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Crooks, Cons & Connivers In The Automotive Industry

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#81
How To Avoid The Three Worst Craigslist Scams - Lehto's Law Ep. 2.08
Steve Lehto


Published on Dec 3, 2015
Craigslist is a minefield for consumers. Scammers of all sorts populate the site - and other internet sites - and will rip you off if you are not careful. Here are the three most common serious Craigslist scams and how to avoid them. There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/how...

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#82
Top 7 Ways Mechanics Rip Off Consumers - Lehto's Law Ep. 2.32
Steve Lehto


Published on May 11, 2016
Consumers need to be aware of the most common ways in which mechanics rip them off when performing automobile repairs. Here the top 7 ways I have come across in my 24+ years of practicing consumer protection law.

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#83
Worst Cars Bought By My Clients - Lehto's Law Ep. 2.17
Steve Lehto


Published on Feb 3, 2016
In 24 years of representing consumers, I've had clients who have owned some pretty bad cars. These are the worst I've ever seen. Hope you never own one this bad. There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/the...

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#84
Don't Do a Title Loan! Lehto's Law - Ep. 3.38
Steve Lehto


Published on Jun 21, 2017
People in desperate need of money often turn to title loans - borrowing money against a car they already own outright - as a short term solution. Title loans are illegal in most states and for good reason. The lenders are often unscrupulous, charge illegal interest rates, and do not honor the initial agreement. And, many borrowers end up deeper in debt and lose their car in the process. There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/don...

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From the comments:

It's important you check out the laws in each state before you get a loan. You can see them here https://toploancompanies.com/car-title-loan-laws/
 

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#85
True Stories From Driving A Tow Truck - Lehto's Law Ep. 2.38
Steve Lehto


Published on Jun 22, 2016
I drove a tow truck for a few years before college and saw some amazing things. It really is remarkable what people can do with their cars late at night, especially when they are drunk. There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/tru...

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#86
More True Tow Truck Stories - Lehto's Law Ep. 3.29
Steve Lehto


Published on Apr 19, 2017
I have done a couple podcasts about the time I spent driving a tow truck shortly after I got out of high school. People have asked if I have more tow truck stories. Why Yes, I do! And here they are - all 100% bona fide true!

There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/mor...

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#87
I Sued a Transmission Shop Before I Was an Attorney - Lehto's Law Ep. 3.41
Steve Lehto


Published on Jul 12, 2017
The title says it all - in the mid 1980s I was ripped off by a trans shop. I sued them and won and this was one of the things which inspired me to become an attorney and get into this specific line of work (helping consumers). There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/i-s...

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#88
Top Excuses Used By Sellers Of Defective Cars - Lehto's Law Ep. 2.25
Steve Lehto


Published on Mar 24, 2016
You'd be surprised by the crazy things car sellers will say to explain away what they have done when they have sold someone a defective car. These are the excuses I hear the most often when I file suit against sellers of defective cars. There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/top...

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#89
What do you do if a customer wont pay?
Stephen Cox


Published on Apr 17, 2018
 

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#90
Ford Powershift transmission problems: $10 million penalty | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Apr 28, 2018
Earlier this week, my heart was as heavy as a garden full of hummingbirds on the first day of spring, when the Federal Court placed Ford Australia’s head in a vice and handed down a $10 million fine for unconscionable conduct orbiting the infamous PowerShit transmission.

It’s one of the biggest consumer law penalties ever in the nation. Well deserved, too.

Ford will also - and this has really gotta hurt - finally have to address customers’ PowerShit transmission issues and - heaven forbid - actually comply with Australian Consumer Law, as interpreted by an independent umpire.

Those customer-violating blue-oval mother-lovers will also be required to upgrade and independently review their consumer law compliance and complaints handling systems. Fancy that. Actually having to obey the law. Talk about fundamental change.

Unfortunately, the official review program that flows from this ruling will only help a fraction of the 70,000 people who bought Focus, Fiesta or EcoSport shitheaps. For the remainder there’s always the class action. Details on who the current ruling actually helps and how to apply coming up at the end of this report.

A $10 million reaming in Federal Court would be a heart-stopper for you or me, but for Ford it’s really just a speed hump. The cost of doing business. And you need to bear in mind that Ford made $6 million profiteering from affected PowerShit owners, denying them refunds and forcing them into expensive upgrades. For a corporation like Ford, a net $4 million wrist slap is not the sandpaper suppository it would represent for you or me. It’s just not.

Rod Sims, who fronts the normally asleep ACCC, said:

“Ford’s $10 million penalty is one of the largest handed down under the Australian Consumer Law and reflects the seriousness of Ford’s conduct. Ford knew that its vehicles had three separate quality issues, but dealt with affected customers in a way which the Court has declared to be unconscionable.”

That last bit is important - because Ford’s unconscionable conduct is no longer a matter of speculation. It’s a legal fact. The court has determined this about Ford’s conduct.

‘Unconscionable’ means ‘unreasonably excessive’. There’s no way Ford could have done this by accident. They screwed thousands of customers, causing immense emotional distress and financial hardship, because they thought they could get away with it. They even saw that distress as an opportunity to make money.

Rod Sims said Ford’s illegal behaviour was an act in three parts. Firstly, Ford told owners the uncontrolled shuddering was a result of their driving style when the company knew it was a design defect.
Secondly, Mr Sims said:

“Ford knew that the symptoms of the quality issues with the vehicles were experienced intermittently, but required customers to demonstrate them on demand in the presence of a dealer in order for repairs to be undertaken.”

And, third, (the big one in my view): Ford’s refusal to provide a refund or no-cost replacement even after multiple repairs had failed to resolve the problem. Instead, Ford instituted the Orwellian ‘Ownership Loyalty Program’.

This would be like a frequent flyer program where one of the ‘rewards’ is to charge you $10,000 and drop you out of the bomb bay without a parachute, if you complain.

The company told owners a refund or replacement was not an option. And that’s a bare-faced lie. It’s a legal entitlement. Instead, owners were coerced into making a significant payment to get out of their PowerShitboxes and into another Ford.

So - just to be crystal clear on this: Ford knew the transmission was defective. They denied it. They failed to resolve the problem. They treated consumer law as if it were optional or disposable, and then they profiteered off the affected owners.

I don’t see how Ford could do this by accident. That would be like robbing a bank by accident or mass murder by accident. You simply can’t do that. It’s not possible.
 

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#91
Justice Department files criminal charges against ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn for conspiring to cover up the firm's diesel emissions cheating

  • Former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn was charged in federal court in Detroit
  • An indictment filed in secret in March, was unsealed on Thursday in U.S. District Court, and names numerous former executives
  • Winterkorn resigned soon after the scandal over polluting vehicles in the United States became public in September 2015


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5688611/Ex-Volkswagen-CEO-Winterkorn-charged-U-S-diesel-scandal.html#ixzz5EXLGVxK6
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
 

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#92
The truth about sulphur levels in automotive fuels | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
AutoExpertTV


Published on May 7, 2018
Sulphur is an impurity in fuel - petrol and diesel. Currently our regulations here in Ass-trailer (‘Straya) have a deplorably excessive sulphur limit for 91 RON gasolina at 150 parts per million (PPM) while 95 and 98 premium unleaded are 50 at parts per million. Among developed nations in the OECD only Mexico is worse. Well done, ‘Straya. Yesss!

Australia is always somewhat spasticated on fuel quality and emissions regulations. But things here are not as bad as they seem. Despite our stratospheric limits on sulphur, in practice, the bowsers here in Shitsville average 28 parts per million for 91 RON and 16 parts per million for premium.

