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VW Strikes Deal on Bigger Diesel Engines – Will Mean Mix of Buybacks and Fixes

"We are committed to earning back trust," says VW's US chief.

by on Dec.20, 2016

Audi used the 3.0-liter turbodiesel in a number of models before the emissions scandal broke.

Volkswagen has reached a settlement with federal and state regulators involving about 80,000 diesel vehicles not covered by the $15 billion settlement the automaker agreed to last June.

While some details have yet to be released, the tentative deal that has been presented to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco authorizes both buybacks and fixes for Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi models equipped with the German maker’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel. The earlier agreement covered 475,000 VW and Audi vehicles fitted with a 2.0-liter diesel engine.

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“The agreement announced by the Court today between Volkswagen and U.S. environmental regulators is another important step forward in our efforts to make things right for our customers,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “


Is VW Putting the Nail in the Coffin for U.S. Diesels?

Embattled automaker won’t offer new oil-burners in the future.

by on Nov.23, 2016

VW will no longer sell diesels in the U.S., even if it can resolve its TDI emissions problem.

They once accounted for nearly a quarter of the German automaker’s U.S. sales, but going forward, Volkswagen will no longer offer diesels in the U.S. market, according to brand chief Herbert Diess.

As the largest retailer of diesel-powered passenger vehicles in the U.S., VW helped spur a surge of offerings by competitors such as General Motors and Nissan, as well as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. But with diesel sales already on the decline, some analysts question whether VW’s decision will spur other automakers to abandon their “oil-burners,” as well.

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“At the moment we assume that we will offer no new diesel vehicles in the U.S,” Diess told the German  business daily Handelsblatt in an interview following the Tuesday announcement of the maker’s global turnaround plan.


VW “Service Action” Meant to Keep Gas Out of Diesel Cars

A potentially costly mistake.

by on May.22, 2013

VW hopes to make it impossible to accidentally fill a TDI with gas instead of diesel.

It’s the sort of problem that can plague anyone – even President Barack Obama, whose limousine broke down during a visit to Israel earlier this year.

It turned out that someone inadvertently filled up the tank of the armored Cadillac sedan – nicknamed “The Beast” – with diesel instead of gasoline.  The two fuels don’t mix and that simply mistake can prove a costly one.

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The problem occurs frequently and all over the world. A recent study found that British police run up nearly $2 million in repair bills each year pumping the wrong fuel into their cruisers.


Diesel Engine Growth in the United States Remains Constrained by Buyer Perceptions

Latest study reaffirms that fuel prices and urea maintenance turn off most potential buyers.

by on Apr.14, 2009

Volkswagen remains committed to selling diesel engines in the U.S. while other makers waffle.

Volkswagen remains committed to selling diesel engines in the U.S. while other makers waffle.

While some consumer attitudes toward diesel engines are becoming more favorable, roughly two-thirds of potential buyers still will not consider the expensive engines for their next vehicle. 

According to the Morpace Powertrain Acceptance & Consumer Engagement (PACE) study, 62% of new vehicle owners feel that diesel powered vehicles have “gotten better” over the past 10 years. And 35% now say they will “consider” clean diesel technology for their next vehicle because of perceptions of improved fuel economy and greater environmental friendliness. Small car owners, not surprisingly, show the least interest in oil burners. Owners of gas-guzzling luxury cars and full-size pickups are most likely to consider “clean” diesel.

Diesels have certainly been popular in Europe where lavish subsidies exist for the fuel or in tax reductions for vehicles that use diesel fuel. They now account for about half of all new motor vehicles sold there each year. In this country, diesels account for well under 5% of the market, though the market research firm, J.D. Power and Associates, perhaps influenced by its European-based clients, says the figure could reach 15% – 20% by the middle of the next decade.

Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce a new Bluetec version of its E350, shortly after the launch of the gasoline-powered 2010 E-Class sedans and coupes, later this year. The E350, which will meet the toughest emissions standards in all 50 states, provides V-8 like performance but V-6 fuel economy. The company is also considering an E250 4-cylinder diesel for the U.S. that would provide V-6 levels of horsepower and torque, but fuel economy estimated at 44 mpg. That would meet or exceed the mileage of the best hybrid models in its mid-size segment, but still offer substantially better performance, according to the automaker, which missed the move to hybrids by its Japanese competitors, notably Lexus.

Audi will launch its first “clean” diesel, the Q7 TDI, later this month for $50,900, officials have announced. The Q7 is expected preview an assortment of new Audi diesel-powered vehicles, despite growing skepticism about the role of the high-efficiency engines in the American marketplace. Audi too missed the hybrid revolution.

“While the perceptions of diesel have changed for the better, consideration of clean diesel vehicles is hampered by the high cost of diesel fuel compared to gasoline,” says Bryan Krulikowski, author of the Morpace study. (more…)