AD #1783 – Infiniti Shows “Tacky” QX30, Germany’s Kooky Conspiracy Theory, New GM Engine Makes Ward’s 10 Best

January 22nd, 2016 at 11:41am

Runtime: 7:17

- Honda Fuel Cell to Hit Cali by End of Year
- Back Seat Kit for Mustang GT350R
- Infiniti Shows “Tacky” QX30 Art Display
- Germany’s Kooky Conspiracy Theory
- New GM Engine Makes Ward’s 10 Best

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63 Comments to “AD #1783 – Infiniti Shows “Tacky” QX30, Germany’s Kooky Conspiracy Theory, New GM Engine Makes Ward’s 10 Best”

  1. Lisk Says:

    I’m not sure how adding a back seat into the new GT350R will help with the insurance premiums. It sounds like it’s a cash and carry item from the parts department, not something that was installed at the factory.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like VW needs another CEO replacement, and soon. If Mueller thinks the problem is “not the right interpretation of the American law,” he is certainly not the right CEO for VW, or any other company.

    This whole thing is sad. I like most VW products, and have had some of them over the years, but there is a sick culture in the company, it seems mostly at the very top of the organization. There are no winners here, whether employees, customers, or anyone else.

    As far as the conspiracy theorists, they are everywhere, not just in the U.S. of A.

  3. G.A.Branigan Says:

    My take on vw’s woes is brought on solely by their upper echelon,not the workers.They ordered the cheat codes,and hid them from the world.They got caught,and are now in full damage control,of the upper echelon.Don’t lay the blame on the USA.You do bisiness here,and know the laws and codes you as a company have to abide by.You screwed the pooch,got caught,so own it,and fix it.

  4. Bradley Says:

    VW is making everything worse.

    I will be honest. The more someone praises a GM V6 in terms of being like a V8, the less interested I get.

    V8s are not the future, and they do not hold a place in my heart.

    Kudos to GM for making a good Bigger Engine, but they always did well with bigger engines.

  5. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I meant ‘business’….duh…

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    GM’s new 3.6L V6: great for their cars,but not for their trucks,Colorado/Canyon.

  7. Bob Wilson Says:

    Recently a Florida TDI owner used the Florida Lemon Law to return his cheat-diesel and get his money back (see link on my name.) This should be the VW solution:

    1) Offer a new, equivalent, legal car for trade-in for any cheat-diesel.

    2) Pay the original purchase price plus 25% so the owner can buy another car.

    As for the returned, cheat-diesels, VW can fix them or ship them somewhere else or scrap. It really doesn’t matter as long as VW gets them all.

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

  8. Buzzed Says:

    Germany on VW -People will be believe what they want to believe, we could cover tons of conspiracy theories, or just religion but let’s look at a recent case in Texas where STATE OFFICIALS were sending the national guard to monitor a military exercise in fear that the feds were coming to get their guns!

  9. XA351GT Says:

    Right, the US government put software in VWs to make them fail. The government couldn’t even get a website to work without crashing good luck getting that to fly. At least the birther theory is plausible, The group of ninnys in DC can’t do simple functions. VW just own the fact that you effed up and got caught. You are only making it worse.

  10. Buzzed Says:

    2 seater or 4? In Ontario your insurance is affected by the amount os seats but the other way. The more people you can hall the higher the liability for obvious reasons. I know when I had my C6 the insurance was quite reasonable, the rep said because if could only hold two people and they stood up well in crashes.

  11. Buzzed Says:

    Actually the gov did get the website to work did they not?

  12. Buzzed Says:

    and that wasn’t the gov it was an outside contractor, Canadian I believe.

  13. XA351GT Says:

    That is a fact that 2 seaters are more expensive to insure. Back in 88 I was going to buy the 2 seat EXP ,but it was cheaper to insure a Mustang GT by a couple 100 dollars every 6 months. Made absolutely no sense when you compared the 2 cars

  14. Buzzed Says:

    That is a fact where? You know different places have different laws or rules.

  15. Buzzed Says:

    and things may have changed since 88, you know, maybe a little.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 A lot of why insurance for Corvettes is reasonable, is that the people who buy them, older, experienced drivers, are a demographic who doesn’t crash a lot.

  17. George Ricci Says:

    If you want to send a message to VW about what their CEO said, go to

    Scowl down to VW Owner’s Customer CARE and then click on the “Email US” button.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My experience with “insurance shock” was years ago, when I was considering a 1994 Camaro V8. I checked insurance cost, which was about triple what it was for the car I had, even though I had never had an insurance claim. Apparently Camaro drivers, at that time, tended to crash a lot.

