Volkswagen Was Trying to Help Consumers; the Government Wants to Impoverish Them

The government is now going to punish Volkswagen to teach corporations to never again put customers first.

From what I hear on the radio, I suspect some people are going to go to jail over Volkswagen and its “defeat devices.”

I think they made the wrong decision. Going against state orders is dangerous. The Bible tells us to cooperate with tyrants and political bullies as much as possible and pray to God for mercy that He will remove them from power.

But make no mistake: people who made the decision to evade the emissions requirements are heroes of the people who have risked a lot in order to deliver to us a desirable vehicle. They may have done it out of pure profit motive. Or they may have done it out of professional pride in workmanship—wanting to deliver a real deal to the public and not the overpriced, underperforming piece of garbage that the government wants us all to drive. Whatever their motives, they were genuinely delivering to the public a vehicle that they wanted to buy. And they did it at personal risk to themselves. It is a risk that they will probably regret for the rest of their lives thanks to the punishments that our political masters inflict on those who benefit the public.

But there was no way that Volkswagen could make an affordable vehicle that was worth buying if they obeyed the U.S. government.

As Shikha Dalmia writes at Reason.com,

The fact is that EPA’s crazy emissions mandates shoved VW off a cliff and, if its regulatory authority is not curbed, more companies are going to follow suit […]

Drivers want cheap, safe, powerful cars. That is exactly what the EPA’s NOx standards made it very difficult for VW to produce. Meeting the agency’s aggressive 2008 edict would have required the company to install a urea tank to neutralize the nitrogen oxide before release. But that would have not only bumped the prices of cars in a mid-range category, it would have diminished fuel economy, and made the cars far less zippy (since the engine is forced to divert power to the tank).

For a company like VW that was desperately trying to gain a toe-hold in a diesel-unfriendly country like America, EPA’s NOx standards obviously posed a very difficult dilemma.

But that is only the beginning.

The EPA is constantly changing its requirements and demanding that car manufacturers create science fiction miracles. The fuel-efficiency demands are actually deadly. As Shikha Dalmia wrote at The Week:

Federal regulators have become overly aggressive on virtually every front. For example, new CAFE emissions standards for light trucks have forced automakers to use lightweight material in the body. This makes it difficult to make safe trucks that can pass federal crash tests.

Just think about that. You buy your own gas so it shouldn’t matter to anyone what kind of fuel-efficiency you get. So which would you rather drive—a vehicle that costs you more at the pump or one that is a death trap if you ever get into a collision?

[See also, “Do Electric Cars Really Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels.”]

The entire premise of the government is that they get to make that decision for you. My hunch is that, when it becomes obvious, we will see the standards for the crash tests lowered.

If you think these people are eager to punish Volkswagen because of their concern for “public health” you are blind to what is going on.