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its not cheating but it is "legistlation optimisation"


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#1 mariner

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:07

Remember the thread on "cheating " the fuel economy test?

 

Well MB have gone back to trick used by Chrysler WAY back in the seventies to help it meet CAFE. The new C class fuel tank holds a huge 10 US gallons to help cut kerb weight on the rollers.

 

Mind you MB wil kindly sell you the proper size tank for just $80 extra -a  brilliant profit action.

 

http://www.autocar.c...-supermini-size

 

 

I really wonder just how dumb the EU test will become before it gets changed?



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#2 Magoo

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:32

Too clever by half. In the end, Daimler is running the biggest con on itself. 

 

 

It fascinates me when people blame this jiggery-pokery not on the thieving chiselers who pull it, but on the loopholes in the regulations. Imagine trying to live with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers in such a twisted ethical system. In any transaction, it is always possible to cut corners. No trick to that at all. 



#3 BRG

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:30

Car makers are not noted for ethics. Take the situation in India.  "Reputable" manufacturers have actually removed safety features for the Indian market.  So much for the pursuit of safety.  :down:



#4 Magoo

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 15:34

Car makers are not noted for ethics. Take the situation in India.  "Reputable" manufacturers have actually removed safety features for the Indian market.  So much for the pursuit of safety.  :down:

 

Oh, India.Some GM people were running ringer engines through emissions testing there. Over 30 people were canned, including the head of global powertrain, a GM executive board position. 



#5 RogerGraham

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 15:52

Too clever by half. In the end, Daimler is running the biggest con on itself. 

 

 

It fascinates me when people blame this jiggery-pokery not on the thieving chiselers who pull it, but on the loopholes in the regulations. Imagine trying to live with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers in such a twisted ethical system. In any transaction, it is always possible to cut corners. No trick to that at all. 

 

One way to avoid the game-playing would be to perform the tests on the version of each model with the most weight / largest fuel tank / etc.  It would be interesting trying to actually write that rule to avoid even further game-playing, but it shouldn't be too hard.



#6 MatsNorway

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 16:35

They are not tricking themselves. I as a costumer saves money on this as i get less polution tax in Norway when i buy the car.



#7 Greg Locock

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 21:54

Car makers are not noted for ethics. Take the situation in India.  "Reputable" manufacturers have actually removed safety features for the Indian market.  So much for the pursuit of safety.  :down:

 

 

yes. Interesting point though, is there any point in trying to sell a car for 8000 dollars against a 6000 dollar competitor, even if yours has six airbags?

 

The answer in India, is pretty much no.

 

(I'd add that in cost benefit terms I'm not especially convinced by airbags. Seat belts, yes. Crash structure, yes. Airbags especially for passengers or side airbags, meh see http://www.sciencese...s/text/ch12.htm and http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811206.pdf http://www.riskworld.com/news/97q1/nw7aa028.htm)

 

 

So the indian consumer is making a rational choice, airbags /even for drivers/ are a silly extravagance. Put your seatbelt on and pay attention.



#8 Fat Boy

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 23:29

Greg, I'd like to think you're not suggesting that grown adults could make an intelligent, informed opinion without governmental oversight.



#9 Greg Locock

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:20

Well, here's a more interesting one that you all do.

 

Buying tires.

 

When you buy a car do you strip the old tires off and immediately fit the best available tire for that vehicle?

 

If not then you /personally/ have just traded dollars for the safety of the occupants of that car.

 

Of course the manufacturer is ahead of you there, he has already traded off braking distance against fuel consumption. In the EEC he may even have traded off external tire noise against braking distance. That compromise is encouraged/forced by the government.

 

Nobody is forcing Indian consumers to buy cars without airbags. They choose to do so.



