/ Motoring

Major car makers respond to our Fuel Claims campaign

Car and magnifying glass

Alongside more than 55,000 supporters, we’ve been putting pressure on the car industry to tell us whether they manipulate fuel tests. 17 car makers have responded…

In the aftermath of the VW emissions scandal, we asked all the major car brands whether their vehicle testing methods were misleading consumers. That deadline has passed, and of the 17 who have responded, 16 have said they don’t manipulate emissions and fuel economy tests.

You can read all the car maker responses here, but if you want the gist of it, Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Nissan, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Volvo, Vauxhall, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Suzuki, Daimler (Mercedez-Benz) and Mitsubishi have all explicitly denied manipulating tests. Fiat Chrysler has responded but hasn’t confirmed or denied manipulating tests. And we’re still waiting on Subaru.

Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat owners

If you own one of the affected Volkwagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat brand cars (there are 1,189,906 in the UK), I have a few updates for you.

The German government gave VW a deadline of tonight to submit a plan on how it’ll ensure affected cars are compliant with the law. And today VW said that a recall should start from January 2016.

The Government has confirmed that affected motorists will not have to pay more car tax even though they may be producing more pollution. And if car owners don’t get their vehicles fixed it won’t be illegal and you won’t be fined but, according to the Department for Transport, ‘it is in their best interest’.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has also said the Government is ‘taking robust action’:

‘The Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK regulator, is working with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that this issue is not industry wide. As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real-world driving emissions.’

We now want the Government to immediately publish a timetable for a genuinely independent investigation and ensure anyone who’s affected can get easy access to redress.

Fuel tests you can trust

There are still issues around the effectiveness of testing.

Currently cars are tested using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which was first introduced in the 1970s. The test lacks real-world driving scenarios and there are numerous loopholes which make the miles per gallon figures unrealstic when you actually get behind the wheel of a car. You can read more about these loopholes here.

The European Commission is planning to implement the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) procedure, where new cars will have to be tested not only in the laboratory but also on the road. The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) will also bring a number of much-needed improvements. That’s why we want the European Commission to announce how it will bring forward these new tests by the end of the year.

When we asked, several car makers also stated their support for the introduction of new tests that reflect real-world driving conditions, including PSA Peugeot Citreon, Renault, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) and BMW.

Do you want to see these new more realistic tests brought forward? And what do you think about the car makers’ responses?


I suggest that best way to tackle exhaust pollution and reduce fuel consumption is to forbid all vehicles not limited to 70 mph (excepting emergency vehicles, etc). Many vehicles are already limited and they seem to manage prefectly well.

The other suggestion is a law requiring slow vehicles to move over or stop to allow any queue of following vehicles to get past. Caravans, farm vehicles and pantechnicons cause force too many of us to travel and speeds below the most fuel efficient.

So Tim believes that roads should only be permitted to be used by people like himself , probably always in a hurry even when there is no particular urgency and the rest of us should just get out of his way. Does this not tell us something about Tim ?

The outdated NEDC testing of fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions is due to be replaced by the World Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) tests in 2017 and the Real Driving Emission test (RDE) tests introduced to give a measure of emissions outside test labs.

For lab tests to be of use for comparative purposes, it is obvious that they need to be carried out under standard conditions. Unfortunately car manufacturers are able to modify vehicles prior to carrying out their own tests. For reasons that I do not understand, this modification is condoned and is part of the reason that most drivers do not achieve the published figures for fuel economy of their vehicles.

It has been suggested that the introduction of WLTP testing would eliminate ‘loopholes’ in testing procedures, meaning that we might at last have cars tested under standard conditions. Here is an interesting article: theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/24/uk-france-and-germany-lobbied-for-flawed-car-emissions-tests-documents-reveal

I don’t think this is very well written but it points to the possibility of continued fiddling of tests after WLTP testing is introduced. I don’t think we will see useful tests as long as we leave testing in the hands of the motor manufacturers.

I have a fiat Panda that I used just for commuting to work. Its a great example of something that does the job. However although the trip computer showed a very good MPG the on the road result was not quite as good. So I kept a mileage and fuel purchased log and this came out roughly agreeing with the computer. However when using the distance markers on the M1 to establish distance there was an over reporting of mileage. This was with almost new tyres supplied with the car inflated to recommended pressure.
It might be interesting to know if this is common.

I wonder whether the apparent discrepancy is because the motorway distance markers [the short posts alongside the hard shoulder] are at 100 m intervals and there are sixteen to the mile. The large blue signs at eye level are generally 500 m apart but sometimes at 300 m or 400 m if visibility is obstructed by bridges or junctions.