I don’t think we should be high-fiving ourselves, however, because global best practice is a mandated maximum 10 parts per million. We are thus ‘only’ double-to-triple where we should be.

Sulphur content matters because the stuff passes through the combustion chamber and impacts the effectiveness of catalytic converters. One of the key jobs the cat does is to magic away gasses called oxides of nitrogen in exhaust.

These are also known as NOx - the twisted freaks of the stoichiometric combustion process at the centre of the Volkswagen monkey-spanking dieselgate scandal.

NOx are a respiratory tract irritant and generally burden on human health. Pollution kills a lot of people - and NOx is a big part of the problem, which is why it’s so heavily regulated.

Drilling right down into this - the catalytic converter grabs NOx on the way through and reconfigures it with mad chemical voodoo to become plain old nitrogen gas and oxygen gas - the two major components of the air you’re breathing right now. So that’s nice.

Sulphur gums up the works and stops that from happening. And NOx is emitted, the better to kill people prematurely. Which is exactly what it does. That’s bad.

The fuel industry bitches and moans about how expensive it would be to comply with 10 parts per million and the car industry bitches and moans about not being able to meet emissions regulations without it. They deploy their arsehole lobbyists to Canberra armed with A-grade, export quality bullshit.

Our politicians - useless lawyers, overwhelmingly - technical spastics - are the referees of this bitching and moaning world championship. They drive around in government cars with their heads up their corpulant arses, calling the shots. Which is, of course, why nothing ever gets done.

If you’re a combustion propeller-head in some super-secret engineering skunkworks, it’s like this: The leaner you run the fuel-air mixture, up to a point, the more torque you get at the crank. You know you’ve been over-enthusiastic on this if the engine misfires.

But running leaner than the ideal stoichiometric air-fuel ratio is good because you’re getting more work done with less fuel. Temperatures increase somewhat, so you have to make sure (using robust R&D) that you don’t over-temp critical engine components, because owners often hate it when their engine melts the pistons or the valves.

But, basically, a lean-burning engine does more with less. Meaning manufacturers can get away with smaller capacity lean-burn engines doing the same work as larger, richer-burning engines - so there’s a compounding fuel economy benefit there. (Less weight from a smaller engine and intrinsically less fuel used into the bargain.)

Unfortunately, the rate of NOx production increases as you make the mixture leaner. There’s too much oxygen, and not all of it gets laid with its first-preference partner on tinder (gasoline).

Frustrated and alone, remaining oxygen does what any of us would do - it gets drunk and goes home with nitrogen, and wakes up humiliated. We’ve all been there. There’s no shame.

This of course means designers need to do even more mad catalytic converter voodoo to ensure the NOx limits in the emissions regulations are met, with a lean-burn engine - and that’s precisely what the monkey spankers intentionally failed to to in the dieselgate scandal.

So, to Jason I’d say it’s probably OK to use 91 or e10 on the highway, but better to switch to premium around the city - because the city is where the impacts of NOx are really felt. It’s not an environment thing in the sense of climate change. It’s an environment thing mainly in the human health domain.
 

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#93
The truth about modern car reliability (with added nuts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on May 9, 2018
Thanks to the car, you enjoy more mobility than a Roman emperor - but none of us plays air guitar over this nearly as often as we should. Not enough riffing and too much bitching about the cost of unexpected repairs.

"I know your pretty keen on the Santa Fe but I wonder about its mechanical longevity. I have a 2009 Santa Fe that has done 115,000ks. Every driver should expect wear and tear but so far, I have replaced a starter motor, (just under warranty) a rear seatbelt, and now a harmonic balancer where rubber has separated from the steal pulley. What SUV's do you recommend that can last the distance (i.e. around 10 years over and above the regular replacement parts being required or with a considerable warranty period?" - Bill

Here’s a nine-year-old vehicle that has done three laps of the planet, effectively. In that time the starter motor failed and they replaced it free. Plus a seat belt and a harmonic balancer. Fairly small-ticket items, I’d suggest.

If you think this is bad, a brief conversation with the owner of a Volkswagen should turn you around...

Since the 1970s, cars have been packed with ever more features, they’re tremendously safer, they’re far more comfortable, the price has plummeted in real terms. They’re cheaper, better and more reliable, despite being significantly more complex. That’s just how it is - it’s an amazing achievement.

One of the negative consequences of this is: People expect their cars, increasingly, to last forever and require no maintenance.

I’m not saying everyone expects this - but there’s a growing class of person who resents paying $400 to service their car once a year, and who thinks it’s outrageous to pay something like five bucks a week over 10 years for replacement parts.

Of course, there’s another class of person whose tyre pressures, oil and water levels and brakes only ever get checked during that annual service...

I corresponded a bit with Bill over his problem. Apparently, what tipped him over the edge was a bill for $1200 or something to replace the harmonic balancer. So I found him a new one for $300 on eBay and advised him to get an independent mechanic to fit it at a greatly reduced cost compared to the Gestapo - and by ‘Gestapo’ I mean ‘authorised dealer sniffing blood in the water’.

But Bill managed to get the shits with me anyway. I formed the view this was his default position on basically everything. And it might surprise you to learn that I am occasionally undiplomatic.
Anyway - knock me down with a feather - I had the hide to point out that the second law of thermodynamics pertains even to modern cars, and as a result some unexpected repairs over nine years are just unavoidable.

Second law of thermodynamics for dummies: Everything wears out. Every old, busted car started out as a shiny new one. Then, unless outrageous resources are devoted to upkeep, this trajectory towards inevitable old and bustedness is inevitable. This process affects everyone and everything.

Expecting it not to pertain to your car - or you, as you age, or your computer, mobile phone, clothing, your home or your garden - is nuts.
 

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#94
Bad Dealer, Bad Dealer - What'cha Gonna Do? - Lehto's Law Ep. 4.33
Steve Lehto


Published on May 16, 2018
A car dealership near Flint (MI) was sanctioned by the state and ordered to stop selling cars for 15 days. What happened, how they got that order lifted and what might happen next.
 

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#95
Carmakers Dodging Income Tax (The Facts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
AutoExpertTV


Published on May 31, 2018
The data about tax dodgers stems from information released by the Shitsville Tax Office in December 2017. The Tax Office dumped the data on 2043 entities - 350 privately owned ones with total income of more than $200 million and the balance of 1693 entities were public companies or overseas-owned foreign companies with income of more than $100 million.

Depressingly enough, 732 of them, or slightly more than one in three, paid no income tax. Of these zero tax payers, the total income in their balance sheets was more than $500 billion. This is for the 2015-16 financial year.

They include companies like Shell, ExxonMobil, Billabong, Origin Energy, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and those near-death arseholes at Bauer Media.

To our woefully out of touch politicians I would humbly suggest: Dear dickhead lawyer arseholes, the system is pretty clearly broken. Not to be overly demanding, but we are all kind of paying you to get this right. Why not do that instead of rooting your staffers and selling interviews about it for $150,000. Or grilling some poor bastard tradie over his vehicle expenses? Just saying.

Make no mistake, selling cars is a low margin business. Of the money you take in from the customer, much of it goes into paying for the manufacturing, logistics and R&D.

Toyota leads the market in ‘Straya. Like Holden, it’s a failed manufacturer here. Unlike Holden, which declared zero taxable income and paid no tax in 2015-16, Toyota declared just under half a billion dollars in taxable income and paid more than a quarter of that in tax - which seems pretty reasonable.

Mercedes-Benz - actually Daimler (same thing) - earned total revenue of $3.6 billion, and about 10 per cent of that translated to taxable income. They paid just under a third of that in tax. Can’t fault them there.