#10 Canuck

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:40

That's just game theory at its finest. The object is to maximize shareholder value, not build the safest car, the fastest car or the most efficient unless that is going to result in maximum profit. This is free-market (snicker) capitalism at its finest. Make. More. Money. That's the directive the shareholders demand of the board, and the board in turn demands of the CEO. The entire system is fundamentally broken and will remain so until there is a global revolution or an equally preposterous global shift to sacrificing personal gain for greater good (which we all agree on). My money is on revolution.

#11 Greg Locock

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:01

Unfettered capitalism is nasty. Fettered capitalism seems to be a pretty good system, or at least better than alternatives. Revolution is so nineteen year old.



#12 HP

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:06

Car makers are not noted for ethics. Take the situation in India.  "Reputable" manufacturers have actually removed safety features for the Indian market.  So much for the pursuit of safety.  :down:

What are statistics that demonstrate that airbags lead to less fatalites in an accident, the severity of injuries, etc.

 

Carrying airbags adds weigth to a car, which leads to higher fuel consumption. That should also be taken into consideration, since this is also an safety hazard as it increases air pollution. Never mind the maintenance issue. If a car has airbags but they malfunction what's the use then?

 

But since you mention India. Once I arrived in Mumbay 2am, obviously everything dark. Had to take a taxi. The roads had on many places the lights turned off (or maybe not existing). Anyhow, most of the time the taxi driver turned of all lights on the car. Occasionally he turned them on though. I inquired about this. His answer: "I turn on the lights whenever I see something, so they know I am here.."

 

I felt it of no use to ask him how he knows that something else is on the road.. Anyhow we made it safely to our destination. Or should I mention train tracks there. I had once a chance to inspect a train overpass, on a route which we just passed with the train maybe 15 minutes before. What I saw just stunned me. About half of the screws holding down the track were loose.

 

Or then on my way to work here where I live, I can easily have 10 accidents if I want. Many motorbike drivers just dart into the road. If I don't expect that to happen then I'd be going to crash with all these people, The government considered to prohibit anyone over 60 to ride motorbike as they are the bulk of this mindless behavior. For obvious reasons that law never passed legislation

 

And I think many of us can tell similar stories from many other countries. In the end it appears to me that safety standards are rather dependent on the peoples awareness on the road, than any built in safety features. My driving instructor was an old man, one of his advices stuck to me. It served me rather well : "On the road, think for the others too. Assume that everyone else is an idiot at driving".

 

So let the manufacturers do what they feel is best for them, wrap it in some nice PR. For safety issues however, in the end, I am the driver and I am responsible. That I drove in many countries without major issues has precisely to do with that. Most of us who know what they are doing can drive anything safely. Many people are different sadly. But what the manufacturers offer to us is in many ways irrelevant. In a country where safety issues have high priority, it does not surprise me at all that they are a major selling point. However in many countries, safety isn't top priority, and it shows.

 

And well with the Aston Martin global recall of yesterday ( http://money.cnn.com....html?hpt=hp_t3 ) it should be obvious that safety is partially a feeble issue of the mind.


Edited by HP, 06 February 2014 - 06:08.


#13 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:50

yes. Interesting point though, is there any point in trying to sell a car for 8000 dollars against a 6000 dollar competitor, even if yours has six airbags?
 
The answer in India, is pretty much no.
 
(I'd add that in cost benefit terms I'm not especially convinced by airbags. Seat belts, yes. Crash structure, yes. Airbags especially for passengers or side airbags, meh see http://www.sciencese...s/text/ch12.htm and 
Agreed, air bags are so overrated. It is a ploy to sell cars,,the more airbags and cupholders a car has makes it safer! Sorry, you just scrap the car quicker. Drivers airbag maybe because that steering wheel can bite but the rest are largely marketing.
Manufacturers could sell the cars for a good deal less money without half the gimmicks and gargoyles in the car. Often never used and costs for no reason. The car is lighter, simpler, easier to maintain. And 98% as safe.
A sheet of thin tin with an airbag is no substitute for a proper strength door. Look at so many ecoboxes and that is what they are, The inside shell of the door is the door trim.
 