Try checking your odometer against your satnav.

dave ireland says:
23 December 2015

that’s because all cars going over 50m kph show your speed as being 5 kph more then you are traveling at. for accurate speed and distance travelled, use your sat nav.

“European Parliament demands car testing overhaul
PRESS RELEASE – 27.10.2015
On the back of the recent revelations that Volkswagen gamed US emission tests and installed so-called defeat devices in millions of cars globally, Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of a raft of measures that would better protect consumers from misleading performance claims of car makers.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) welcomes in particular the Parliament’s calls:

– To introduce on-the-road tests in order to supplement laboratory testing for not only air pollutants but also CO2 (and in turn fuel consumption);
– To introduce conformity testing of production and in-use vehicles;
– For the information delivered to consumers on a car’s fuel consumption performance to be based on real world driving performance and not laboratory based findings;
– For further EU oversight of the type approval process and to consider the establishment of an EU wide surveillance authority;
– On the Commission to ensure a robust EU-wide coordinated investigation into vehicle test manipulation;
– For consumers to be compensated when they have been misled and wrong-doing is confirmed.”

It is a shame that the BEUC release prefers to overlook the fact that the “misleading performance claims of car makers.” are largely (excluding VW’s cheat) down to the EC’s own hopelessly inadequate, out of date and unrepresentative NEDC laboratory test specification. A continual attack on manufacturers rather than including the part the other culprit plays is not a balanced and fair approach from what should be an independent objective organisation (in my view).

However, the hopeful move to get tests done on a more realistic on-the-road basis is good; it will be interesting, though, to see how they manage to achieve a consistent real life test procedure for mpg that can be replicated world wide under the different conditions of climate, terrain, road surface, driving technique etc that can be standardised in the laboratory. Once a car is introduced I would have thought accumulated driver-reported mpg, especially from fleet users, would be more representative of the range we might expect.

It also does not mention the introduction of the EC’s Real Driving Emissions test, starting Jan 16 to see how nitrogen oxide emissions produced on the road compare with laboratory tests, nor the introduction of the new more realistic WLTP laboratory test to replace the NEDC one.

– To introduce conformity testing of production and in-use vehicles;

I hope this refers to independent testing, rather than companies testing their own vehicles.

The release also says:
“– For further EU oversight of the type approval process and to consider the establishment of an EU wide surveillance authority;”

I saw that Malcolm, but it does not say that an authority will be treatment. I am not optimistic.

Oops. That should read … ‘but that does not say that an authority will be created’.

Finally the policeman arrives.
The US is heading for the courts with VW it seems.
Obviously Ms Merkel has not much clout over there and just right. I’m fed up with all this PC lick a** capers here.
VW to date have barely shown remorse for their actions and they’ve had long enough to hang themselves and maybe they have put the noose around their own neck by their lack of action.

I’m curious about the mechanism that allows a state to sue a private or public company. I wonder how many countries around the world have recourse to that solution?

Now I’m curious but slightly differently Ian
If as VW have done they have broken the rules/guidelines/law whatever you wish to call emissions regulations are you suggesting that the UK Gov/Bodies/Courts have no method of punishing such behaviour???
Surely that cannot be correct otherwise corporations can just do as they so please and we’re close enough to that anyhow

Is it that, in the USA, Volkswagen have contravened US legislation on emissions testing so the US authorities can prosecute them. On this side of the Atlantic VW have contravened EU legislation that can be enforced against by any one of the EU member states that is subject to it or has adopted it, so I believe in theory the UK government could do so. What I suspect is happening is that the home nation [Germany] might be tasked with undertaking an action and the other countries are sitting back waiting [and hoping] to see if they will. This would be a particularly expensive and messy piece of legal action with no guarantee of remediation and it might be that, for damage limitation purposes and the greater good of European exports, there are moves to wring some sort of compensation and remediation deal out of VW with a few people walking the plank. I also suspect that everyone is trying to avoid a situation where any individual car owner is paid any money in compensation by (i) keeping VW focussed on a technical fix offered to all relevant owners that puts their vehicle back in the position it should have been in without the cheat software, and (ii) making a financial contribution to the establishment of a proper EU testing regime as recompense for the deliberate contravention of the regulations. We shall see.

Can anybody comment on how VW etc used-car and trade-in prices are responding to the situation? Initially there were worries that significant value would be wiped off affected VW cars, but is that happening? The longer it can be dragged out, of course, the more difficult it becomes to make a judgment on any drop in resale value.

John, I suppose we must see whether, and to what extent, VW Group has broken EU rules – whether it has understated CO2 output, NOx emission limits, fuel consumption under the NEDC test.

