AD #1725 – Best September Ever, Nissan Offers Mobility Services, Don’t Kill VW w/ Punishment

October 19th, 2015 at 11:50am

Runtime: 6:11

- N.A. Sets Production Record for Sept.
- Nissan Offers EV Mobility Services in Cali.
- Toyota Avalon Gets Very Slight Refresh
- Bernie Ecclestone Disses U.S.
- BMW Partners with Uber
- Let’s Not go Overboard w/ VW Punishment

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Hyundai, Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and MEDC.

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher | YouTube

Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website:

56 Comments to “AD #1725 – Best September Ever, Nissan Offers Mobility Services, Don’t Kill VW w/ Punishment”

  1. HtG Says:


    vw has the best legal representation money can buy in the US, Kirkland and Ellis. It’s not like the govt gets to just whip a corporate body out of spite.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Ecclestone: What a douchebag,period.

    John Mc: You are 100% right.But never the less,the fight is on against diesels,even though we have and use the clean technology.

    Could it be that certain factions were just waiting for a ‘right time’ to jump on diesels as evil nasty polluters, to promote their favorite tech? Despite the facts that most don’t have the capacity to charge millions of vehicles due to an aging electric infrastructure?

  3. dcars Says:

    VW –
    Yes punish the guilty, but the guilty are hiding behind layers of Corporate elites. The Peichs installed loyalists that will protect their interests. Volkswagen is too important to Germany and they will bail them out no matter what happens. VW and the Porsches survived WW2 I’m sure they’ll get away unscathed from this too.

  4. Bradley Says:

    I don’t care if ultimately it was the janitor that made the decision to cheat emission tests. It is clear VW’s culture is either massively flawed or simply more than just a few knew about the cheat devices. As they did it for almost a decade, and they didn’t even stop doing it on their own.

    The common worker isn’t benefiting from these decisions. It is only the executive culture.

    Just like when GM collapsed, people defended them because they imagined an impossible world. A world that didn’t account for the fact the majority of factories, and jobs would survive. They just would be under new ownership.

    What is wrong with this example, Google acquires its manufacturing needs as a result of VW having to sell off brands to survive?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Given the economic importance of VW, I certainly agree that the “punishment” should be directed at those who directed, and covered up the cheating. When this all settled out, it may be determined that diesels can’t be made clean enough when there are millions of them in cities like London and Paris, or when made clean enough, they won’t have much efficiency advantage over gas cars. Current EU NOx limits for diesels are 4X that for the US, and maybe that’s not good enough for some cities.

  6. Wim van Acker Says:

    @ John McElroy: agree with you that legitimate diesel powered vehicles should not suffer from the VW 2.0L/1.6L scandal. VW’s cheating should be dealt with, but treated as a VW problem which it is, not a “Diesel problem”. And not even all VW Diesel engines are part of the fraud: the 3.0 L VW diesel engines (used on Audi Q5/Q7 and A6/A7/A8 in the U.S.) are not part of the scandal as far as I know since they have a Blue DEF unit attached to the Diesel engine.

    Diesel power has distinct advantages over gasoline under North American driving conditions (with freeway speed limits) thanks to its torque. My Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 L Diesel has more torque than the 5.7 L Hemi gasoline engine, which leads me to the following:
    typically Diesel engines are credited with a 20-30% fuel efficiency gain compared to gasoline engines with EQUAL displacement volume. That efficiency gain is almost the same as the higher energy density of the two different fuels, by the way. IMHO for the situation in the U.S./Canada you may alternatively compare the two engines on an EQUAL TORQUE basis, since that is more indicative of the real-life driving experience. And then the Diesel powered engines stack up much better than 20-30%, like in the case of a Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 L Diesel/5.7 L Hemi gasoline engine.

    What do you think?

  7. HtG Says:


    The question of the fate of diesels is also about the justification for favorable EU tax treatment for the fuel over gasoline. Why would the vw scandal affect this tax policy?

  8. HtG Says:

    more vw

    But will the EPA and air quality regulators in the rest of the world clamp down now on all vehicles? Will more realistic appraisals of emissions expose the reality? That’s a problem for everyone.