 
So the indian consumer is making a rational choice, airbags /even for drivers/ are a silly extravagance. Put your seatbelt on and pay attention.



#14 mariner

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:52

It is easy to call MB sleazeballs over this and double sleazeballs for then charging for a full size tank

 

BUT

 

MB can legitimately say the smaller tank will improve real world fuel consumption by marginally reducing average kerb weight - very, very small but true

 

Matsnorway makes very good point about reducing the customer’s taxes from this “trick". In the UK 50% of cars are sold as company cars on which there is an income tax liability. Its a formula which favours low CO2 level cars so by MB reducing the EU test CO2 level  this way a UK MB company driver ( the majority of MB customers ) will save hundreds of dollars in gov't taxes.

 

So "unethical" - maybe yes, maybe not.

 

IMHO the real issue for society isn’t whether MB are sleazeballs/ethical or not - its setting gov't goals then using stupid measures to enforce them and track compliance.

 

If you believe global warming is threat to humanity then you should act to reduce it. The EU gov't does believe it is and has set tough CO2 reduction goals. It has then implemented a series of laws to enforce reduction - primarily falling on companies in the first instance. The average mfr CO2/km rules, which become tougher and tougher over time, are one element of reducing CO2 through legislation not pricing. To do all of this and then use a  test of just 11km which favours things like stop/start due to its construct is - I would submit- at the very least stupid - and arguably - deceitful and  irresponsible for an elected government. I’m sure the mfrs lobbied to get an easier test but people like Greenpeace lobbied in the other direction. Both are entitled to lobby, it’s the lawmakers who must act in the interest of society.



#15 Magoo

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 13:27

Greg, I'd like to think you're not suggesting that grown adults could make an intelligent, informed opinion without governmental oversight.

 

Actually, they can't. This is a basic fact of 21st century life. 

 

Without a long list of government regulations, you can't even know what you are eating unless you grow it yourself. 

 

And the automakers will not tell you what mileage their cars really deliver, or what emissions they produce, unless they are compelled to by law. As we have seen: to whatever extent they are allowed to lie about it, they will. 



#16 Magoo

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 15:33

It is easy to call MB sleazeballs over this and double sleazeballs for then charging for a full size tank

 

BUT

 

MB can legitimately say the smaller tank will improve real world fuel consumption by marginally reducing average kerb weight - very, very small but true

 

 

 

 

These are different meanings of "true" and "legitimate" than most of us employ in our daily lives. 



#17 Fat Boy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:44

As far as food goes, I am increasingly growing it and sourcing it locally.

 

As far as the fuel tank game goes, it's perhaps a bit cheeky, but an entirely more genuine approach than Hyundai/Kia who just out-and-out lied about their aero drag numbers so they could claim great, but non-existent, fuel consumption numbers.


Edited by Fat Boy, 07 February 2014 - 04:44.


#18 mariner

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:18

Obviously this is not as repeatable as in the rolling road lab but it seems reasonably logical and shows the "test to reality" gap varies by car thus, hopefully, keeping some honesty

 

http://www.whatcar.c...g/how-we-did-it

 

BTW using this approach the magazine has identified that the new E10 fuel being imposed by the gov't on the UK later this year to meet EU global warming targets may increase real world  fuel consumption by up to 10%. That will also increase the gov't tax take by up to 10% as 2/3 of the price is tax.

 

Neat!



#19 alexbiker

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 18:36

The EU rules have lead to unrepressed gaming.  Auto boxes: shifting up to top at ridiculous speeds.  Noise tests passed because for a while nothing banned rolling along with the engine switched off.  Aston Martin rebadging a Toyota supermini to give away, lowering their average CO2 emission.

 

Engineering is all about compromises but instead of trade-offs against real-world performance, we're engineering to the test.



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#20 BRG

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 19:22

 Aston Martin rebadging a Toyota supermini to give away, lowering their average CO2 emission.

 

I envy your degree of wealth if you regard the sale price of £31,000 for the AM Cygnet (aka IQ) as a 'give away'