On prices, What Car says “It is still too early to tell the impact that this scandal will have on resale values. Initial reports suggested the trade values of used Volkswagen diesel cars were 3% behind the rest of the market at the end of September, although some residual valuation companies are saying the impact is considerably less than that. – See more at: http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen-emissions-need-know/1365269#sthash.3ItlZGXl.dpuf

John, I’m not sure what you mean by “the establishment of a proper EU testing regime”. The EU controls the test regime (currently NEDC which is very out of date) and is replacing it with the WLTP and RDE (which look to be much more appropriate). I don’t know that any financial contribution from VW would make any difference to their introduction or implementation.

I’m not one to think that hanging around waiting to see what was done wrong and by how much is of any benefit to any of us rather I am of the opinion that unless someone or something takes VW to some form of proper court, one that is not full of industry and Gov cronies then how will anyone ever find out all they done wrong and more importantly by how much and more importantly still by how much health was effected by their actions
To suggest that we need to wait and see if VW exceeded co2 or NOX is not the question. VW have already answered that one.
We dont need endless suggestions that we dont know if they committed an offence. We already know and I for one do not want to be brow beaten into thinking otherwise
They did do wrong and they themselves admitted that therefore that is a fact therefore there needs to be a case brought against them
If a thief admits to theft or a murderer admits to murder in front of millions, nay billions do we have to wait for the loot to be found or the body for that matter before they are charged and a case brought against them?? No we do not
A crime is a crime and this one has caused much suffering on many fronts
If we stand around mamby pamby-ing, blaming a flawed test regine it’ll just be another show of the great britain that hasnt the b****s to do anything about anything even within our own domain without a meeting of the UN to confirm whether we are asleep or awake first
I think there needs to be more people call on Gov to bring some form of public proper proceedings against VW
If we/Gov do nothing then that is an open invitation to all large Corporations to do as they please because they can assume there will be yet another load of do gooders too concerned about jobs etc to take the criminals by the ear and teach them a lesson
VW need to be made to answer to the country, to every nation state they committed their dirty deeds in.
Leaving the punishment up to “mother” is not cricket, indeed not.
I dont give a whatsits what name a test regime is given.
The name means nothing in this case as no matter what test regime or name given to a regime VW would have cheated and will continue to cheat as they have shown by their past actions.
They have already been caught cheating in the past and they in effect were told to go away and be good little boys and dont do that again.
They needed a clip on the b****y ear not given a bag of sweets
I have pointed out before that with this type of cheat there is almost no way or manner of policing it unless the perpetrators when caught cheating are punished.
That is the only safe way of policing it
Some years ago the FIA banned a whole raft of electronics under the banner “driver aids”.
It had nothing to do with “driver aids” as such.
It had everything to do with policing the Formula because without a Formula there would be nothing and try as they may they could not properly police the software race.
Today is no different. Road car software is no different
The only alternative the FIA had was to blanket ban all aids all of the time otherwise they would continue to find evidence of cheating every few weeks from photo’s of brakes glowing when they shouldn’t be. Of one team being faster off the line despite launch control being outlawed. Every so often evidence would be brought forward of traction control but as to admitting wrong. No there was no admittance and there would be no admittance because there was no conclusive evidence to enable a case to be brought
The FIA was looking like fools and so are we if we dont bring a case on a company who have signed their own confession
We are no different in this emissions cheating scandal but will we?, can we? ban electronics from todays cars.
Would we really want to ban such potentially beneficial systems.
No we would not and why? Because there are many advantages in these closed loop systems but if we dont watch out there will be those who will wipe our eye.
Yes there are those who think that we should throw all this electronics away and bring back DPA pumps and Carburetors but that would be to step back into the past and back to even worse air quality.
There is no way on this planet that any test regime can be set out to absolutely catch out all such forms of cheating so changing the test regime will change nothing unless those who have already cheated are brought to boot. Simple
As to what if any punishment is to be exerted upon them is up to the courts and is not what I am asking for but rather that our GB , the hub, the example of justice for all, the example of court system that our Gov repeatedly say we have should be encouraged to take action
An endless pile of posts commenting about consumer rights not being met and comments about trading standards not being or doing as they should just lets me know that its time things changed. Now. Not whenever it suits VW etc
So instead of sitting around waiting for the cows to come home hows about actually calling for action
Which has its problems as a consumer organisation and as a consumer organisation it needs feedback not a load of ifs, buts and maybe’s
However I see an endless spiel of sympathy through apathy,
If not then biggest fraud of our time will pass as no-one see’s the wood for the tree’s
People want action. More apathy is not action
Now is that time as the US starts its actions
If VW done wrong in the US and admitted so and they done wrong here and admitted so why should we p**** around waiting for some dude who would not know an EGR from a tomato, or his a*** from a hole in the road to tell us what we already know
Your either honest or your not
Your either for this country or your not. VW was neither. VW was only for themselves even in their own country
VW know all too well that Ms Merkel will jump through hoops for them and has done.
VW know that there will be job worries and will play on that
VW know this can hurt the German economy and will play on that
But. But even if VW should be laid to rest it will not mean the end of the car industry.
People will still buy new cars and most likely just as many new cars.
If that be the case there will be just as many people involved in the industry and perhaps logic would suggest that VW had a big plant or several and we’ll make cars in them again
A lot of things I dont know but what I do know is that I have 3 very good young adults for children and if I’d reached them a bag of sweets every time they did wrong the genetics may not alone have had the same result.
It takes guidance and we are not guiding
Sitting with a leg on both sides of the fence only leads to complacency and that is what people are really and I mean really mean fed up with
In every walk of life we see this PC nonsense. Be nice to everyone. Invite everyone to dinner even the guy who stole your car last year and crashed it
Thats why I take the time to write here
This emissions scandal has been a long time coming and many many people have been campaigning vigorously for decades about the pollutants we are forced to breath
Its not just city folk and tree huggers who are effected but everyone.
I dont believe there is an extended family in the country who have not someone directly effected by these scoundrels.
These VW scoundrels have been telling the public for years that their diesel cars are the cleanest the best that tech can make.
They are liers. They are thiefs. They are worse, much worse. Don’t let them get away with this
The fact that other manufacturers may be as bad or the same is not the point and does not need debated.
Repeating that we need to wait to see if others were cheating is ridiculous. We’ll leave the door of the bank open tonight and while we’re at it we’ll leave the safe unlocked
If the proper procedures are started and followed the rot might stop.
If not we are simple saying bring it on, I’ll breath whatever rubbish you have for me next.

