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Volkswagen to pay Massachusetts $20 million for being lying diesel scum

The money is part of a $157-million national settlement with states over the way VW ginned up its diesel engines to show up as "clean" during emissions tests, the state Attorney General's office reports.

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For being diesel weasels.

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Farfegnugen????

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CEOs everywhere surely won't try to fraudulently make billions of dollars again, if there's a chance that they might get caught and the company slapped with a pocket change settlement.

One real deterrent is a high probability of personal financial ruin and prison for executives. Or a judgment that wipes out a company, so that investors/funds start caring about whether the management of a company they hold is ethical.

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...is the tip of the iceberg. They're on the hook for $18 billion to the feds. It'll probably get negotiated to maybe $8 bill, but still, that ain't no slap on the wrist.

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VW executives are facing criminal charges.

As far as money, this is just mitigations. There's the buyback, too.

Let's see:

I had a 3-year old vehicle. I bought it new in 2013. I turned it into VW in 2017 for nearly $5K more than I paid for it.

I had to wait for weeks for my turn to do so. This is still going on.

They cannot sell these vehicles until they fix them - meaning that they will scrap the old ones and add a urea system to the newer low mileage ones like mine. They are barred from shipping them to countries with less restrictive emissions.

It isn't just VW: I'm waiting for my Bosch settlement check (they set up the cheat)
I love my new Subaru, but damn do I dearly miss those trips with 52mpg. I took my kid on a college visit loop of nearly 1,000 miles and filled the tank once, and won a bet with a Prius driver on a pretty much parallel trip (the TDI got better mileage climbing through and around Vermont, NH, western MA, Maine, and Quebec).

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I wonder how Mass will spend the $20 million.

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As someone who paid excise tax on said vehicle, i'd like a piece of it!

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You pay excise tax to your municipality, not to the state.

Meanwhile, there are strings attached to this money. It has to go toward pollution mitigation as an offset for the illegal emissions from the TDI vehicles that had the cheatware installed.

Ironically, I had a TDI, returned it in the buy back, and I work in air pollution and public health. So I happen to know about these things.

CORRECTION: the $20 million is a penalty. There's another $75million coming for the mitigations.

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Paying legal bills.

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Too little, too late. 20 M$ won't go far treating the innumerable cases of asthma and other ailments directly attributable to diesel pollution. Yet, even though Volkswagen oughta be much more than ashamed, we continue as a society to tolerate unnecessary diesel use, spending tax money on a steady parade of diesel powered commuter trains, buses, school buses, fire trucks, &c, and failing to level the burden of much needed emissions controls among owners of all types of vehicles. The solution is simple: require equal emission controls and equal testing requirements for all. If automobiles are our sacred cows, then diesels have become the sacred bulls that snuck into the pasture.

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Diesel has no place in our environment, particularly not in densely populated urban areas.

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If only the government performed emissions testing on vehicles, none of this ever would have happened. Oh wait. That's what VW's defeat devices were designed to cheat.

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Untrue. The fix was on regulatory compliance by the manufacturer, not annual emission testing like gasoline powered vehicles must undergo as part of the state inspection process. Light duty diesel fueled vehicles DO NOT receive emissions testing in Mass.

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Passenger diesels are only a tiny part of those emissions - most is from heavy duty, pre-2007 diesels in trucks and buses, off road diesels (backhoes, etc.) and then railroad locomotives and auxiliary engines like generators (check out the diesel engines from long ago that power the refrigeration units in Chelsea sometime!). Light duty engines, most of which hit the road after the regs went into place, are a very tiny fraction of the entire mess in Massachusetts.

VW isn't responsible for the magnitude of the mess you mention - and gasoline engines generate other precursors of ozone, too. They are, however, responsible for their own mess and this is a very good start.

I actually speak, write, and publish on these things. In Europe passenger diesel is enough to matter. In the US, its very minimal compared to the "sacred cow" of off road and older on-road emissions.

I very strongly suggest that you look up the progressive tightening of regulations on emissions of both diesel and gasoline vehicles - you are on the right track, but you really could use a sense of proportion.

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We are in agreement. If you read what I wrote (in the comment you are replying to here) I mention some of those very points. V.W. bears responsibility, but so does the state for not regulating, and the federal government for not allowing the state to regulate, diesels. You have to wonder why are people still buying V.W.s ? I believe most simply do not care or perhaps even take an active antagonistic stance against any possible interference with something they hold dear - driving. The enemy is us.

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