  19. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I loved your commentary John (on VW); admittedly VW sells a lot of cars in the U.S.; however, they do not have ‘juggernaut’ sales that the U.S. Government would feel the need to belittle the brand/country. Are they, VW, trying for a strong offense as a good defense; well, it ain’t working.

    It’s good to know that the newest updated 3.6 has received kudos from Wards. I’ve had the earlier 3.6 V-6 in an ’06 and ’11 Cadillac STS and I have been favorably impressed by both.

  20. C-Tech Says:

    The new GM V6 engine is a top 10 based on the stats and sound? Call me in 7 years after owners have used them for awhile and let’s see how they hold up.

  21. RumNCoke Says:

    I am surprised that ANY insurer would touch a GT350R with a ten foot pole. Same with the C7 Z06, the Hellcats and other extreme performance vehicles. It’s just a matter of time till your friendly Allstate agent takes away the good hands and leaves you with just one finger!

  22. dcars Says:

    I agree totally with your assessment of VW.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 All of Wards’ 10 Best awards are based upon “how the engines work,” not how well they will hold up, which is unknown when the engines are new. Time will tell how any of them hold up, after 15 years and 300K miles.

    Does anyone know if the new GM 3.6 will immediately replace the old one in all applications, or will the new one be phased in over time, only being used in the Camaro and ATS, for now?

  24. Jon M Says:

    Wow, if Matthias Mueller is still CEO next week, then VW’s problems are worse than believed even now! Mr. Mueller would fit right in with a certain U.S. presidential candidate who lacks any notion as to how to handle flagrant maleficence when you’re clearly guilty. But sounding like a blathering buffoon he did well. As for the conspiracy, who do these theorists suppose cooked up this grandiose take-down conspiracy, the EPA? The EPA couldn’t find a Snickers bar in a backyard swimming pool, let alone orchestrate an anti-German blitz! The worst part is that this a RELATIVELY easy problem. Make no mistake, there are huge implications, but compared to what a company like VW could face, a large contingency and good PR could go a long way in making this problem disappear in RELATIVELY short order.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I could be wrong, but while some people will get crazy with those cars, the aging baby boomer who buy them, for the most part, have good driving records, regardless of what they are driving.

    I wouldn’t expect the finger from Allstate, just somewhat higher premiums than for most other cars.

  26. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #23 Kit
    I believe the LGX (newest 3.6) will gradually replace the older LFX 3.6; the engine family is widely distributed throughout GM. It is used in cars, trucks, with variations between transverse engines, longitudinal and even varying h/p’s by brand (usually intake and exhaust causing the differences in output).

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #25 Kit
    Agree, while higher performance cars do carry a premium in insurance, all factors can make a difference in the bottom line premium. A lot of these high performance vehicles are on the higher end of the spectrum (in cost) so that does exclude some of the younger drivers (who may be more prone to a, let’s say, more aggressive driving experience), and while that doesn’t preclude an older driver from irresponsibility, it does count for something (on average).

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 VW blatantly cheated on emissions tests, and the world now knows it. Mueller is saying he thought it was ok to change the engine controls for the testing, from how the controls work for normal use of the vehicle. Whether Mueller thinks that is true, or is just trying to convince people it is true, he NEEDS TO BE GONE, YESTERDAY.

    There is nothing that will make the problem disappear any time soon, either in the U.S. or Germany, but having someone running the company why owns up to it would be a good start.

    As Bob Wilson says in #7, VW needs to buy them back, from those who want to sell them. I know someone who has one, and intends to just “drive it out,” unless forced to do otherwise, but many will not want that option, for various reasons, both concern about the environment, and financial reasons.

  29. Cozy Coles Says:

    Did the VW TDI ever make the Wards ten best engines list. Cannot remember, but that would be interesting! Cozy

  30. Rob Says:

    #25 Got that right Kit. The insurance co’s will be more than happy to take your money to insure anything you want. Its just a matter of your premium.

  31. HtG Says:


    Months ago I was reading about people in the Wolfsburg area coming up with victimhood explanations for this scandal. Maybe the whole country is truly scared that its brand has been crushed and this scapegoating is the only way they can talk about it. The cultural veneer is quite thin as we’ve learned. I wonder how the arguments go when someone brings up the fact that it was a German environmental advocacy group that began the whole investigation. But there is an important political point to the US’s future actions in that it will be the Justice Dept head who will make the call on whether to prosecute vw and its employees. And Loretta Lynch is a political employee answering to Obama. It’s probably worth it to put some pressure on the both of them.