The EC test regime is not being blamed here, at least not by me, as far as VW Group’s cheat is concerned as it seems they have not applied the NEDC properly in their European testing – the cheat device appears to do that for them.
To Europeans what the USA does is not relevant – their regulatory limits are different from those in the EC.
To my mind what matters to consumers, as far as compensation is concerned, is the actual loss they will incur – for example vehicle value and any additional fuel consumption over that declared.
What matters to EU states is how much the cheat device understated CO2 and NOx emissions compared to the EC limits and those declared by VW.
Fining VW is up to the EU states.

You’re right, Malcolm – I just thought it might be a good idea if VW handed over some money to the EU to fund implementation of the WLTP and RDE. Obviously the tests are paid for by the manufacturers but legislating for the new tests, specifying the testing regime, regulating it and administering it are presumably a charge on the EU ultimately.

I would support John’s suggestion, especially if we can move to independent testing of vehicles. Leaving manufacturers to test their own products for compliance is an invitation to cheat.

John, you may be correct but we, UK and the rest are states as such within the EU albeit not as in a USE like the USA.
I would agree that the the likelihood of EU states hanging back to see what Germany does or Brussels for that matter first but I think that morally that cannot be condoned
And again yes your correct there is the export thing that VW plays a large part in but again two wrongs do not make a right and that is why personally I would be maybe a bit hard line on this.
If VW had not been previously caught and had not blown their trumpet so loud then perhaps I would not have felt so for some years but they have been dancing on the German engineering theme for many’s a year and although others may argue the toss I never went for that one as I worked at vehicles and VW had as many problems/faults as any other.
Anyhow. we’ll watch the space

I was not aware that Volkswagen had a Royal Warrant until I received a letter in October confirming that my car is affected by the ’emissions issue’. I received another letter in December and noticed that VW has removed the Coat of Arms. Apparently this happened in October.

International Business Times Oct 17th: Volkswagen has suspended use of its royal warrant following the emissions scandal, which will see more than a million vehicles recalled in the UK, including around a dozen owned by the Queen.

There we are. VW are even lying to HRH.

Her Majesty, actually.

Was that needed. Was there anything demeaning about an HRH reference.
I see reference to HRH Her Majesty The Queen regular
Is it that important anyhow?
Just out of interest I like our Royal Family and would not not wish to degrade them in any way but neither do I wish to be degraded
Let it rest at that please

Its fine Patrick. I’ll get wound up a usual because I cannot understand why this is being ignored in the way it is and when someone whether good humoured or not decides to split hairs over HRH when all it was was a quick comment and run about the Royal Household being as much lied to as us mere mortals I thought it was perhaps little petty
So sorry if I offended anyone by my HRH reference and sorry if I was a little quick off the mark when I seen the reply
All in good faith my man/men

I think it quite impractical to suggest that all car testing should be done by independent laboratories. I doubt sufficient capacity or expertise exists anyway. However I believe the key is to both independently witness testing and to spot-check results to monitor manufacturers. The motor industry is in no different a position to almost all other industries where compliance with standards is necessary. In fact, almost every organisation is relied upon to behave with propriety without the continual checking of everything it does, whether commercial, industrial, academic, government.