BMW took in about $2.5 billion, and declared about $144 million as taxable income. The Bavarian Money Wasters paid more than a quarter of that in tax. Credit where it’s due...

Rounding out the German big three is Audi with $1.4 billion in revenue, $24 million in taxable income (which seems pretty low) but more than a quarter of that paid in tax.

Subaru does pretty well commercially in Australia. About the same total revenue as Audi - but a lot more taxable income, about a third of which was paid in tax. They’re an ethical shop.

Mazda sells more cars than Subaru - and total revenue is a lot higher. But the taxable income is about the same, and so was the tax.

Amazingly, people still buy cars from the MonkeySpankers. I don’t know why. Volkswagen earned $2.1 billion in total Shitsvillian pesos in 2015-16. They declared $73 million and paid $22 million in tax.

This is, like, an exclusive. When you think about it. Volkswagen caught not cheating! Details next. People will never believe it’s true…

Hyundai is the number three car seller in Australia - and $2.2 billion in revenue puts them in the same basic ballpark as Volkswagen in terms of total revenue, although they have to shift more units to make the same coin.

Hyundai declared $56 million in taxable income and paid just under one third of that in income tax.

And, rounding out a baker’s dozen of sorts, Kia is a lot lighter in total revenue - not even part of the billion-dollar boy’s club (yet) but they’re a pretty high margin shop with $47 million in taxable income and just under a third of that paid in tax.

The exceptions to the rule here are Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford and Holden. Combined revenue greater than $10 billion in 2015-16. Zero income tax paid. Yessssss!

Way to go - in particular - Ford and Holden. Nice job contributing zip to Australia society in the aftermath of us handing you all those billions from the public purse to keep the factories open, which you of course didn’t.

In the immortal words of Pauline Hanson: Please explain. As in please explain how you can be so morally bankrupt, so consistently, for so long, and yet still fail to understand why ordinary people like us - the market - increasingly do not trust you, and turn away.

And to you, the Aussie taxpayer, I’d suggest: when you look at your next pay slip and you see exactly what your financial contribution to society was last month, perhaps you might use this gross disparity to consider which carmakers are actually contributing to the social fabric of our paroled tropical beachside paradise, and which are just freeloaders not worth your time or money.

Is it really fair that you paid more tax last month than these four multinational tax dodging arseholes did in a whole financial year? I’d love to see someone try to win that debate for ‘team yes’.
 

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#96
The truth about Audi's new gender bending feminism | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
AutoExpertTV


Published on Jun 17, 2018
This week, the four-ring monkey-spankers have come out swinging.

Audi Shitsville MD, Paul Sansom, recently inserted the sizeable four-ringed cheque book into Vogue Magazine’s soft, velvety #DriveProgress campaign.

“For Vogue to promote future female innovation through this annual series of events is not only important, it is empowering and essential in today’s society.” - Paul Sansom, Audi Shitsville

That’s according to irrelevant publication AdNews, which added that:

“Audi’s new partnership with Vogue Codes demonstrates the importance of understanding and promoting technology and innovation as career choices for young women, according to Audi MD Paul Sansom.” - AdNews

This brilliant Vogue initiative will apparently include a bunch of breakfasts where women can hear from well-known established technology innovators like Lisa Wilkinson and Sandra Sully.

Audi is of course a leader in demolishing gender stereotypes.

Some people say comparing a woman to a used car is sexist and offensive. They’ve obviously never read the 10 Commandments...

You know I love doing this, but if I ever stop, I’m gunna run a course for senior executives entitled: ‘It’s really time to shut up now.’ Because here’s what happens when you don’t.

“Women … hold an important place in the history of the Audi brand and anchor why #DriveProgress is so important.” - Paul Sansom, Audi Shitsville

Seriously - they can’t help themselves. I instantly thought: Respect. This proud history of empowerment and equality. Something other carmakers should urgently aspire to. Audi proudly leading the way, again. Smashing that glass ceiling.

I knew straight away this simply could not be empty rhetoric. Because if it were, it would simply be too easy to deconstruct, using facts, right?

Globally, the Audi ringleader is of course a man. In this case, a man on first-name terms with German prosecutors,, Rupert Stadler.

Of course, sailing a ship like the SS Audi through the stormy seas of emissions fraud, is too big a job for just one man. You’d need a crack team of senior executive deck-hands if you don’t want your vessel to capsize.

These are the current Audi AG members of the board, all of them, looking euphoric to be there, in the time-honoured German tradition. And, you know what? The first thing that strikes me is…

… they’re all cocks. As in, the male of the species. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, not a single vagina in the boardroom. Except possibly to take notes or serve coffee.

Of course, one can never be certain - and there are some investigatory stones I’m unwilling to turn over…

But on the balance of probabilities I think it’s fair to say we need not worry too much about Audi stalling on the grid before Christmas because half the board is suddenly up the duff. (That means ‘with child’ if you’re from Retardistan.)

Isn’t it just fascinating the disconnect between the evidence, and the bullshit positions these companies take publicly? Which do you think, of the two, is likely to reveal more about the true culture of Audi as a business in respect of the opportunity for women internally?

After this alleged important history of women at Audi, isn’t it interesting that we just don’t see any at the top of the company today?
 

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#97
Top 6 ways to beat a car dealer before the end of financial year | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Jun 9, 2018
Car dealers transact every day. You don’t. They’re match fit. You’re not. Don’t fall for any of their crap. It’s all part of the dodgiest script on earth. This deal is only available today. Let’s get the sales manager to approve this low price - it’s completely outside my approval authority, but he’s a good bloke. How do you expect me to feed my family if I sell it to you for this unrealistically low price? (Correct answer there: Who cares?)

It’s all crap. It’s a veneer of politeness over the real objective, which is: to greet you and gut you before you walk off the lot.

Do not play this game. Car dealers are ambush predators. They need you to stand on their ‘X’ - this is how ambushes work. Don’t stand on the ‘X’. Remember the ‘golden rules’. You’re the one with the gold. Therefore: You get to make the rules.

One per cent finance is a con. It’s not a real interest rate. What really happens is: They don’t discount the car as low as they’d otherwise go, and they pay the financier a real interest rate under the table, undisclosed - it’s called subvented finance.

Usually you get locked in for half the amount of the sale for a maximum of 36 months, and you have to find the balloon payment - some five-figure sum, inconveniently - in three years’ time.

So that means either refinancing at a substantially high interest rate, or they’ll use it as a trigger for you to trade and go again - which might not otherwise suit you.

Get real finance, and screw them down harder on price. That’s usually the best overall outcome.

People generally don’t appreciate that there are often two or three transactions on the table at a dealership. You buy a new car, sure, but you often trade in your old one, and you arrange the finance.

So, the car dealer can bend over, hard, on the price of the new car - if you unwittingly allow him to bend you over on the finance and the trade-in. And he’s better at this than you, on the balance of probabilities.

The best way to avoid this is to separate the transactions. Know how much your trade-in is worth. Investigate the best independent finance deal available for you. And only then, attend the dealership.

Tell the salesman there’s no trade in (maybe you’re considering selling the old car to a relative - whatever) and tell him you’ve got the finance sorted. Nail the price of the new car in absolute isolation. And only then you can introduce the possibility of the other transactions.

This is probably the most important tip of all. Pitch a low offer, and then walk if they don’t go for it. Whatever the offered price is, take about 20 per cent off, offer that as the limit that you can afford to spend.

