How VW was caught: scientists couldn?t afford nicer cars


As if the brand damage wasn’t bad enough, it has now been revealed that Volkswagen got sprung because the scientists researching emissions couldn’t afford to buy nicer cars to run their tests on.

The Volkswagen emissions scandal was uncovered only because researchers could not afford to test more expensive cars, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The American engineers who discovered that Volkswagen used a ?cheat device? to pass emissions tests said they originally wanted to test Mercedes and BMW vehicles, but the cars were too pricey to rent.

Instead, they used a VW Passat and a VW Jetta saloon ? without knowing the cars were fitted with the device to help them pass emissions standards. A BMW X5 sport utility vehicle was also used.

The testers spent a month driving the three cars around California with specialist monitoring equipment. ? Read more »

The hypocrisy of the Morgans never ceases to amaze me


Yesterday the news was all about VW cheating on their emissions test.

It included a whinge from Sam Morgan about pollution and “clean-air”.

?Trade Me founder Sam Morgan is among the Volkswagen drivers condemning the German automaker after the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the company skirted clean air rules by rigging emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars.?

Read more »

Corporates build their own newsrooms, feed the corporate media

Andrew Sullivan is a little despondent in his post about corporate newsrooms.

He suggests that sponsored articles or native advertising will win:

Because journalists will make far more money from it than the old, ethical variety. Because no one has come up with a business model that can compete with it for moolah. And, above all, because readers don?t really give a shit:

The article he quotes next is an interesting one, where Columbia Journalism Review looks at corporate newsrooms.

Not ones built by corporate media, but rather ones built be corporates to write their own content to feed to a lazy media.

By next year, Coca-Cola hopes to have killed the press release. It believes the corporate website is dead, and it?s shifting its money away from television advertising. It has little use for journalists who aren?t interested in stories Coke wants to tell. Instead, it?s decided that producing its own content is better than relying on others.

To that end, Coke?and Nestl? and Chipotle and Volkswagen and countless other companies?have blown up their marketing departments in recent years. They?ve infused them with something that looks closer to a newsroom, producing glossy magazines, blog networks, reported articles, long-form narratives, and compelling videos. One Volkswagen video alone, filmed in a Hong Kong movie theater, has drawn almost 29 million viewers on YouTube, proof that you don?t have to work in a newsroom to understand the dynamics of social media. Or check out a site produced by Red Bull on surfing: It?s filled with spectacular photography, short documentaries, the latest news on surfing, and very little about Red Bull energy drinks.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschelthe iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm ? Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschelthe iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm ?
Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

Riding the Hate Bus, 1961

Read more »

The Great Ute Debate: Which ute wins a tug of war?

Here are three videos I found to explore the discussion we had recently about the pulling power of utes.

Many people stated that towing capacity and pulling power was imperative for their ute.

While it was useful at work most also use their ute on weekend for recreational towing of the boat, or trailers with Quads, and motorbikes.

Some people commented that the Volkswagen Amarok might appear to have good towing and pull capacity but they were unconvinced.

So let’s look at a fun way to compare this. By the way if any manufacturers want to compete in a WOBH supervised event similar to these then drop me an email.

VW Amarok vs Ford Ranger:

Read more »

A reader’s motoring experience with a VW Golf

This reader experience came unsolicited, and as a result of the Seven Sharp episode where it showed me driving a VW Amarok.


VW: Engineering Flair or Froth without Beer?


There was a funny juxtaposition evident in Whale Oil?s cameo on Seven Sharp this week: he shared the stage with a German-born brand, VW (?Engineering Flair?). Funny because there is another German-born ?brand? he would not share a stage with, Kim ?Froth without Beer.?

So why might serious ?go-bush-and-shoot-things? Whale Oil choose a VW wagon when he could be driving a Ford or Holden?


I suspect it is because he buys into the long game.? Read more »

The Great Ute debate


I need your help in deciding what ute to get.

Now for the purposes of this discussion we are talking about a double cab 4×4 ute…not some next to useless low slung fancy thing that is useless for anything other than carting around one bludger at a time.

Ok, so I have had a test drive of a Ford Ranger and at the moment I am testing a Volkswagen Amarok. I can’t test all utes out there, so I want to crowdsource my decision-making process…and possibly design the perfect ute along the way.

I need?your?help though and want to run a series of surveys to see where we end up, and to create a decision-making series of posts.

Today is the first post in the series…let’s start with the basics.

The premise of this discussion is origin.

Should origin be a deciding factor in the ute you buy? ? Read more »


I need a new ute, got any ideas?

I am looking for a new ute, there are plenty on the market, but what should I get.

I need a double cab, 4WD, shoot off the back and running board capabilities and a tuff deck of some sort…having a bluetooth phone connection is handy but not essential.

A Toyota Hilux: The former go to truck for a good keen man. Though a few owners, both commercial and recreational tell me they aren’t as happy as they used to be with Toyota’s offerings now. They are also on the expensive side.

A Nissan Navara: People I know who have these trucks rave about them.

niis Read more »

As gay as fossy’s gay ute? [POLL]

This could quite easily be a serious challenger for Fossy’s Gay Ute:


Volkswagen has uncovered what could be the first hint at a hot new performance-focused Amarok ute.

The sporty new Amarok Concept Worthersee 2013 was revealed at the weekend’s Volkswagen fan show in Austria, boasting a punchy 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine producing 200kW of power and 600Nm of torque.? Read more »

Would a teacher union turn down this bonus scheme?

The other day I blogged about a teacher union turning down a bonus scheme…would they turn this one down?

Volkswagen is coughing up a massive NZ$1.1 billion in bonuses to workers after a record year.

The company sold 9.3 million vehicles, up nearly 12 per cent, in boosting revenues by more than 20 per cent to NZ$305 billion during 2012.

That pushed its pre-tax profit to an asonishing NZ$40 billion. Net profits came in at NZ$10.1 billion.? Read more »