I think unless you have worked in these areas and seen how the vast majority operate, to accuse them of always trying to cheat is cynical and ill informed. A pragmatic solution is the answer, not an unworkable one.

There is no evidence that the whole of the motor industry cheats, as far as I can see. I would rather the effort put into attacking an organisation looked at more obvious candidates – waste and salary abuse in the NHS, cleaning up the tax collection system, cracking down on fraud, excessive rewards and abuse in local government and so on. Issues that affect us far more directly.

I agree not all manufacturers cheat but when they do so they should be punished and to simply say it’ll cost too much to be bothered is waffle
Waste and salary abuse in the nhs? Yes sack the overpaid managers but to say there is waste is just repeating the Gov blurb. The half of the staff are working their ass’s off
There is no more room for cuts. Auesterity has went bonkers for the folk on the floor whilst the top brass just get brassy-er.
Tax. Yes get the hold of the Non Doms and the corporations and enforce the idea that if you make money you pay tax not the other way around
I worked the clock around all my life and now when I could do with a little help I get buttons.
If this is the level of benefit I could be on benefits for the nxt 75 years and still have paid more in than I will ever see.
Now I’d have to wait to after I’m gone to get a pension that I paid into my whole life and just as I started my working life they started earning related contributions in order to fund the pension but every consecutive Gov has dwindled away the piggy bank for their own ends
Dont tell me about cuts and austeroity. My wife works in the NHS. She is 47 and is almost bent over. It’s like a b****y slave trade in there now
Pollution effects everyone one of us directly in our health. How much closer to home do you want the need to be to bring it home to you that this matters
When your handing little children a big plastic bottle to puff from you’ll feel like crying.

Manufacturers work in a competitive environment and there will always be the incentive to cheat – just like there is in sport. Wrongdoing in other sectors is an irrelevant distraction.

Had independent testing of some sort been in place then it might not have taken years before the VW cheat software was discovered. I find it difficult to believe that this is the only problem in the motor industry.

“there will always be the incentive to cheat”. That does not automatically mean they will cheat, no more than in any other sector – academia, health care, or whatever. However, whenever evidence of cheating is exposed it should be dealt with. I do not condone cheating in any sector of our life – private or public sector – but I do want to see the evidence and not just unsupported allegations.

I don’t see why independent testing would have uncovered the VW cheat – it was designed to fool the standard test procedure. I believe US testing did not uncover it, either, until a separate on the road test coincidentally prompted further investigations. I say coincidentally because there is no real correlation between lab testing (like NEDC) and on the road so it was fortuitous (except for VW) that it lead to the exposure of the cheat device.

So far VW Group seems the only manufacturer to have cheated so it does not seem appropriate to accuse the whole industry, unless further cheating such as VW’s is shown to be in use.

I dont think there was any coincidence in the testing that revealed the emissions cheating
Coincidence was not the driver for those guys. Known pollution levels were the driver.
There was circumstantial evidence in every western city that much of the pollution was not as it should be.
NOX should have been getting better and at worst standing still but it was rising instead
There was also those in and close to the industry who had conscience and suspected cheating for some time and I would have been one of those, yes 20 years ago even.
Manufacturers at one made no attempt to hide the fact that their systems did not work and that they were unreliable.
One could receive in a manufacturer badged box from the manufacturer items to disable in particular NOX reduction equipment. That was taking place 20 odd years ago
Those who are not so easily fooled and more importantly care about our existence rather than simple £ or $ signs are who raised the alarms
In later times the same has happened even and including DPF removals
This subject is not and has not been researched and chased nearly enough
It is dirty to the core and always has been

Deekay, the “coincidence” I referred to was based on my understanding as follows.

Many (probably most or all) cars produce more nitrogen oxide on the road than they do in laboratory testing, (NEDC included), from what I have read. In the USA a university group tested a couple of cars on the road and measured real life emissions that were significantly different from lab tests, as should be expected. One, a VW, was admitted to have a cheat device by VW Group after further testing. The other make did not. The coincidence seems to me that out of all the makes and models they could have picked they chose a VW. So far no other makes and models have been found to have cheat devices.

