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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Diesel; or, Inexplicable Safety Measures Must Be Good Or Why Would We Have Them?

Inexplicible safety billboard | by efo

Inexplicable safety billboard. Carvers, Nevada: photo by efo, 2015

How Volkswagen Got Away With Diesel Deception: New York Times International Edition, 28 September 2015

Volkswagen said on Monday that 11 million of its diesel cars worldwide were equipped with software that was used to cheat on emissions tests.
How Did the System Work? The software sensed when the car was being tested and then activated equipment that reduced emissions, United States officials said. But the software turned the equipment off during regular driving, increasing emissions far above legal limits, possibly to save fuel or to improve the car’s torque and acceleration. It is not yet known which systems were modified. But experts are focusing on parts of the exhaust system that are designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant that can cause emphysema, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. 
Which Cars Are Affected? The Environmental Protection Agency has said it will order Volkswagen to recall seven of its American car models with the affected engine type, for a total of about 500,000 vehicles. Volkswagen has not released a list of international models that have the same engine. 

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How Volkswagen got away with diesel deception, in graphics: image via New York Times World @nytimesworld, 29 September 2015

Diesel (Carvers, Nevada) | by efo

Diesel. Carvers, Nevada: photo by efo, 4 July 2015

Taking my #Volkswagen Golf for a spin: image via Matt @Dunlough, 26 September 2015 Cork, Ireland 

"Suicide." @DerSpiegel cover on #Volkswagen: image via Mathieu von Rohr @mathieuvonrohr, 26 September 2015

 #VOLKSWAGEN My daily driver is a Golf GTD. My MOT is due in 2 weeks. Any thoughts or words of comfort??: image via Stuttgart Legends @StuttgartLegend, 26 September 2015  

Regal | by efo

Regal: photo by efo, 26 August 2014

Inexplicible safety billboard | by efo

Inexplicable safety billboard, Carvers, Nevada: photo by efo, 2015  

Diesel panorama | by efo

Diesel panorama. Another view of this splendid tank. Carvers, Nevada: photo by efo, 4 July 2015


L'Enfant de la Haute Mer said...

"The funeral." @DerSpiegel cover on #Volkswagen: image via Mathieu von Rohr @mathieuvonrohr, 26 September 2015

TC said...

I'd have thought that cover represented a bit of nostalgia-clouded subjective judgment on the part of the German magazine, lamenting the loss of a first born son gone mysteriously wrong.

I believe any objective person's sympathy ought to lie elsewhere, though -- provided, that is, the person values, say, life, and the lives of those creatures still bravely attempting to somehow live it, amidst the generalized toxic foulness of the floating bottom line.

The anticipated demise of the biggest gangster car company in the world might well be seen as a good thing, though of course it simply means that now a lot more Toyotas will be sold.

I thought that magazine cover should have reversed the viewpoint, picturing the once bright blue marble hanging dead in space, lost in a cloak of exhaust fog.

And I'd have picked a different caption.

"It's your funeral, world".

(With, maybe, the iconic VW brand logo stamped across the fuming equatorial regions?)

TC said...

By the by, in case anybody who cares doesn't already know, the list of American models now named by the Volkswagen cheaters as accidentally-on-purpose emitting in actual performance up to 40x the harmful pollutant burden previously supposed by their unsuspecting, duped owners:

Volkswagen Jetta 2009 to 2015; Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Convertible 2012 to 2015; Volkswagen Passat 2012 to 2015; Audi A3 2010 to 2015; Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2009 to 2014; Volkswagen Golf 2010 to 2015; Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 2015.

(Volkswagen has not released a list of international models that have the same engine.)

In the interests of reportorial accuracy, I slowly hobbled up to the Mayhem Roundabout, where every day some 110,000 vehicles make the ritual infernal circuit before the bottleneck is siphoned off into the Admiral Styx freeway feeder.

From the upper funnel entry, route of the rich of the hills, a steady stream of vehicles gushed past, making that familiar sucking sound -- it was morning drop-off hour at the private school up the hill, thus a select cut of the local demographic spectrum.

Approximately five out of every eight vehicles I counted had a VW hood ornament.

When a Jetta ran me over in front of the house three years ago, temporarily adopting me as a new hood ornament before flipping me on my head into the broken pavement, among the driver's lame mumbled excuses was "No Turning".

Can that have been because the diesel particulate filter had been mistakenly activated?

And here I'd been consoling myself, all through these three long crippled years, by thinking the cause had merely been dementia.