If they don’t go for it, walk away politely. Let’s say it’s a $30,000 car - that’s the price they’re offering. $29,990 drive-away, kind of thing. You say: My wife, boyfriend - whomever - is going to separate my reproductive organs from me if I spend more than $25 grand.

If they decline to accept, just say: Sorry we can’t do business. I’ll keep shopping. I like this car though - gimme a call if you can nudge the price down to $25 grand and I’ll come back - provided I haven’t purchased elsewhere.

They hate that - but it’s a very effective lever. The person who’s prepared to walk away has the most power in a negotiation.

You can do this at half a dozen dealerships in one day - one of them is going to be under pressure. Just wait for the phone to ring and the clock ticks closer to end of financial year. You might be amazed how malleable the price becomes.

Finally - and this is a biggie: never pay a deposit until you’re absolutely sure. I have lost count of the number of people who have e-mailed me in a flap because they’ve signed on the dotted, paid $2k as a deposit, only to discover subsequently a far better deal.

Research first. Purchase second, once you’re absolutely sure. That’s the only sane way to do this. Do not leave anything blank in the contract. Do not leave more than $1000 as a deposit.
 

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#98
Engine capacity explained - 4cyl vs 6cyl vs V8 | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Jun 13, 2018
In-line four-cylinder engines are great. Performance is pretty good for average cars, in the 1.6 to 2.5-litre capacity. They’re easy to build. There’s not too many parts, so there’s minimal machining and assembly, relative to sixes and eights.

Inline fours idle smoothly because the firing pulses don’t make the engine rock. The cranks don’t need real heavy counterweights - so they rev up quickly.So they’re starting to sound perfect, which they’re definitely not.

They’ve got a real inherent problem with a thing called secondary imbalance and this is a huge issue for large capacity inline fours, especially at high rpm.

Up to about two litres in capacity your inline four engine design brainiac can mask that secondary imbalance in a production car using the engine mounts. Over that, you need counter-rotating balance shafts - and it’s really not practical to make a four-cylinder engine bigger than about 2.5 litres for this reason.

There’s no question that the best six in terms of inherent balance is the inline six, and I’d have to say inline sixes done right are just brilliant. BMW’s inline six M3s were awesome.

Unfortunately, inline sixes also tend to be quite long, physically, and therefore hard to package up in an engine bay designed for a four. So if you’ve got a four-cylinder base model whatever, and an inline six on the higher spec, the engine bay is going to be a packaging disaster.

Inline sixes tend to be (basically) two inline threes joined longitudinally, with the back three cylinders phased at 120 degrees to the front three, to deliver even firing pulses. And that’s a problem because you need the front three exhaust ports feeding into one collector and the back three feeding into another and then the two collectors need to feed into one, if you want even exhaust pulses, for efficient scavenging.

So just to prove to you that mechanical engineering is absolutely the applied science of compromise: V6s are far more common. You can forget the cut-down V8 with the rear two cylinders lopped off and a 90-degree ‘V’ - that’s an economically rational abomination.

People think a 60-degree ‘V6’ is ideal. That’s bullshit. The ideal design from a balance perspective is a 120-degree V. Most people don’t know that.

Unfortunately this 120-degree V tends to be too wide to fit in the same engine bay as an inline four, so they went with 60 degrees for compactness and they fudged the 120 by offsetting the crank pins on the quasi-shared cranks by a further 60 degrees.

And unfortunately, there’s not much overlap on those shared pins when you do that. In fact, they’re really more like two separate crank pins with a thin web between them, and that makes the crank in a 60-degree V6 inherently weak - I guess you could call it a design challenge if you wanted to be nice about it.

Above about four litres (atmo four litres) if you’re a carmaker you’d probably go with a V8.

So, just to digress here, the first V8s were essentially two inline fours Siamesed up and inclined at 90 degrees, and sharing the same flat crank. Single-plane crank. Like an inline four. This is a whole ‘good news’/’bad news’ story too.

Unfortunately, although it revved up really fast, it shared the secondary imbalance problems of the inline four - times two - making high-rpm failures hard to prevent.

So they changed to a cross-plane design in the early part of the 20th Century. Cadillac and some other manufacturer co-patented it, if memory serves. When you look end-on at a V8 crank today, the crank pins are arranged in a cross.

So, a couple of things about that: Single-plane designs - the early ones - didn’t really need counterweights on the crank, so they revved up really fast … until they broke into a thousand pieces at high revs.

Cross-plane designs - the current one - need heavy counterweights to counteract the inherent rocking type vibration, so they don’t rev up as fast. But they are more durable at high revs.

And the other thing is the firing pulses. The single plane design was left right left right left right left right. Nice and even.

The cross plane one is left right left left right left right right, right? - so this leads to uneven inlet and exhaust pulses per bank. Stay with me. Change batteries now, if exhausted. It’s a marathon.

So, in your cross-plane V8 road car, like a Mustang or a Corvette - whatever - with four exhaust ports merging into one pipe, per bank, you get uneven filling and scavenging of the cylinders. Because the pulses aren’t even. That prevents truly even combustion across all the cylinders.

And if you want to know why this matters, it’s because that’s what makes the distinctive V8 burbling sound that we petrolheads all react to in such a semi-carnal way. Without that unevenness, the burble goes away.

And I’m tipping nobody wants that.
 

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#99
Audi CEO Arrested As Diesel-Emissions Scandal Spreads


by Tyler Durden
Mon, 06/18/2018 - 07:12


Munich prosecutors have arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, also a member of parent company Volkswagen's board, on concerns he might try to suppress evidence, in what is the highest-profile arrest of a Volkswagen executive since the diesel emissions scandal exploded into public view nearly three years ago.

The arrest comes a month after Audi admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines could have "software emissions issues," and more than two months after Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller stepped down and was replaced by Herbert Diess, formerly the CEO of the company's core VW unit, according to the BBC.

While former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has been charged by US authorities, Stadler is the first executive to be taken into custody, and perhaps it's about time: the emissions scandal provided ample evidence that Volkswagen had probably the worst executive oversight in Europe, and that a real criminal conspiracy had unfolded in the highest ranks of the company. The only real surprise is that it's taken this long: US authorities blew the lid off the company's emissions test-defeating software in September 2015 - nearly three years ago. Since then, the scandal has spread from the VW unit to other Volkswagen subsidiaries, and beyond: BMW and Daimler have also faced allegations of emissions cheating, as has American car maker General Motors.



Audi CEO Rupert Stadler

More surprising still has been Volkswagen's steadfast support of Stadler, who retained the backing of his fellow board members, including the influential Porsche-Piech families that own majority voting rights in Volkswagen, according to the Financial Times. The arrest was first reported in Germany's Der Spiegel.

The company issued a statement on Stadler's arrest to Reuters.

"We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning. The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing," the spokesman said, adding that the presumption of innocence applied to Stadler’s case.​

The CEO has previously survived calls by minority shareholders to step down, and yet in the face of threats the company not only defended Stadler, it extended his contract and promoted him to the head of a new "premium" cars division. The new role gave him sales responsibilities group-wide. The company will likely continue to stand by him as lawyers haggle for his release.

The company maintains that there's no evidence to suggest Stadler knew of the cheating, though after Munich prosecutors raided Stadler's apartment (and one other Audi boardmember) they named Stadler as a suspect. They've also said they're investigating 20 suspects whom prosecutors believe were aware of Audi's diesel engine scheme.