Hi Malcolm, This is an open forum unlike a the test team who were in my eyes a bunch of very mature students and I use that term again because without that student determination I dont think they would have been open to what they were being told and I believe they were told something
Being an open forum and as freedom of speech allows I should be able to say as I please as long as I am not about to incite anyone or thing to violence or accuse anyone of something that they did not do or slander anyone or thing to the extent that I cause loss financial or otherwise. I think in this VW case there is little they have left to the imagination in way of how daft their actions
That said
As you know I worked in the industry for many years starting off at least as mechanic so I have first hand insights as such
Working as I did and crossing brands several times for various reasons I learned a lot and made a point of furthering myself as and when I could
Not being blinded as many are with allegiance to a single brand and with a full and until the early 2000s an actual hands on development engineering at that time I could not see any clear leader in this industry
Near all engines became 4 valve per cylinder
All engines got fuel injection
Near all the injection systems are similar and we’ll go to diesel alone here because that is the animals in question
If one were to take and examine VW, Ford, Fiat, Kia, Hyundia and I’ll have to include VM Motori at this point because although not a well known name they power rather a lot of cars not unlike their parent company Fiat/Iveco products
Examination will show that once you remove the badge there is precious little difference mechanically.
They have their good points. They have their bad points. By bad I mean that many blow injectors out due to fixings being much too small and heater/glow plugs have gotten too small. They are faults and should not have happened
The bits that make them go.
The bores
The strokes
The amount of valves
The valve trains
All of the above are all in one or two methods and are optimised as best they can be to date
There are no clear mechanical leaders
The turbochargers that they more or less all have now and in the past are all from a small selection of companies, garret being but one but a big player.
A car manufacturer does not tell the turbo manufacturer how to make a turbo. The turbine manufacturers develop their product as they go and they sell it to the car or engine manufacturer
The fuel injection or common rail as it is today was brought about by Fiat/Iveco Group and perfected by Bosch but Marelli and Fiat always seem to be first with everything more of less to date
The early common rail was quite a move forward as it brought diesels into the closed loop era.
Some liked this some dont but much as I like a DPA pump the exhaust emissions were not sustainable
Alfa was the first common rail car, Mercedes I think second
Then came the multijet or JTD but whatever you want to call it gave the diesel engine a much quieter fire and the more squirts the longer the burn and the better the process
In lay man’s terms the diesel went from bang to burn. Thats why the old DI Transit was so clinkity. it was the epitome of bang
I think Mal you said you have an early Espace. it may be indirect injection which is kinda in the Noah’s arc department now and no where near as efficient as direct injection simply because some of the heat is transferred from the pre combustion chamber to the coolant in the cylinder head whilst a direct injection does all its burn in the cylinder and makes much better use of the fuel
The French were probably the last to leave the precombustion chamber behind
I’m getting a little off track there
The fuel systems like the turbochargers are basically all the same
There is such terms as variable vane and its not near as fancy as the term suggests
It is like each step of the way. Every step gets just a tiny bit better
The differences between DPA type pump systems to common rail were not at first very noticeable as the difference to one squirt to several were not so noticeable either
The moves to 4 valve per cylinder came and really has more to do with swirl and emissions than any power advantage such as was with Keith Duckworths 4v design that has became the norm in spark ignition engines
Diesel has for the past 20 years been fighting and emissions battle much greater than the spark ignition engine but it always has been in the manufacturers business interests to sell diesels.
Along the way we got ever cleaner and lower sulphur diesel to now we are pretty close to heating oil with a few concoctions thrown in such as a retardant as heating oil is a little bit too quick off the mark in such a high compressed environment.
Actually old diesels like Perkins 4.203 etc do not like the current fuel and they will go much better with a load of even waste sump oil thrown into the fuel
Along the way the fuel rail pressures have grown to what would have once been deemed in the realms of madness and uncalled for but its working. kinda
Where I’m going with a long winded story as I often do is to try if I can to point out that there are no clear leaders of the pack unless you lap up the blurb
There are only manufacturers and at least one magician I might add
I dont lap up the blurb because I have been in on Focus groups where the latest name for something that is pretty basic is dreamed up
You will never get GM to use the JTDm or Multijet badge on their models despite that being closer to the truth than the badges they use
You will not get Kia. Hyundai, Jeep and so on to use the VM or Motori symbols
You will never get PSA to use the Ford symbol and so on
Thats marketing and the man in the street laps it up
The chat in the pub is all about cars and numbers but in reality many of these people can barely find the dipstick or at least the one in the engine anyhow
That does not stop them forming opinions and it is these bady founded opinions that are such a problem
Add to that the terms and names given to all the different models and it becomes a minefield of glitter if the focus groups get it right and they do a pretty god job.
Remember these dudes only for the best part assemble cars. They dont make oil. they dont make fuel. They do however try very hard to influence the rules
I remember being expected to take in a load of blurb about a companies advances in Hydrogen powered cars. I asked where the hydrogen came from perhaps naively expecting them to have sorted out that little problem. I asked a few times and quickly got a retort that we dont make fuel we make cars. Someone else will make the fuel. That was me told off and like it or not you the customer is in exactly the same position. Mushrooms. Feed them on **** and keep them in the dark
I suspected and many alongside me suspected that VW were at their work many years ago. Some would quickly change the word suspect to knew. I’ll suspect!
No one could put their finger on it so no one could say or accuse but suspect we did.
The reason we and many mechanics knew was not through anything other than statistics
Anyone could build the identical design but no one could get the same results
Everyone had the same processes, they thought? But no one could quite get the last few mpg or bhp and low nox that this VW crowd could get.
Whilst many thought things not even I could believe what they really had done
Maybe just maybe Bosch had handed similar to others but the arithmetic or the numbers just do not stack up the same as they do for VW
So when you have an industry full of quiet speculation and rumour some of that will eventually spill into the the hands of the likes of Carder and co
