Will the Volkswagen cheating scandal affect my diesel RV?
Diesels and RV’s go hand in hand. Gas engines are powerful, but you just can’t beat a diesel engine in a truck when it comes to the pulling power needed to haul around all the creature comforts we come to expect in our RV’s.
Right now the diesel industry is under a lot of scrutiny because of a recent scandal with Volkswagen. The carmaker got caught cheating the system on emissions testing by installing software that only came on when the vehicle was being tested for emissions.
The reason this particular scandal is so huge, is it marks the first time an automaker actively deceived the government.
Here is How Volkswagen cheated on emissions rules
Volkswagen used a software trick to hide illegal pollution levels in half a million diesel cars. The German automaker has admitted to outfitting their diesel-powered vehicles with a software hack designed only to come on when being tested in federal emissions tests.
Volkswagen will eventually have to recall all of the vehicles and change the emissions systems at its own expense. Additionally it could face a fine of about $18 billion, or $37,500 per car.
The software “defeat device” allows the cars to emit up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution, environmental officials said.
Volkswagen is by far the industry leader in diesel car sales and last year sold 78,847 diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S.
So how does this relate to the RV industry?
Many other car companies sell multiple diesel models, particularly diesel trucks. Ford sold 118,245 diesel vehicles last year. Chevrolet sold 69,372 vehicles, including 62,226 Silverado trucks. Ford sold 118,245 diesel vehicles, almost all of them F-Series pickups.
You can be sure that all diesel-powered vehicles in the US are eventually going to be re-tested. There is also speculation among regulators that Volkswagen is not the only manufacturer who is cheating on the emissions testing.
Volkswagen cheated on the emissions testing to meet the federal pollution requirements, without having to rob the engines of their power. Here is where the problem will lie for RV owners. If it is found that other manufacturers are using software to cheat the emissions tests, the fix will be millions of recalls or even buy-backs. Those manufacturers, who choose to recall the software hack, will leave their customers with sluggish, underperforming but non-polluting diesel.
With regards to safety, the recall doesn’t pose any danger to the consumer. But it may affect the performance of the car, a big selling point for diesel. This fact could make owners reluctant to make the fix at all. Especially those concerned with the tradeoffs in engine performance and torque versus the effect it will have on the environment.
The PR fallout may be worse for the technology than the brand.
Volkswagen and its corporate sibling Audi are responsible for 65% of all diesel passenger vehicle sales from January 2010 to July 2015, Lyman said, and are largely responsible for selling American consumers on the idea that “clean” diesel is a viable green alternative.
For now the trouble only lies with Volkswagen cars. But in the last week, the entire diesel powered industry has suddenly come under scrutiny. As this story develops, it will not take long before other manufactures and diesel powered machines get retested.
Currently most states exempt diesel powered cars trucks and RV’s from emissions testing. However, this new scrutiny might even get lawmakers reviewing the emissions laws in your state. As an RV owner, you probably have nothing to worry about at least for a while. We will just have to watch as this story unfolds.
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