  9. motorman Says:

    even if they are as clean as gasoline engines where is their advantage ?? the engines cost more to buy and the fuel costs more so even with better MPG where is the advantage for a diesel engine over the gasoline engine ???? in a truck the torque is a advantage if you are pulling a load.

  10. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Diesel in my area is the same cost as reg gas,some places a bit cheaper.

  11. HtG Says:

    Mr. E.

    Too bad Bernie didn’t share his opinion of US bribery laws and the enforcement thereof.

    –Now you see? F1 websites in the UK will not post a comment on the matter of Bernie’s most gross business dealings, so cowed are they by the threat of their libel laws.–

    Yet the corruption in F1 is working its way, undermining the business and the sport.

    btw, I can’t tell if Bernie is demented

  12. HtG Says:

    If anyone would like to assist in my clinical assessment of Bernie, here’s a link to an interview Max Moseley and he did for a German television channel on the problems in F1.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 The diesel GC gets 26% better EPA overall mpg than the 3.6 V6 gas, and 50% better than the the 5.7 V8 gasser. That’s big, especially in the case of the V8. The tradeoff is that the V6 gasser is a little quicker than the diesel, and the V8 is a lot quicker.

    Unless you just like seeing small numbers on a tachometer, does engine torque really make any difference, when everything has an automatic transmission, which selects the best gear for you? Power is what makes a vehicle accelerate or climb. The higher rpm gas engines just needs to be in a lower gear than the diesel to get maximum power.

    10 In Kokomo, Indiana, diesel is 37% more than regular gas most places. I have no idea why there are such big differences, by region.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe Bernie should move to Syria, as a consultant for Putin’s forces.

  15. Jon M Says:

    On the one hand the story about Ecclestone is a bit of comedy relief, but on the other hand reporting on such verbal spew from…uh…that guy is hardly worth the time. He would probably also insist that Bernie Madoff had a right to use the money investors gave him however he choose and that Ponzi schemes are just another legitimate form of crowdfunding.

    Ignore it and it’ll go away. Regardless, don’t let knuckleheads and their foolish words get to you. Comedy relief it is.

  16. jack576 Says:

    I don’t think VW’s cheating should be minimized the least bit. Being it was intentional, I would say the people involved with the decision of cheating, should be charge of a crime. With GM many people died, and I’m sure many people also died with the pollution VW created. The question is, how many died from the VW fiasco? One would have to know how many people died from the pollution to set a fair punishment. The person who made the final decision to cheat should go to jail. I’m sure VW made a lot more money from the cheating and we should make sure that crime does not pay.

  17. Steve W Says:

    If you think VW only cheats the government, imagine my surprise when my VW with a 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty had the battery die in the 3rd year only to be told that the battery is warranted for 2 years! Screw VW!

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Drive a whatever car with a gas engine in a mountain state,then drive the diesel version.You’ll have your answer.

  19. WineGeek Says:

    John we all know the VW diesel problem was not put together by 3 “rogue” engineers on their own. The punishment for VW needs to take into account that this software adjustment idea and authorization came from the highest levels of the corporation. Therefore the cheating scandal deserves the severest punishment possible and prosecution of the individuals involved in making the decisions not just the lowly workers put up as scapegoats. The scspegoating is what usually happens with a sacrificial lamb being thrown to slaughter while the true perpetrators ride off into the sunset with a bag full of money!!

  20. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 16: And what proof anyone died from VW’s screw up? Prove that said ‘possible’ deaths were directly attributable to only VW diesels.Large trucks that may not have fallen on the same regs that cars did,they are off the hook and it’s all VW’s fault?

  21. Wim van Acker Says:

    @16: fully agree with your point of view. As sad as any fall out would be for the 600,000 VW employees (minus those few who were part of this fraud) who work hard in their jobs, I believe we should not have “Too Big To Fail II”. As 4. Bradley already mentioned I also believe that partial or full collapse of VW (if it would even come to that) would not be the end of the world. “Just” change of ownership of (part of) it and some rationalization if needed.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 Yep, the gasser will spend more time in lower gears.

    The only diesel I’ve owned was a VW 1.9 TDI with a manual transmission. It had taller overall gearing than the gas version, and you could feel that it had more torque at 2500 rpm than the average 1.9 liter 90 hp engine. Even with the taller overall gearing, I’d do a lot less down shifting than I do with, say, my MINI with its smaller, but more powerful gas engine.

