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Dieselgate continues: When a journalists’ lie costs € 6 billion

BMW were accused yesterday by the AutoBild Germany that they are in the same situation with Volkswagen with the BMW X3 2.0 diesel engine that emits 11 times more than the legal limits. The German journalists later rectified the information, but BMW had already fallen by 10% on the stock exchange.

Dieselgate and BMW

The Volkswagen crisis, or Dieselgate, gets in some cases ridiculous shades. Because the subject is hot, pressurized, and has the potential to change the default auto world as we know, diesel engines are now under scrutiny by the authorities on all continents, and the risks of explosion” are very high.
The German publication AutoBild  announced in the yesterday editionan fanfare” that has information related to the fact that BMW would be rigged in turn emissions and consumption tests for the X3 model, and would emit 11 times more than the legal limits.

In a world with the auto makers in recent days under immense pressure because of the scandal which started in the US, this information had the effect of an open flame in a room filled with gas. Few (including those from BMWBlog.ro) have bothered to check the source quoted by AutoBild and global automotive media jumped on the new topic ravenously.

Basically, the fire “action” not even matter that BMW has officially denied any involvement in the manipulation mechanism emissions release is the German mark rather than the one published by the wonder of some defendants. And for that information and made ball rolled, the effects were radical: BMW at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange fell by 9.7%, as the market value of the mark and it fell by 6 billion. In a few minutes. The largest drop in the last four years for BMW.

All because of an article. False, as shown later.

AutoBild retracted after a few hours both information and an invitation to the public to buy the next issue of the magazine, which appears in the German market today. A cheap method to gather public, the more expensive the brands involved. In fact, what AutoBild did yesterday is not far from what Volkswagen made. A cruel lie with major repercussions. Theoretically one should rejoice to see that the power of the press is still alive. Basically, the ideal would be that this power be used for positive purposes.

No. Not all manufacturers do what Volkswagen did 

The story of the whole scandal is so complex that it is imperative to keep our minds clear, no matter what. It’s easy to say that “all manufacturers steals chapter in terms of consumption and emissions,” announcing lower than the actual figures.

The problem is that this is not necessarily illegal.

Volkswagen dropped into this topic for doing a trick opposed legislation: fitted soft recognizing that the machine is on the bench being tested and limit emissions moment for them to remain within legal limits. And they didn’t declared its presence. Then, when leaving cars on the street, they emit up to 40 times more NOx, nitrous oxide, a substance harmful to the lungs. Again: 10-40 times more.

Faced with the real tests in the US VW continued to deny committing any illegalities. For a year. Then, forced by circumstances, they did a recall for the affected US 500,000 cars, but it changed nothing in motor behavior. “The recall that the car has never been repaired,” as inspired headlines by the Washington Post.

Gravity acts of Volkswagen is that a matter unlawful willful, premeditated and carried out repeated. And that real differences vs. laboratory differences are huge. Think like the car to consume 40 times more than write in the datasheet and you will understand the magnitude of the story.

Instead, when builders fail to comply with our limits in the test and then exceed 10, 15, 20, 100, 500% of these tests in real life, the situation is completely different, even if in the environment speak emissions increased radical side of paper.

Nobody has fooled nobody. Or, at least, the manufacturers have no guilt legally in this case point out that their groups lobbying do (well, they have done so far) pressure on the authorities for these tests remain some purely theoretical and indicative, with loose links with figures on the road.

Otherwise, the differences are somehow normal and logical. If you go into a different pace than that of laboratory testing (and go, you’re a normal driver), you consume and you’ll emit more. In these cases, no one remember. If you go at the pace of the lab, you’ll consume issue and how to fix out on paper. In the US, the scandal had affected machines how to succeed digit number even in a mentos rain. Because they had software installed that cheat.

n light of this information, it is becoming increasingly clear that many builders likely to exceed the emission limits. But overcoming is not fraudulent but “natural”, if you will. So, until proven otherwise, it could not be wrong to say that “I do what all auto manufacturers Volkswagen”. It’s one thing to cheat on tests, entirely another to not do it.

In the meantime, all this speeds up the implementation of a real field test machines. And fuel consumption and emission figures will be radically altered from 2017 to 2018. Prepare to see factsheets much closer to what is happening on the road. And this can only be great for us. For builders, it’s a major problem, because the emission limits set by the EU 2022 will not change just because the testing mechanism changes. And investments that car manufacturers must make to comply with the rules will be huge.

The turning point for diesel engines

Anyway, we are in a very important industry. In the USA it is likely that diesel engines to be removed from the market forever after this scandal, because the people there are extremely sensitive to that subject and the image of this type of engine is grounded at time of writing these lines. For Volkswagen, this effectively means losing 20% ​​of sales, somewhere around 50,000 cars. However, will be affected and the company’s image, and this in turn will affect sales and perhaps some jobs of people completely innocent.

In Europe, diesel engine emission control will be in increasingly cruel. And builders will have to align well below standards to ensure that machinery may even exceed the maximum limits permitted in real life. Because if they do, there will always be some who throw gas into the pressure cooker. And the effects can be devastating, even if the premises would have to guarantee it.

It is likely that industry will easily turn to hybridization. The alternative is already becoming at least as cheap as developing a tiny diesel engine emissions. In my forecast in five years we see everywhere hybrids and diesel sites will be increasingly fewer. Somehow, over the years, with this scandal, Volkswagen will applaud Toyota for vision. Because the Japanese insisted on petrol hybrids when other EU producers are lounging in diesel figures.

We shall see.

A good thought for the innocent people from Volkswagen

I read somewhere these days that representativeness is a key element in this story. We will not say never “30 people from VW decided to măsluiască emission testing, so they are guilty,” but we will expand the story by the manufacturer and even the German industry, because those 30 people is the brand and essentially the story fabulous car industry in Germany, the largest in the world. In these dire times for the German brand we must not forget that, behind the 30 people who decided to sneak behind law, there are hundreds of thousands of employees. I do not want to squeeze a tear, but it is obvious that the drama that will pass through some of them will never be quantified amounts as fines or investment bandied recall sites.

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