Unlike the UK EU the US market did not really like diesel especially at first so VW were more or less on their own with this
Fiat a much larger Diesel engine manufacturer than VW were in the US with their 500s and vans but they didnt try the small diesel as quick as VW and at an educated guess they simply could not get their numbers to stack up so they didnt go down than route. Now that is saying something
Fiat’s little 1248 multijet is one of the most produced engines on the planet
It has been used by GM, Ford Suzuki and so on. It is produced in both Poland and India. It made it way through life much further in time lines without a DPF compared to the several others including the VW offerings
It won awards when it came out but in the US VW ran rings around anything Fiat had to offer
The other offering from Fiat was the 1.9JTD that had been used in the Vauxhalls, Saabs and Suzuki’s
Yes some Vauxhall fans hate the thing but Vauxhall in their wisdom decided to use a 3ltr sump to go 20k odd between services. Optimistic or what Anyhow there are more successful applications than that
So as I was not there I will have to use an educated guess or speculation as to the unpublished events that preceded the Carder research
All these guys and teams in these industries meet often not by plan but simply because of their parallel interests and involvements in and around the same industries and associated industries.
By the 2012/13 timeline there were loads of numbers not adding up correctly especially in the EU
The US had not the same problems but they especially have some states are much more interested in keeping tabs on these things
Here our mandarins just leave it up to those who know.
In this case the manufacturers are the experts so we do not operate near as tight a ship as the US.
It is and was common knowledge that many EU cities were not meeting their pollution targets
It was also well known that the correct and well calculated policies had been put in place.
The emissions targets had been set and brought about to reduce the problems but this was not happening and in fact in some cases the problem was getting worse.
It was so bad that many knew in 2010 that no amount of change or well meaning numbers would alter the course of this
The bad numbers in the US were not accelerating anything like the EU yet the size of the vehicles and the sheer amount of traffic in the US is to me anyhow bewildering as to where does all that fuel come from for so long yet alone the amount of potential pollution
Still I’d suspect someone sitting over dinner or at a auto show would say something that would ring alarm bells to the interested and in this case Carder or someone close to that team got wind of what had been suspicions albeit unproven for several years but if they talked for long enough and had the insider knowledge of the testing and results the numbers would begin to look all wrong to the Carder team or whoever but I’d be pretty sure it was that team or someone close to that team maybe even another manufacturer who seen this VW diesel onslaught as a threat in the US and they needed a magician like a whole in the head
Quite a lot of folk knew the numbers looked more like the lottery numbers than anything of logic
Since the VW scandal broke last years we have seen some of the air quality and health experts clearly state that they had the numbers but try as they may sample after sample day after day they could not see where this came from or why this situation was at the near critical stage they could see
This is not conjecture
This is not myth
This is actual real time city dangerous health hazard levels of various pollutants
And here in 2015 was some of the very experts who had suggested some of the changes that needed made and advised from London to Brussels
Its not often these experts are so far wrong and I’m sure they felt very happy in a perhaps not so happy way that the answer had appeared
I mean they were close to looking like fools at some points
I’m sure Boris for one was seething at the thought of having taken such bad advice
Up to that point there had been no such on road testing done in the US either so they were not so different to here except that they dug their heels in and said from the outset that the emissions were expected to be available in real time, real road situations whereas here we had already accepted that several bigger engine manufacturers had long since strongly said that if you want different numbers change the numbers.
If you want a different test change the test but we passed the your lab tests and that is all we have to do. Now Mandarins, go away
The EU should not have fallen for that. That is the typical wishy washy that that we have come to accept
Is it any chance that the first three small for the US vehicles were a BMW and not one but two VWs
There is never chance alone. There may be educated guesses. There maybe be informed guesses but chance. Never
There are literally 100s if not 1000s of cheap software systems that you or I can plug into the obd port and drive up the road and watch things happen
We would expect to see the parameters to the EGR in this in particular change as the throttle position and rpm changes because one would expect for the EGR and the Air valve (throttle body) to both be acting in unison to reduce NOX in a pre programmed manner
1000s have watched this if not 10 of 1000s and 10s of 1000s of cars are modified and no one can prove it.
But and this is where a very very BIG but comes into play
Despite there being software widely available to at least monitor the systems parameters even if you cant or dont alter the parameters all of these are protected under copyright such that it could be deemed an offence to even look in the door as such
Yes it is that tight
That is why to date you have not read or seen any reference to anyone having a look see. Or any relevant values or number being published.
Anyone who would do so could be at risk of landing in a sticky situation.
And yes its bonkers and there have been efforts to free up this copyright but who was the loudest objector. I’ll leave that to your imagination because I’d rather stop at that point.
So this may have been news to the world late 2015 but it was on the cards for some time
I didnt know anyone who really were convinced that any manufacturer would have used this route. It was talked about but no this would be madness
Logic would tell one or should have told anyone that this was the most dangerous and silly thing one could have done to gain advantage.
Sooner or later the s***t will hit the fan and not because your going to get caught but because the pollution your vehicles let go is such that it will be the pollution that catches you and in effect or in my minds eye it was the resultant NOX that gave the game away
A whole VW, AUDI, Skoda, SEAT group of mostly diesel vehicles can and did have an immense effect on our cities.
It is beyond thought or theory. Stand on the side of a city street and count them
Four of Europe’s most popular brans all cheating. Of course its going to make the situation worse
The experts had already doen the bus and truck emissions calculations so there no point on coming on here spouting about busses and lorry being to blame. At least they passed the less than perfect test and continued on their way.
VW group did different
They decided to have their cake and eat it at the same time
And there you have a former mechanic and former design engineers thoughts on the matter with a certain amount of fact. Enough fact too reinforce an already made admission
They were crooks.
The entire management needs to be changed if that’ll ever happen in just the same way that if a police force get corrupted its too big a chance to take to leave any of the old guard.