  23. Marshall Says:

    The Nissan New Mobility Concept AKA, Scoot Quad flunked the test, and it is not even out yet. At $8 per half-hour or $80 for a full day, those prices are great if you are a millionaire. But even then I doubt any rich dude would want to tool around town at 25 MPH.

    No thanks. The best solution is to just rent a econo box from your local car rental company for half that estimated daily rate of the Nissan.

  24. HtG Says:

    20. I’m not counting deaths, but thinking about the rule of law. vw admits that it broke the law for years. If they are not punished then the state loses its power to direct people to obey the laws out of self interest. If the state decides to prosecute the corporation, then vw will have the court process to defend itself.

    It’s remarkable that vw put itself into this position, and I fear they feel the knife on their throats now to the extent they will say and do anything.

  25. Rob Says:

    VW; I see this emissions fiasco affecting diesel engines similarly as mass school shooters affect gun control proponents. The initial knee jerk reaction to ban diesels in Paris is as silly as trying to ban guns in the US. It’s an over-reaction, and until level heads surface and realize government regulations to mandate in industry into building cars that no one wants is a foolish endeavor, they will still try to dictate EV over IC and IC over diesel. As John pointed out they can make their regualtions but should not try and dictate how to achieve it. One day someone could invent a breakthrough design that could make Diesel cleaner than IC engines but not if they are banned.
    Promote ingenuity and development; do not stifle it with regulation and mandates. Set the bar and leave it up to the engineers and scientists to figure out how to meet the expectation with whatever route they choose. IMO

  26. Rob Says:

    23 I’m with you. If that Nissan takes off I’m buying a fleet of golf carts buying the enclosure and renting them for $50 a day or $5 an hour. I can even buy 2,4,6,and 8 passenger ones.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Do you think anyone else is doing the same thing as VW, but hasn’t gotten caught?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 I agree that it would make no sense to specifically ban diesels in Paris, but maybe they should have the same emissions rules as gas engines. Also, it might be reasonable to, over time, ban older diesels in Paris and other cities. The last time I was in Paris, not too long ago, the air quality was not good.

  29. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: I’m all in for severe punishment for the ones that ordered the cheat codes to be developed and used…absolutely!! Take it where it goes and then nail their hides to the barn wall-no problemo.But as I said before,don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.The rank and file new nothing of this,and shouldn’t suffer because of this,which of course they already are.

    @ Rob: Yup,I agree 100%.

  30. Stude Ranch Says:

    I agree with you John on the punishment to VW but when it comes to regulators, common sense is not part of their brainpower. Just look at the FAA in years past. When planes were first being hijacked they closed observation decks at airports. When was a plane hijacked from an observation deck? Never ! Just an example of regulators stupidity.

    As far as Bernie & his bribery tactics- we need all the F1 teams to boycott this idiot & force him out! They don’t need him. His political views are secondary, his morals mean more!!

  31. Barry Rector Says:

    You speak with sooo much common sense concerning the VW/diesel issue. I wish all parties would take your approach to it, so that there would be minimal collateral damage to innocent groups throughout the VW company!

  32. Rob Says:

    #28 Kit I understand the air quality might be bad but those older vehicles met whatever requirement that were set during their production. I dont think banning is the answer. They should promote the newer cars. Intice people to get rid of the older dirtier cars. Offering a clunker buy-out like the US gov did or tax break for new cars or even issue permits to enter the city based on vehicle particulate rating.

  33. HtG Says:

    27. I sometimes read about price collusion among suppliers. And didn’t GM order an internal review when this vw news came out? So I don’t think anyone should be certain that there’s no bad acting happening in their own company.

  34. Albemarle Says:

    I agree with you John that many people at VW, their suppliers and dealers are innocent. The problem is how to punish or reform the guilty parties. The VW organization is the guilty party. The only way to reach the guilty individuals in the organization is to hurt them and the company in the pocketbook badly.
    So cause VW so much economic pain that it’s in the best interests of management to play by the rules. That’s the way to ensure all the innocent people affected will get some justice.
    After all, even other manufacturers were victims in this scam because their cars appeared uncompetitive to a VW diesel.