In light of today's development, expect more imminent arrests as it is unlikely, given the number of Audi employees currently under investigation, that this will be the last shoe to drop.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...-authorities-diesel-emissions-scandal-spreads
 

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What If The Dealer Rips You Off On Your Trade? - Lehto's Law Ep. 4.39
Steve Lehto


Published on Jun 27, 2018
Once in a while we hear about someone who got ripped off by the dealer - when the dealer told the customer that their trade was worth little or nothing and the customer accepted it. There are things you can do to prevent this from hurting you in the future.

http://www.lehtoslaw.com
 

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Lemons Are Not Crushed - Lehto's Law Ep. 4.40
Steve Lehto


Published on Jul 5, 2018
People often tell me that lemon law buybacks are crushed as a matter of routine by the manufacturers. This is not true and I explain why we know it is not true.

http://www.lehtoslaw.com
 

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What To Do When The Insurance Company Totals Your Car - Lehto's Law Ep. 4.41
Steve Lehto


Published on Jul 11, 2018
People often ask me what they should do when the insurance company is going to total their car. What steps should they take? And what can you do to avoid being ripped off.

http://www.lehtoslaw.com
 

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CPO Reality vs What They Sell You - Lehto's Law Ep. 4.42
Steve Lehto


Published on Jul 18, 2018
People do not understand that certified pre-owned cars are simply used cars. Here's an example of something wacky that happened to a CPO buyer.

http://www.lehtoslaw.com
 

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Don't Ever Do A Voluntary Repo! - Lehto's Law Ep. 47
Steve Lehto


Published on Sep 2, 2015
Why you don't ever want to do a voluntary repossession with something you have financed through a lender. Especially with cars, trucks, RVs and boats. There is a podcast of this video: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/don...
 

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What to Do If Your Car Gets Repossessed - Lehto's Law Ep. 4.10
Steve Lehto


Published on Dec 6, 2017
Do not give up if your car gets repossessed. There are still things you can do to help and protect yourself. Even if it simply means knowing what your rights are and how to oversee the process, you need to be involved.
 

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The Wrongful Repo! - Lehto's Law Ep. 3.52
Steve Lehto


Published on Sep 27, 2017
Today we discuss wrongful repossession: When the lender does something wrong while in the act of repossessing the collateral (a car) on a defaulted loan.
 

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Call Immediately! Extended Warranty Scam?
ETCG1


Published on Jul 23, 2018
I get these things in the mail every time I get a new vehicle. This time I decided to call to see what it was all about.

It seems to be a standard sales pitch for an extended warranty for your vehicle. Honestly, I’m not a fan of these warranties. In fact, I’ve covered this topic in previous videos. Look for the link below in the “Related Videos” section.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my call with the extended warranty company. It was fun.

Check out my other channel for repair videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/EricTheC...

Thanks for watching!

ETCG1

The best place for answers to your automotive questions: http://www.ericthecarguy.com

Check out the ETCG Blog for the latest info: https://www.ericthecarguy.com/blog

Related Videos

Automotive Service Contracts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m6EM...

What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wPlx...

How To Be a Good Customer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWUqr...

ETCG's Top 5 Pet Peeves About Auto Repair Customers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=578yR...

Don't Resent Your Customers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9moxN...

Interrogate Your Customers?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2Uhb...

Stuff Found in Peoples Cars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0lSW...

Bad Mechanics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1d83...

How To Talk To a Mechanic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cynlw...

The Mini Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wpqm...

Mini Cooper S (R56) Front End Removal: https://youtu.be/2RfQsOwBZHk

Mini Cooper Engine Removal (R56/N14): https://youtu.be/338Wx0fOS3U

Introducing The Mini Series: https://youtu.be/Ajsk8kgafXg

2007-2013 Mini Cooper S (R56) Battery Replacement: https://youtu.be/3WpqmJT_Wc0

R56 Mini Carpet and Interior Removal: https://youtu.be/powCgE9Tx50

Carpet and Seat Installation R56 Mini Cooper: https://youtu.be/19BDsW4J7UE

Mini Cooper S (R56) Front End Removal: https://youtu.be/2RfQsOwBZHk

Mini Cooper Oil Leak Repairs (R56/N14): https://youtu.be/7MWiOnZxURw

Direct Injection Intake Valve Cleaning (R56/N14): https://youtu.be/JJcX0eRZmFA

Mini N14 Timing Chain Replacement: https://youtu.be/VoPz9sEvYN4

Mini Cooper Clutch Replacement: https://youtu.be/EGFpis7V27w

**Answers to your Automotive Questions Here: http://www.ericthecarguy.com/faq
 

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NOW HIRING: So you want to work in the car industry? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Aug 1, 2018
Have you ever dreamed of working in the car industry? Let’s fix that now.

This report is my honest personal opinion.

A colleague sent me a link to an obscure story last week. It’s gold. Gold for ‘Straya. This story, in my view, deserves nothing less than the full export-grade fake news tacky tabloid treatment.

$70k Paint Shop Poontang Power Payday!

Factory floor harem hook-up allegations “unproved”, rules on-the-job ombudsman over foreman’s ‘lights off long time’ lunchroom liaisons

Do you like that? #TotalTabloid. Yesssss!

Toyota ‘Straya was caught with its trousers down last month after being forced by the Shitsvillian Fair Work Commissioner to fork out almost $70,000 for unfairly dismissing a senior supervisor named Adrian Tainsh.

Mr Tainsh was a paint shop foreman and senior union delegate who, it’s alleged, cultivated something of a harem of young, female, Asian temporary workers, whom he had a penchant for hiring - allegedly. Perhaps because of their willingness to do ‘ereyping’.

And I mean ‘ereyping’. Perhaps. Who knows, really?

Of all the aspects to this tawdry affair, this is the one that really gets me: Discriminatory bastard. Nobody’s up in arms about this sexist, racist (alleged) informal hiring policy. I guess it’s only illegal if you employ middle-aged, white, heterosexual males…

In the salacious domain of the Toyota Shitsville paint shop, the bevvy of black-haired beauties - allegedly known colloquially as “Adrian’s girls” - would regularly convene with the boss for drinks at the local public house. (It’s rumoured.)

Uncle Rupey’s serious newspaper, the Australian Financial Review, claimed that Mr Tainsh conceded he was in a relationship with one such worker, and also that he also spent some quality lunchroom ‘lights off’ time with another - arguing in this latter case that visibility was good, and that they had a (quote): “appropriate workplace relationship”.

For 30-40 minutes at a go. With the lights off. Behind closed doors. Allegedly.

A male co-worker alleged that the second woman - let’s just call her ‘Lucy Lunchroom Lightsoff’ for the sake of disambiguation, and to protect her identity - would have inappropriate conversations with Mr Tainsh, allegedly telling him (quote):

“I know how big you’ve got”

Presumably, this being a reference to the impressive nature of Mr Tainsh’s organic wedding vegetables. Allegedly. It’s amazing what a little manure can achieve.

But the Fair Work Commissioner, Katrina Harper-Greenwell, who apparently managed a straight face through much of these proceedings - Christ knows how - said the saucy allegations failed to meet the ‘proof’ test and were (quote): ‘largely unsubstantiated”.

“I accept that this created a perception that they had a 'special relationship'. However, I am not satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to establish that there was anything inappropriate about this relationship.

"There is simply no evidence, beyond the suspicions of other employees in the sealer group, to support an assertion that [the employee] had a special relationship with Mr Tainsh."

She found the dismissal (quote) “particularly harsh” and awarded Mr Tainsh the maximum possible compensation of $68,350, after considering Mr Tainsh’s 27-year track record of working for the Big T.
However, the on-the-job ombudsman declined to reinstate Mr Tainsh because he had failed to inform Toyota of the relationship he was having with the first worker, who we might call: Not Lunchroom Lucy.

She noted the salient power imbalance between them both.