Yes wave, agreed
The industry cannot be trusted
I think it is akin to letting an alcoholic loose in an Offy to continue as is

In 2013 I purchased a Vauxhall Corsa which was deemed to produce around 56 mpg but which, in fact, did 22 mpg (rural)! I had the engine checked twice without any fault showing. A year later I part-exchanged it for a Toyota Yaris hybrid which could produce between 55-82 mpg depending on which type of road it was driven, town driving being the most economical. Living in a rural area I get between 45-55 mpg but relative to the Corsa this is a saving in petrol of over £100 monthly! My dislike of the Yaris is that it is too small and uncomfortable so I am again considering the purchase of another car. There are a number of larger equally economical cars on the market but currently my attention is drawn towards the Skoda Greenline 1.6. I find Honest John’s site useful for what users know of the fuel consumption of their own vehicles. The following video is about the Australian car industry which is both interesting and amusing and probably factual: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTfAEh27lQM. On calculating the cost of running a car this time I am going for a private contract hire which seems the cheapest method.

In 2013 I purchased a Vauxhall Corsa which was deemed to produce around 56 mpg but which, in fact, did 22 mpg (rural)! I had the engine checked twice without any fault showing. A year later I part-exchanged it for a Toyota Yaris hybrid which could produce between 55-82 mpg depending on which type of road it was driven, town driving being the most economical. Living in a rural area I get between 45-55 mpg but relative to the Corsa this is a saving in petrol of over £100 monthly! My dislike of the Yaris is that it is too small and uncomfortable so I am again considering the purchase of another car. There are a number of larger equally economical cars on the market but currently my attention is drawn towards the Skoda Greenline 1.6. I find ‘Honest John’s site’ useful for what users know of the fuel consumption of their own vehicles. There is an interesting, amusing, and probably factual, video about the Australian car market on YouTube ‘AutoExpert.com.au. On calculating the cost of running a car this time I am going for a private contract hire which seems the cheapest method.

Delparc, have you looked at taking out a personal loan and paying cash? You’ll then own the car and probably end up paying much less in the long run. Some manufacturers offer a “contribution” of 4 figures, and you should be able to negotiate a good discount with the dealer.
Honest John gives some good advice on cars. Or try Which?, including their real life fuel consumption. Ignore the advertised mpg; they are the figures the European tests produce that the EU (EC) insists manufacturers must publish, and they are universally known to be useless (even by the EC)