  35. gary susie Says:

    I would like to see the people responsible for this fraud put in jail rather them the co. fined into bankrupty. That would maybe stop these peole at the top from thinking they are beyond punishment. If you just go after the company you will be hurting the workers the most.

  36. HtG Says:

    A few weeks ago the US Attorney General said the DOJ was going to pursue individuals at companies. Here’s her chance to set an example.

    Oh, and let’s keep in mind that the US Attorney in NY said that his office had prosecuted GM and its employees to the fullest extent of the law over the ignition switches. I won’t be surprised to see the same approach with vw.

  37. Lisk Says:

    I don’t think people understand the scope of the VW empire. The mere thought of breaking VW up or having it exist under new ownership would be a disaster. Investors (China) would rob VW for their technical know how and patents with little respect for the workers in Germany. It would be like what has happened to Volvo, only to a much greater scale.

  38. fred battle Says:

    I have no faith that the actual VW corporate decision makers will be touched or punished. The press should call these crooks out in the media as the minimum that should be done. maybe the pending Hollywood movie will do this. Fred

  39. Bob Wilson Says:

    The threat to VW is in the hands of the Europeans. The 482,000 out of 11 million is ~5% of their total volume. Rather the true threat are the ‘hacking coughs’ of Europeans and their children. That is what threatens VW and diesels and their employees . . . breathing.

    Yes, diesels can at least match ordinary gas car emissions but it isn’t free nor cheap. But the cat is out of the bag and no doubt every diesel will receive more attention than before. Other diesel manufactures face a technical and marketing challenge that just became a little steeper.

    As for the 482,000 already sold, roughly 3% of any fleet disappear each year from accidents and mechanical failures. The evaporating value of these cars will soon enough lead to early recycling of their parts. Perhaps the bodies of EVs and hybrids.

    As for the concept of “clean” and “diesel,” it has been thoroughly debunked by the cheat. Our USA bias against diesels has only been reenforced.

    Bob Wilson

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #31 Some kind of incentives to get the older ones out of the big cities would be useful for air quality, but they will die of natural causes eventually, and be replaced with newer vehicles.

    Actually, I don’t know why anyone in Paris would even want a car, except during subway strikes.

  41. Kate McLeod Says:

    Those million more or less employees were victimized by VW’s greed. Don’t over punish the victims of VW’s lies. But punish those who made the decision wholeheartedly.

  42. GND Says:

    I must have missed the Hollywood movie about the multi million dollar settlements re emission standards cheating by GM, Ford, Honda, Mack and Volvo.

    Thanks for the more balanced reporting, John!

  43. George Ricci Says:

    Right now it seems that the California Resource Board and the EPA are obsessed with Electrics and Hydrogen fueled vehicles. They label these things Zero emissions which is totally misleading since fossil fuels where used to manufacture the electricity and hydrogen. In addition where are the rare earth metals for electric motors and lithium for batteries coming from? Not from the United States, so much for energy independents. It seem one part of government does not understand what another part is doing and none of the politicians understand the BIG picture on how this all needs to fit together.

    George from Sunnyvale

  44. Rick L. Says:

    One of the main reasons I purchased the TDI was because of the “historically” high resale/residual value. When I recently asked my auto insurance company the value of my car if I totaled it tomorrow – they could not give me an answer. Don’t you think, TDI owners should be compensated for the loss of resale/residual value? Is it $ 5k, $ 10k, $ 20k? I think VW owes me that? With the now smaller difference in MPGs and performance with smaller turbo gas engines – if the recall reduces the MPGs and performance – that is another fraud I should be compensated for…..

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 The lithium is from Chile and Bolivia.
    It looks like the U.S. needs to stay on better terms with those countries than is the case with some South American countries, like Venezuela.

  46. HtG Says:

    vw again

    John, I think one part of this fiasco that will weigh upon the actions of the govt is that vw lied to regulators for a year. It’s a really big deal to make false statements, as Martha Stewart found out; she got nailed for lying to the attorneys, not for her insider trading. In my own neck of the woods, we’re preparing a letter to a top administrator, and you better believe we’re making sure everything is factual and the tone of the letter is respectful. vw will have to pay a high price for its arrogance, above what it did to cheat the testing protocols. I think if jobs of vw’s employees get threatened then it will be the German govt that bails them out.