July was a bad month below the belt for Toyota, with another long-term employee - Homer Abarra - found to have been fairly terminated after the fair work umpire determined he had manufactured an atmosphere of (quote) “benevolent sexism” that was both (quote) “weird and dirty”, in the same shop, coincidentally enough.

I guess, if you’re going to be benevolently sexist, hey, you might as well also make it weird and dirty, huh? Just to sex things up. If that’s how you roll.

Who knew working for Toyota down in the trenches could be this much fun? Toyota, of course, issued an entirely bullshit statement telling us all how seriously they viewed matters such as this, and declined to comment further. They so hate this kind of oxygenation.

So Mr Tainsh gets about six months’ pay and no further opportunity to (allegedly) cultivate a harem of willing paint shop co-workers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty or working in the dark. So - he goes under the bus despite the dodgy standard of proof based largely on hearsay.

Let me know if you think that’s fair or not.
 

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Elon Musk smokes world's most expensive joint (millions burned) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Sep 9, 2018
Battery-powered CEO Elon Musk just smoked the most expensive joint in history - live. Unfortunately, a new high for the $20 billion boy also means a new low for Tesla shareholders: That’s next.

CEO of Tesla and occasional visitor to the real world, Elon Musk, took out his insane capacity for poor impulse control and shot Tesla shareholders in the foot again, after sparking up a joint on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast recently.

Tesla shares nosedived about 10 per cent as a result but rebounded a bit and settled at 6.3 per cent lower that day. Tesla has about $4.2 billion US dollars in total stockholder equity - so I hope the smoke was worth it.

Mr Musk dreams about fitting in, being one of the cool kids. It’s just not gunna happen. Ever. Spliffgate was totally legal; just another fucked-up Musk thought bubble, and quite an expensive one because it cost the embattled battery carmaker $265 million Retardistani roubles in market capitalisation.

According to one of my favourite websites: priceofweed.com, the going rate for high quality wacky tobacci is about $10 bucks a gram.
Thus, if Mr Musk had engaged his pre-frontal cortex before taking that toke, he would have found it cheaper just to go out and buy about 25 tonnes of high-quality marijuana.

Commentators widely denounced Mr Musk’s behaviour as erratic. Conduct unbecoming the CEO of a public company. But I don’t see it that way.

Elon Musk is the L Ron Hubbard of the automotive industry, a visionary, a man who represents to automotive innovation the kinds of game-changing values Pamela Anderson brought to the vocation of surf lifesaving in 1992.

(But I always remember her more fondly as the original ‘Tool Time’ girl on Home Improvement - an oddly prophetic role, viewed through the prism of hindsight…)

Tesla is an unparalleled cash-incinerating bullshit machine, and Mr Musk is its perfect leader. Exactly the right kind of dickhead. Personal opinion.

To many of us, smoking a joint for a quarter of a billion dollars would be an impossible undertaking, but Mr Musk is a specialist at burning cash. It’s what he does.

In the second quarter of this year he helped Tesla burn almost $740 million Retardistani roubles, and posted a record quarterly loss of almost $720 million.

He wants to take Tesla private to avoid the scrutiny of market analysts - whom he refers to publicly as ‘boneheads’, but only because they won’t suck the company Kool-Aid in the manner of Tesla cult members (I mean customers).

Last year, under the own goal-scoring guidance of, perhaps, the most retarded CEO of the modern era, Tesla managed to turn almost $12 billion in revenue into a $2 billion loss. Yessss!!!

Every time Mr Musk opens his trap, even if only to suck innocently on a spliff, millions go up in smoke.

The Model 3 is a joke - a $35,000 EV that’s only available for more like $50k, and he can’t make enough of them to get ahead or satisfy demand, and he keeps downgrading Tesla’s production targets. It’s Scientology, but publicly listed, with four wheels and batteries.

To Mr Musk I’d say: Getting out of it was actually a pretty neat idea. The best thing you could possibly do for Tesla is to do so permanently, rather than just once, metaphorically.

Mr Musk, to me you are not charismatic; you’re an epic bullshitter and a goose who should never again utter a single word publicly. Your behaviour is absolutely not OK when you’re playing fast and loose with other people’s money.
 

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The real question is how the fluck does this moron musk get all the public money, as in billions, to burn for his own personal business use?
 

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How green is hydrogen as a fuel today? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Sep 13, 2018
Hydrogen is just around the corner. But how long until clean, green hydrogen replaces those filthy hydrocarbons we’re using today? And how clean is hydrogen, exactly? That’s next.

There are hydrogen cars here in Australia right now, too. Toyota and Hyundai both have skin in the hydrogen game, currently.

Toyota has the Mirai, and Hyundai has had a couple of hydrogen cars here in Shitsville. I first drove a hydrogen fuel cell car - an ix35 - in 2010 at a Hyundai R&D facility in Seoul. We did a report on Channel 7 on that. So they were talking about it publicly eight years ago.

It’s hardly new technology.

Back on planet earth, here in Shitsville, Hyundai built the country’s only hydrogen refueler at its head office in Sydney, and they plan to launch the Nexo hydrogen car here in coming months, which is a bit ‘Star Trek’ for ‘Straya.

Let me say up front that hydrogen can replace hydrocarbon-based liquid fuels. It’s the only thing that can do this (because batteries are a joke). And everything else is inconsequential, bordering on chickenshit.

Average people think - to the extent that this is ever considered or discussed - that you make hydrogen by pumping electricity through water, decomposing the water into hydrogen and oxygen gas via electrolysis. Because kids do this at school.

But this is not how you make hydrogen in industry. Ninety-something per cent of the world’s hydrogen is made from methane. The stuff you burn in the stove at home, if you’ve got natural gas.

Methane is the simplest hydrocarbon. One carbon atom. Four hydrogens. The cheapest way to make hydrogen gas is to strip off the four hydrogens from the carbon, make two molecules of hydrogen gas, and throw the carbon away as CO2.

It’s a filthy, inefficient process.

So, if you’d like to make hydrogen this way, here’s how you do it: You get natural gas and you mix it with steam. It needs to be quite hot. About 1000 degrees C will do. That’s about 1800 Farenheit (for you hydrogen nuts in Retardistan).

Just pause for a sec here. That’s effing hot. It’s above the melting point of lead, or brass, or aluminium, or silver, or even plutonium (if you happen to have some lying around - most people don’t).

You need a massive amount of energy to sustain this reaction, because it’s endothermic. It sucks heat like a bastard. So you burn copious coal or natural gas to get the job done. #filthy.

If you don’t blow yourself up, you get a lethal cocktail of carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas.

So then you need to pump this lethal cocktail through another quite hot process at about 300 degrees C to convert the carbon monoxide to plain old climate destroying CO2, which you can pump out some chimney with complete impunity.

Just to get the sheer environmental filth of this process in perspective: For every kilo of hydrogen gas you make, you pump 5.5 kilos of CO2 into the atmosphere.

So, in short, you need a shitload of energy to make a little bit of hydrogen and a lot of CO2. And because of the second law of thermodynamics, you get less energy in the hydrogen you make, compared with the methane you started with.

So if you’ve got methane, and all you want is energy, you would be better off just burning the methane in an engine.

So if you think hydrogen is green, today, you have not been paying attention. The cars are available now. Or here in Shitsville, they will be soon. And they are potentially very clean. Game-changingly clean. Keyword: potentially.

They will offer zero tailpipe emissions - but the fuel itself remains filthy. Properly filthy, bordering on environmentally disgraceful. Certainly no better than gasoline or diesel.

