Liberal Conspiracy: Volkswagen retrofit help diesel vehicles and the environment

by Jenna Smith

Volkswagen will begin offering a retrofitted misfueling guard and fuel change filter to all ’09-’12 diesel models. The retrofit is a response to fuel pump and fuel contamination issues reported by American diesel drivers.

Upon inspection, the presence of gasoline in diesel tanks proved to be the issue. Though the culprit is human error and not an engineering gaff, Volkwagen’s response is to dummyproof American fuel tanks.

While American commuters once regarded diesel engines as odorous fuel dinosaurs, diesel models enjoy improving popularity ratings in recent years. Newer models challenge the image of diesel trucks coughing coal black smoke up and down highways. New diesel passenger vehicles burn cleanly and efficiently. Wearing the same body styling as gasoline models, diesel cars are nearly indiscernible from their gas-thirsty cousins on the road. Recently car buyers have taken a closer look at diesels as a fuel efficient option in response to high gasoline prices.

Americans’s unfamiliarity with the diesel pump, however, created questions about Volkswagen’s diesel line. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating reports of Volkswagen diesel vehicles stalling, sometimes in the middle of the highway. At least 160 complaints were registered with the NHTSA, including many by Volkswagen itself. The majority of vehicles in question were found to have excessive gasoline in their diesel tank as a result of misfueling. The retrofit seeks to prevent ignorance from damaging further Volkswagens.

Diesels may be a curiosity to Americans, but they continue to grow in popularity in overseas.The European market is nearly 50% diesel, where diesel represents a scant 3% of American sales. Still, more car manufacturers look to bring their diesel models stateside in the coming years. The enviable range and mileage of diesel vehicles is attractive to drivers looking to cut costs at the pump. Manufacturers also look to diesel options to improve their average mpg to meet new government requirements.

While diesel engines offer savings on fuel, many Americans still find that the savings does not outpace more expensive diesel car payments, engine repair, and increased insurance rates. Interested diesel buyers should research and cost compare to make certain that the fuel savings correlates to money in the bank. AAA’s fuel cost calculator allows drivers to estimate fuel costs by car model and trip distance. Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. offers helpful tips about insurance and auto claims.

Diesel enthusiasts trumpet extended benefits like improved resale value and long lasting engines. It is not uncommon for well-maintained diesels to last up to 250,000 miles. Enthusiasts also point to amenities like increased towing capacity as well as a little extra pep in the pedal. Diesel engines are slightly noisier than their gasoline counterparts, but modern models run much more quietly than their predecessors.

With many fuel efficient models including electrics, biodiesel, and hybrids showing up on car lots, it remains to be seen if diesel vehicles will gain traction with American buyers. Negative reports of engines stalling and fuel pump failures do not inspire buyer’s confidence. Even if the failures stem from misuse, Volkswagen’s effort to prevent future failures and stalls helps to regain consumer confidence.

Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article

via Guest Liberal Conspiracy

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