    As to Mueller, he really can’t admit to certain damning facts. Rather, he and vw may have taken the decision to force the US to convict them in court. That would be consistent with vw’s refusal to divulge executive emails, citing German privacy laws.

    Mueller mis-peaking to NPR is a little rich for me. I’ve done interviews with major news outfits, even been on the tv, and one thing that’s basic is to anticipate the questions and work out your answers BEFORE the interview. How do you think people come up with answers so fast? They’re editing learned replies on the fly. It also helps you resist the narrative of the reporter if you know your lines. Mueller really effed up, even if it was noisy where he spoke.

    That’s why I say it’s Popcorn Time. No invented drama or sports event(unless Brady loses) can match this stuff from the auto industry. Real people, real consequences.

  32. Buzzed Says:

    16 – the age of the driver has nothing to do with the car itself, your age may affect the rate but it will for any car. In Ontario insurance changed a few years ago to reflect the costs of repair and liability. A car with those fancy new LED headlights is going to cost you more because they know that any kind of collision is going to cost big bucks. Also the more people you carry the more the liability, insurance companies pay for many of the medical bills even though we have government insurance or socialized insurance. More people more bills in a collision.

  33. Buzzed Says:

    Many people I know pay less for a full-sized truck than for there 4 door car, trucks are better in collisions than cars….usually.

  34. Rob Says:

    So we can assume that VW is counting on the old “Wait it out and distraction theory” to handle this mess. Wait until its old news and people no longer care. Distract people with conspiracy theory’s and reasonable doubt. Meanwhile smooth things over with customers so not to affect future sales. Then deal with whatever the government decides and fight that with legal action. Few people care that the EPA fines a corporation as long as they are treated good.

  35. HtG Says:

    I once tried arguing that Corvette insurance was lower because of the older people driving them. This was on another website and it didn’t go over well, even when I linked to a document showing average ages.

    On the question of rear seats and insurance premiums, I recall there being a premium for my two seater based on it being a two seater. Your old $4K Miata will tend to be owned by kids who haven’t had their fun in life yet.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 When I was considering a Camaro, as mentioned in #18, my insurance agent suggested that I get a Corvette, which would have cost about the same to insure as the Celebrity wagon I had at the time. The problem, was that a Corvette would have cost almost twice as much as the Camaro.

    I ended up getting the “ultimate sleeper” of the time, a Dodge Spirit R/T. It was fun, but not reliable. In 40K miles, it needed a timing belt, and two head gaskets. Fortunately, it was covered by the long powertrain warranty.

  37. Buzzed Says:

    HtG- again, your age is your age. The insurance company asks your age so I don’t see why the average buyer of your car is old or not matters. If an 20yr old buys a car that is typical of older buyers does he get cheap insurance? or do they base it on the fact the they are 20 and buying a sports car?
    And again, different areas have their own nuances or policies regarding rates and the different laws governing that area.

  38. Roger Blose Says:

    The GT 350 rear seat also includes two sets of full seat belts which need to be installed at the dealer for liability reasons.
    All of these the new advanced headlights, LEDs, tail lights, and expensive front sensors will be noted by your insurance carrier when you re-up for a new ride. No more Pep Boy headlight bulb replacements trips for the masses. Pay up!

  39. HtG Says:

    One agent told me that they enter in various info and get a rate from their system. It was like she didn’t even understand how factors were being weighed. Or she was just being polite to me. I asked if my driving instruction course could reduce my rate and she acted like I was speaking a foreign language.(truth is, that instruction saved my ass a few times. Literally. But the insurance only knows I made no monetary claim with them) Just one experience at one company though. (I’ll gladly pay a premium for a used Miata on the day someone whacks my Civic, because you know the insurance co will total the little old thing on the spot)

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 It seems that, in Indiana and Florida, USA, both the claims history of a car model, and the driver’s age and driving history affect insurance rates. Maybe insurance rates are calculated differently in Ontario, or in all of Canada.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    But as HtG found, the agent just enters the information, and you don’t really know what determined the rate they come up with.

  42. Rob Says:

    #40 Yeah lots of things can go into determining a premium from how often that car is stolen to the replacement costs of parts or repairs to things like how far you drive or where you live. I know that Michigan’s rates are about twice of what I pay in Ohio and thats mainly because when Michigan went to no-fault insurance they also did not put a cap on medical liability insurance. So as in many other states where if your paralized from an accident the ins. may pay up to $xx amount, in Michigan if you need assisted living they could be responsible to pay for the rest of your life. So its more than just whether a car has two seats or four.