What’s the bet the government greenwashes the shit out of that?
That’s exactly what they did with their disgraceful, bullshit plan to make hydrogen from brown coal in Victoria. Clearly, because they are mainly lawyers, they think everyone is an idiot, and the facts don’t matter.

Until we have massive solar collectors - square kilometres of solar arrays - busily harvesting sunlight and electrolysing water on a scale that would make Snowy Hydro look like a drop in the friggin’ Great Southern ocean, don’t waste my time with nonsense claims that hydrogen is clean or green.

Currently it is neither. And we desperately need a green hydrogen industry. But with a government full of happy-clapping, science denying arseholes, this is unlikely to occur. Our current Muppet in chief is - guaranteed - ignorant of these issues.

In so far as I can see, ScoMo is too busy bothering God to bother with the only thing that could cement the nation’s energy security into the future, and also dwarf all other resources as a viable export earner, turning Shitsville into an energy superpower. #priorities

‘Straya: land of opportunity. Stalled on the grid because of ignorance, scientific illiteracy, Jesus bothering, and a chronic lack of political will, again, still, disgracefully enough.
 

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Inside Miami’s Luxury Car Hustle: Fake it ‘Til You Make It
VICE



Published on Sep 13, 2018
“The car business in general is a tough business. The car rental business, even more so. Anybody who finds out they can make money and drive a Ferrari, I mean, they’re diving in head first,” says Matt Cruz, owner of MVP Exotic Rentals, a legitimate luxury car rental business based in Miami.

But when everybody wants to be a celebrity, how to you tell the difference between faking it and making it? The game is finesse, and with the allure of getting behind the wheel of the world’s most expensive cars, who wouldn’t want to play?

In a world where likes and fame can be bought and the filtered facade of Instagram reigns supreme, VICE meets some of the legit — and the not-so-legit — players that cater luxury car rentals to the biggest rappers, athletes, and celebrities of the moment.

Click here to subscribe to VICE: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE
 

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Don't buy the Mercedes Benz X-Class (Contains behavioural economics) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
AutoExpertTV


Published on Sep 14, 2018
Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, behavioural economists cracked the kooky code of why you’re probably spending too much on your next car.

The ‘snob effect’ is next.

Snob effect. Behavioural economics. This is where demand can be influenced by the high price of an item - plus intangible factors, like brand cachet. And where there’s insufficient underlying objective superiority of the product to justify that extra, big, fat price.

It’s a great way for a carmaker to line up its industro-spec Dyson with your bank account, and commence docking procedures. Because this is a fundamental form of automotive seduction - like the ming mole, bolt-on Barbie. One of my favourites.

You have to ask yourself: What are you really getting, extra, in a tangible, objective way? And does that really justify the price? Rational thought - objective assessment - and seduction are mutually exclusive mental processes. So you might have to dig deep to do this.

But often, the gravitational pull of the snob effect is felt most acutely by those who can least afford to splash the extra cash. Presumably because they’re most in need of the perceived status upgrade embodied in that car, or that watch or that handbag.

I scoured the market for the very best example of this - the box-ticker of snob effect automobiles, and I got this:

The Mercedes-Benz Navara: the so-called X-Class. It’s gotta be a dickhead test - because you certainly are one if you buy it. Come on - admit it. It’s a badge and a grille and different hair and makeup.

Production is split between Spain and Argentina (that Cherman build quality). Mercedes-Benz did extensive research on human gullibility here, and determined that the only pockets of homo sapiens not quite ‘sapiens’ enough to see this for the disgraceful Wonderbra sham it is were Europeans, South Americans, Africans and of course ‘Strayans. Yesssss!

Speaking of whom, here, the base-model Mercedes-Benz Navara X220d shitter is $45,450 not including on-road costs. And the 4X4 range-topping Benz Navara X250d CounterfeitTRONIC-plus is $64,500.

So that’s about $10,000 than a genuine base-model shitbox Nissan Navara, and about $13,000 more than the genuine Nissan ute at the top end.

I have to laugh at this because here in Shitsville, Mercedes-Benz is leading the charge against counterfeit automotive parts. (And they’re such semantically promiscuous arseholes on the definition of that, let me say.)

It would be fair to say that Benz Down Under has had the full barbed-wire enema on alleged counterfeit parts. And yet, in so far as I can see, selling this utility makes them the biggest automotive counterfeiter in the southern friggin’ hemisphere.

But when it comes to the tale of these two utes, you’ve got the fully loaded Mercedes Counterfeit Navara and the fully loaded Genuine Nissan Navara: Same body, same glass, same powertrain, same performance. Please let me know what you think of the underlying validity of the Mercedes-Benz knock-off Navara - and the pricing thereof - in the comments feed below. You know you want to.

If you tick every box on the Benz CounterfeitTronic-plus you’ll spend about $100,000 on a hastily tarted-up Nissan Navara ST-X. And you’ll tell yourself: this is the right thing. For you.

And it probably is, dickhead.

You know people are going to do this, right? There’s a carefully considered business case for that over-priced counterfeit shitheap. The snob effect is profoundly coercive.

It doesn’t surprise me, therefore, that intelligent extra-terrestrial life maintains a safe distance.
 

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New car snob effect (& how much it can cost you) Auto Expert John Cadogan
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Published on Sep 14, 2018
the snob effect is where price and perception strap on their Wonderbra to convince you that the product is far more stacked than it actually is.

In 25 years of testing cars and reporting about them and the industry that makes them, I think I’ve divorced myself from the snob effect. But I remember how profound it once was.

First time I drove a Porsche; a Ferrari, AMG-this, M-performance that. I was gagging for it. But here’s the thing - it was ‘sex with a supermodel’ syndrome, every time.

The RAA of that is: the idea of sex with a supermodel is better than the actual sex with the supermodel. It’s not that sex with a supermodel is bad. (I’m inferring - supermodels who’d like to assist with this experiment, form an orderly queue.) The problem is that you expect it to be twice as good as the reality.

This is exactly what it’s like to drive one of these cars that mortals will never be able to afford. Reviewers gush - but that’s the reality. The expectation is better than the delivery. It’s good; it’s just not as good as you wanted it to be.

Premium carmakers latch onto that fantasy. They embody the fantasy into the badge and then they build cheap, comparatively nasty cars that mortals can afford, and they use snob factor to obscure the fact that the objective truth of these vehicles is far less than the underlying fantasy of the brand.

And by ‘fantasy’ I mean all the intangible factors wrapped up in the car. The idea that it is manifestly superior to a mainstream car. The status upgrade you perceive as a consequence of owning it. What you presume other people will think of you when they see you emerge from that car. Stuff like that: all the epistemic baggage.

So here’s an example. Mercedes-Benz - and I’m using them because they’re the most accessible most aspirational brand - I mean, there’s no ‘budget’ Ferrari, but you can buy a budget Benz for about the same price as a Mazda3, and people think it’s gunna be better.

Mercedes-Benz recently released the new A-Class - gay pride flagship. The little ‘out of the closet’ engine that could. The ‘Gay200’ 1.3 turbo: I can’t think of a car less aligned with truly aspirational Benzes like the SLS or anything else ‘AMG’. I really can’t.

So let’s leave the badges and the snob effect at the door and compare the Gay-Class to a Hyundai i30 SR Premium. And I know what you’re thinking: Nobody shops a Benz against a Hyundai. That’s true - and also why this is so interesting.

These vehicles are the same size. Actually the Gay200 is about this much bigger than the i30 SR premium. Operationally, they’re so close the difference is inconsequential.

