Volkswagen Launches Website To Help Consumers With Its Diesel Crisis

Illustration for article titled Volkswagen Launches Website To Help Consumers With Its Diesel Crisis

Amid the ongoing Dieselgate situation at Volkswagen, the company announced the launch of it’s new “diesel information” website, containing new statements from company officers and a FAQ page containing more regrets as well as a few answers.


The front page of the new website features a video message from Michael Horn, CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America, with information on what happened, the manufacturer’s plans going forward and a list of the affected models written below.

Horn seems a bit more regretfully somber this time around, in comparison to his recent “our company was dishonest; we screwed up” statements from the event unveiling the new VW Passat. While the message about violating company values and promising to make the situation right remained the same, Horn took a more cautious approach to his wording in the website’s video:

“While we are still gathering all the facts, it’s clear that our company betrayed the trust of you, our customers, our employees, our dealers and the public.”

Also included on the website are pages for frequently asked questions, statements from the company and contact information. The FAQ page detailing affected models, defeat devices, sales, safety of vehicles and how owners should proceed lines up with the current reports circulating around VW, so the company hasn’t backed out of any of its promises yet.

The top FAQ, naturally, is about the defeat devices, to which VW responded with an admission of its wrongdoing:

Government regulations limit the use of engine software that reduces the effectiveness of a vehicle’s emissions control systems. Those are the “defeat device” regulations, and regrettably, VW violated those regulations. We take full responsibility – and deeply regret that this happened.

For more information on Dieselgate, a full breakdown of the situation can be found here.

Contact the author at


Smyth Performance Engineer

If I crank up my 2-stroke weed-whacker and chainsaw and do yard maintenance for a few days each year... I’ve likely polluted much more than a modern VW TDI pollutes in it’s lifetime. The current crisis is being reported as if VW was committing a significant crime against nature (pollution), when in fact the real crime here is little more than deception.

The TDI’s biggest crime was that it traded a tiny amount of pollution for a significant amount of resource conservation. When you advance fuel injection timing in a diesel, you get higher peak cylinder pressures which extract more energy from a given amount of fuel. As peak cylinder pressures increased, more NOx was formed than the EPA/CARB allowed. So this tiny bit of pollution was just a trade: the TDI drivers have been sending fewer dollars to oil barons in the middle east.

NOx emissions are complicated, and in certain exceptions to the rule, adding NOx to the atmosphere can actually increase the natural decline of ozone/smog. If pollution is created predominantly by gasoline vehicles, there is a pattern of smog worsening on the weekends, presumably because big trucks that emit NOx are not running. The EPA actually acknowledges this fact, appropriately referred to as “The Weekend Effect”

(NO + O3 ___> NO2 + O2)

“In a city centre for example, where NOx concentrations are high, a reduction in VOC is likely to be more effective in reducing photo-oxidant concentrations than cutting NOx, and the centre is said to be ‘VOC-limited’. Conversely in the surrounding countryside, where the NOx concentration is much lower (Fig 2), cutting NOx emissions is likely to be more effective than reducing VOC emissions; it is thus ‘NOx-limited’. “


The amount of NOx emitted by these “dirty” VW diesels is tremendously less than that allowed in diesel vehicles produced in 2005, and thousands of times cleaner than that of a diesel from the 70’s. The outrage should be over VW’s ethics, not the pollution (which is negligible. The EPA limit for NOx emission is so close to zero, that multiplying the permissible emissions leaves us still pretty darn close to zero.)

The EPA policies were flawed from the beginning. Instead of cracking down on the biggest vehicles traveling the longest distances, they cracked down on us at home. It would have been more effective to target larger polluters: large transport trucks, trains, ships, tractors/combines, and old machinery. Offering farmers, truckers, construction workers, fishermen, and other commercial industries subsidies to retrofit old equipment with additional pollution control, or subsidies to purchase low emission commercial equipment.

Our beautiful Animas river was destroyed by EPA negligence at best.. but powerful and obvious motives exist which point to a conspiracy to acquire Superfund money (which they did receive). I know this looks like a non-sequitur, but the irony is thick here. Why are we allowing an incompetent organization that destroyed large swaths of the environment (and does not have any way to pay penalties itself) to decide how much money to collect from others who have done an infinitesimal amount of damage to the environment?…