in nearly all cases.

  44. Larry D. Says:

    39, 40 , 41 what i found interesting in his article is how he made the leap from buying low-priced plug-ins and EVs to the $95k Tesla S ($85k after Fed and CA tax credits) and how jealous the wife was of it so that she bought an X (that might set her back even more). And neither of them looks like a silicon valley multimillionaire, he teaches undergrads at a second tier U in CA.

    Of course CA, esp the LA area, is ideally suited to EVs and half of US sales are in CA.

    I was told MI has a Tesla store in Troy, but actually it only has a gallery that is not allowed to sell you any Tesla, as there is a law in MI that forbids direct car sales by the Makers. That’s why the Auto Critic of the Detroit News who was on AAH a while ago had to drive 3 hours to Cleveland to get one.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is an article with a map showing where there are Tesla stores and galleries. It wouldn’t be very convenient to buy a Tesla if you live in Texas. There are galleries, but it looks like you’d need to go hundreds of miles from anywhere in the state, to pick up the car.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    “Peugeot released details and pictures of the 208 on Monday ahead of the car’s public unveiling at the Geneva auto show on March 5.
    With the exception of the name, almost everything on the new Peugeot 208 is different than the previous generation. It is built on a new platform, PSA Group’s CMP architecture. It has more aggressive styling and new color and trim options.
    The interior has a 3D instrument display, a first for Peugeot.
    PSA Group says it has optimized the CMP architecture to accept both internal combustion and full-electric drivetrains.
    The battery-powered 208 will have 340 km (211 miles) of range under Europe’s new WLTP homologation (equivalent to 450 km under the old NEDC testing).”

    It looks like a small 5 door hatch typical Europeans have to drive in their congested cities with their narrow roads and daily pain of tight parallel parking. Notice how the EU has finally changed its truly LUDICROUS Range estimates to more realistic ones that are 50% lower than its old ones and seem to be similar to the EPA range here.

  47. Larry D. Says:

    43 Very surprising that Tesla would have such high sales in TX when there is not a single store there, and when they cannot drive to any neigboring state to get their Tesla either.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Probably the supercharger network covers most of Texas for the drive home. Yeah, a lot of Teslas are in Texas, but the market share is fairly low. I suspect it would be a lot higher, if it were more convenient to buy there.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    48 They almost have the same sales as in FL which has a ton of red dot stores you can buy a Tesla from. I also would not think TX would be the ideal state for any EV given the long distances. Add the fact that Pickup trucks, the anti-EV, are really popular there. But the triangle Dallas-Houston-San Antonio may have a decent charger network and shorter distances.

  50. Lambo2015 Says:

    #5 That’s funny that you think Tesla got “good” engineers while the Detroit three do not have such talent. Especially when Tesla was forced to build cars in their parking lot under a tent. That’s a spectacular example of poor engineering. Yes they do well within their wheelhouse electronics which being located in silicon valley is no surprise.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49 Neither Florida nor Texas have very high EV market share, both below the mean for the country, but a lot higher than Oklahoma and West Virginia.

  52. Larry D. Says:

    50 Utterly unrelated.You make no sense whatsoever.

  53. Lambo2015 Says:

    52 No doubt it would not make sense to your blind love for Tesla. Your ignorance of automotive design and manufacturing is only matched by your self-importance/ ego.
    It is certainly related as a great manufacturing engineer would have realized they could not produce the volume of cars with the process and equipment that Tesla had installed well before launch. This is simple basic calculations that all manufacturing engineers are well aware of and have done many times. They may have shown great promise in design of the vehicle, but they utterly failed when it came to manufacturing.