  47. HtG Says:

    Off Topic

    The Guardian reports that the leftist govt of Oslo, Norway has moved to ban cars from the city center. Kinda a weird thing to do in a petrostate like Norge.

  48. Ziggy Says:


    Some questions you might like to answer to help us all understand the VW diesel debacle:

    1. 40 times a small number is still a small number, just how much pollution are we talking about here? If you were driving behind a vehicle with this “bad” engine would you notice it by sight or smell?

    2. When are we going to see the results of testing the VW diesel vehicle with the engine locked into the “passing” test mode so we can see how much slower it really is? Maybe it is livable that way, maybe not. Seems that if it isn’t that bad then that would be the easiest, cheapest, and most practical way to make those vehicle whole again.

    3. How soon before we see VW plant some trees or do some other “pollution reversal” stategy to try and win back the general public opinion of itself? Lots of companies have stepped in it over the years and have come back by way of extremely clever programs to win back the hearts of the short memory public.

    Thanks John, look forward to your answers incorporated in your future shows.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46, Sorry I’m not John.

    2. CR tested them in cheat mode. The link was posted a few days ago, but you must have missed it. Anyway.

    40 times a small amount of nitrogen oxides, times many thousands of cars in a city results in smog. You wouldn’t smell it while driving behind on car.

  50. Jesse Says:

    GM failed to fix faulty ignition switches even after they knew what was up for years and years and actually killed people because of their lying and arrogance..and deceipt.. And they got a big fine and a ” don’t do that again”! And yet, because VW lied about emissions they should be drawn and quartered… Hmmm, plenty of people with their own agenda to push out there. I don’t really care one way or another since I will never drive a VW anything… But… Let the punishment fit the crime.. It sure as hell didn’t in GM’s case…

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 People in the GM cars who wore their seatbelts and didn’t hang a bunch of stuff from their keys, as told they shouldn’t do, weren’t “killed by the ignition switches.” Yeah, the switches were easier to turn off than some, or most, but what VW did was so intentional and deliberate, I still have a hard time believing they actually did it.

    I have had VW’s, includind fairly recently, and would consider one again, but but talk about blatent, deliberate violation of the law.

  52. Bob Wilson Says:

    #46 – not John either,

    “. . . The Passat sedan is emitting an amount of nitrogen oxides similar to that of a modern, medium-duty truck, he said, while the Jetta — and its sibling the Golf — have emissions similar to those of a typical modern 18-wheeler, he said. The Jetta and Golf use a different emissions system than the Passat. . . .” (See link on my username to New York Times, Oct, 18, 2015) Source is John German of the International Council on Clean Transportation.

    Replace each Jetta/Golf with an 18-wheeler and you begin to see the scale of the problem. Although NOx is ‘invisible’ to our eyes, it readily generates ozone to tickle one’s throat and a smoker’s cough.

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville AL

  53. G.A.Branigan Says:

    A parody of vw’s dieselgate:

  54. Larry Skellion Says:

    I find the difficulty in this is ,like you said, punish the guilty. That’s a lot harder to do than it seems. Manufacturers often force employees to jobs they shouldn’t, but for fear of losing their job they perform the task… they don’t want to lose their jobs. But when it comes to blame, they always chop the poor guy who had to follow orders… Catching the coercive boss is the real target and often takes a miracle to pin them down.

  55. Lawrence Says:

    My guess is, that the subtle change to Avalon was aimed at distancing the pricier model’s appearance from it’s little brother, Camry.

  56. stephen Says:

    You can bet the German gov will want heads to role and so will the management. They need some to fall on their swords publicly. The German public will not countenance just a fine. As to Diesel tech, the issue in Paris and London is older diesel cars, trucks and buses. To mandate their replacements with 2015 regulated emission vehicles would be very expensive. What will come from the scandal is a brutally more realistic emissions test, more realistic mpg tests (like the US has for cars) and the phasing out of diesel in small cars in Europe. The Germans were fighting a much more realistic test regime as most of their profitable cars are the bigger, more polluting variety (they have lost all that leverage now). Expect all diesels to come with Addblue SCR tech which was rare in the EU market.