  43. merv Says:

    couldn’t agree more with your thoughts regarding v.w.

  44. Albemarle Says:

    VW is heading down, with management responsible for missing the brake pedal and hitting the accelerator.

    Which car company can grab the business from VW?
    Just think what Mazda or Subaru could do with those sales?

    What company would VW customers move to if they left VW? Interesting to think about.

  45. Brett Says:


    Your experience with insuring a V8 Camaro is exactly why they came up with the RS Camaro. Looked like a Z-28, but had a V6 and cost way less to insure.

    re: VW
    Is their board of directors not demonstrating the same dull, laissez faire management form as GM did before their crash? “I reject your reality and substitute my own! We are VW! We say what is true!”?

  46. Tom Kendall Says:

    I think that some of the executives at VW must be graduates of the “Joseph Goebbles school of public relations”!

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 Mazda 3 will get most of the lost gas Golf sales. Prius will get a lot of the lost Golf and Sportwagon TDI sales. At least those are the cars I’ve cross-shopped against VW’s.

  48. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I’ll just leave this here :

  49. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Oh,I forgot to say this about car ins.They also weigh the premiums not only on the car,the drivers record etc,but also credit score.You have good credit,your rate are lower.Whoda thunk that?

  50. HtG Says:


    It’s one thing to fake your emissions for years, it’s another to mislead the EPA when they ask you for a year to explain discrepancies. It makes me laugh and writhe in pain, the thought of poking a finger up the Eagle’s hoohaa.


    *by which I mean holy moly**

    **by which I mean a bowl of Peter De L’s ‘Not Good.’

  51. HtG Says:

    48 I haven’t yet checked your link, GA, but let me share a story. A guy I knew from high school did PhD level physics in laser fusion before funding got cut. What field did he go into? Actuarial for insurance. That stuff is complicated indeed.

  52. HtG Says:

    48 Yeah, this kind of fascinating and trenchant Scheiss gets dumped on Friday afternoons before Noreasters.

    There’s a German expression, ‘The eggs are sweating.’ It’s applicable here.

  53. HtG Says:

    @51, 48=47

    Happy Hour has commenced!

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    Could the Chinese buy VW at a very discounted price? w/o all the luxury brands attached to it, which don’t make any money anyway.

  55. jack576 Says:

    The Germans are getting licked by the USA in more than one way and they don’t know how to take it. GM is doing a number on them with the performance of their Caddy’s and don’t like the stiff competition. We can now expect more complaints directed to the USA.

  56. jack576 Says:

    The Germans are getting licked by the USA in more than one way and they don’t know how to take it. GM is doing a number on them with the performance of their Caddy’s and don’t like the stiff competition. We can now expect more complaints directed to the USA.

  57. Tim Watson Says:

    ..a v6 as good as a v8…wonderful! A few years ago I went car shopping with my mom, and the thing at the top of her list was a nice smooth, powerful V8. I’m sure this was a reflex from all the other cars she had. I asked her to sit in a few to see if she was comfortable, and drive a couple of examples to she how she liked them. She picked a Ford Fusion because it had that smooth power that she was used to…. And it was a four cylinder! Honestly, I had a V6 Taurus that had less horsepower than my current four cylinder Altima, and it’s just fine. I think the stigma of the V8 remains…as the symbol of American power.

  58. Tim Watson Says:

    By the way John, it was good having you back for a week filling in for Sean, who I think has come a long way in the past year as host! Good job and many more shows to you both!

  59. Earl Says:

    After VW”s Mathias comments you can’t help but think there’s an arrogance of ‘Volkswagen uber alles’ mentally there. All they need to do now to convince America they are superior and above scrutiny is hire a Sarah Palin type to be spokesperson for the Company.

  60. Martin Says:

    I agree with Volkswagen…. The over zealous regulators need to collaborate with businesses to improve the business climate in the United States.
    Punitive reactions should be replaced with cooperation to fix the problem.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    60 Over zealous regulators? It seems that the regulators weren’t zealous enough, in that they trusted the companies to comply with the rules.

  62. HtG Says:

    60 The rule of law is what protects businesses from fraudulent competitors. The other carcos are watching the govt now to learn how to behave.

  63. David Sprowl Says:

    The US regulators have slammed anyone and everyone with fines. Talk to GM about it’s issues with the ignition switch or Toyota with unintended acceleration or Honda with Air bags Of FCA…… VW’s troubles are just that VW’s and theirs to solve.