If we, as if by magic, disengage quantum entanglement drive and pop out of a wormhole from the future and hover in the stratosphere above Shitsville today, and we teleport up a few chicks to probe, while aiming our sensors at those two cars, here’s what we’d see:

Overwhelming similarity. Same basic size, front drive, front engine, both turbo petrol fours, seven-speed DCTs. Same rubber on the road (slightly lower aspect ratio with the Hyundai).

A deep analysis demonstrates slightly more polish on the Gay200, but 17 per cent better performance from the i30, which runs on cheaper fuel, two more years warranty with the i30, and there’s a price difference. A massive one.

To make the Gay200 equivalent to an i30 on spec, you really need to add the AMG Exclusive package, which is $3200 (that gives you the dual-zone climate air, the leather and the heated/ventilated front seats, which the i30 has standard).

Plus you need the Vision Package for $2500, for the panoramic sunroof, which the i30 has standard, and the Keyless Go option for $1000 for the keyless engine stop/start that the i30 has standard.
And, to be fair, those packages come with some gear you can’t get on an i30 SR Premium - like front and side cameras.

But here’s how this plays out in the objective domain: It’s going to cost you $53,900 for a Gay200 that gives you the main premium features of an i30 SR Premium, and no matter how much you spend at the dealership, you’re going to get profoundly hosed by the Hyundai against all performance criteria, and the factory warranty is going to evaporate two years earlier.

And the i30 is going to cost you about $20,000 less.

Up in the spaceship, from the future, I know which vehicle we would be forced
 

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Thinking about buying the new Holden Acadia? Don't. (Here's why.) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
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Published on Sep 17, 2018
Holden Acadia will be a hastily rebadged GMC Acadia - a seven-seat SUV notionally there to compete with Kluger and CX-9. The petrol-powered seven seaters. There’s no diesel.

Here’s why Acadia won’t work here. It’s because the bullshit Acadia soundbites are totally mis-representative of the vehicle. And consumers aren’t that dumb - not any more.

Here’s one such Acadia soundbite from the bullshit Bible of public prick-tease on Holden’s website:

“Built to rule the road. Premium powertrain and great driveability will fill you with confidence…”

Well, I’d suggest it’ll fill you with something, if you position yourself appropriately.

Acadia is a seven-seat SUV that’s about six inches shorter than a Mazda CX-9. So it’s a little larger than a Kia Sorento. Weighs about two tonnes. Petrol only - so a comparison with CX-9 is relevant.

Acadia is as ugly as a hatful of Scott Morrisons and it’s channeling the Ford Territory when I look at it sideways, disturbingly enough.

It’s gunna hit Shitsville shores with the 3.6-litre V6 that’s been around in one form or another since 2004. That’s before GM went tits-up in the GFC.

230 kilowatts - but you have to rev it to a staggering 6600 revs to make that power.

382 Newton-metres, at a ridiculous 5200rpm. So let’s just detain ourselves with the absurdity of these outdated boat anchor V6s. Versus the Holden bullshit claim of (quote) “premium powertrain”.
When one drives one’s premium seven-seat SUV with the ageing grandparents, the three kids and mum and dad, to wherever, one generally does not want to push the engine north of 5000 rpm just to make shit happen, I’d suggest.

So I’m just going to dumb this right down. Torque times revs equals power - it’s actually Newton-metres times rpm divided by 9549 if you want to do it with a friggin’ abacus or something.

Hold that thought. The Mazda CX-9 has a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. CX-9 makes 10 per cent more peak torque, but because Mazda’s engineers have not been dead from the neck up since the GFC, CX-9 makes that higher torque figure at just 2000 rpm - versus the GM shitheap V6 at 5000 rpm.

So you don’t have to be Carlo Rubbia or Simon van der Meer to understand that the CX-9 is going to feel effortless and relaxed at medium revs, where the Acadia will just feel gutless unless you rev the shit out of it.

And and Acadia is thirsty. The Mazda: 8.8 litres per hundred, combined cycle. The shitheap: 11.8 - that’s a conversion from GMC’s website today - over one third more fuel used by the Acadia for the same driving.

Don’t waste my time, therefore, with this bullshit hyperbole about the Acadia’s allegedly premium powertrain.

I don’t know about you, but I live in a world where there are facts, and they really matter. There’s no such thing as alternative facts. You can’t spin bullshit into facts, no matter how marvellous you are as an orator.

Acadia is a thirsty shitbox with an outdated engine that needs to be flogged if you want performance. The CX-9 is better for all normal driving - especially in the context of the kind of driving seven-seat SUV owners do.

Ie - not too many of them are really that hung up on the seven-seat SUV lap record for the Nurburgring. They’re just not.

I don’t see how mutton dressed as lamb in the form of Acadia, or even a $90,000 hastily converted Camaro can resurrect the shot duck we call Holden.
 

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Musk: "Pedo". When will Tesla collapse? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
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Published on Sep 18, 2018
Elon Musk. Kind of a tragic, rich dickhead with a defective behavioural rudder - personal opinion. (There’s some hefty weight of supporting evidence here, I must say.)

Most recently, he’s being sued for defamation by 63-year-old Vernon Unsworth - the cave-diving rescue dude who was one of the responders rescuing those young boys and their soccer coach from that flooded cave in Thailand in July.

Executive summary: Musk, who appears to think he really is Tony Stark, flies his bullshit minisub to Thailand during the crisis, notionally to assist but (I think it’s pretty clear) really as more of a PR stunt.

That’s what Mr Unsworth alleged, adding that the bullshit sub had (quote) “absolutely no chance of working” and thus he invited Mr Musk to take his Tesla minisub and insert it (quote) “where the sun doesn’t shine”.

I’m likin’ Mr Unsworth. Pretty clearly a straight shooter.

Musk then inflicted the following tweet on his 22 million followers:

“Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”

Musk - of friggin’ course - goes off the reservation and taunts Mr Unsworth, some time later, with words to the effect of: ‘Well, if my allegations were untrue, why haven’t you sued me yet?’

He also went on to call Mr Unsworth a (quote) “child rapist” in a rambing e-mail to Buzzfeed, and accused him of travelling to Asia so he could procure a child bride (quote) “about 12 years old”.

Apparently this came as something of a surprise to Mr Unsworth’s 40-year-old girlfriend. The pair have been together for about seven years. She checked the whole house, even the basement:

No child bride.

This is the CEO of a publicly listed company, in difficulty - the company, not the CEO. The CEO is a billionaire whose main gig is getting the public to entrust him with their own money so he can keep burning it, trying and failing to build electric cars, badly.

Tesla made 100,000 cars in 2017 and lost US$2 billion - and the share price is out of control. It’s one of the biggest bubbles in existence. It also owes more money in the short term than it has in the bank - and some of its funds are customer deposits that might need to be refunded.

To Tesla can’t even spend all the money it has in the bank, because of the refund scenario that it needs to budget for, and its costs are spiralling out of control even though production is up.

That’s not an ‘economies of scale’ proposition. It’s a ‘go bankrupt like GM did in the GFC’ proposition. They’re in about the same shape, according to analysts.

And then there’s this bullshit claim that actually props up the share price: unlimited demand. If you believe Tesla, buyers are queued up over the horizon. It’s an open-ended arrangement of demand without end.

However, Tesla’s recent behaviour suggests this is not actually the case.

The company recently held a sales event at its factory in Freemont, California, inviting deposit holders to browse among unsold vehicles and choose which one to buy.

There are reports that hundreds of Teslas have been parked for weeks at lots in Burbank and Lathrop, in California.

Tesla recently sent a bulk e-mail to current customers and those with deposits in play, inviting them to test drive a Model S or Model X overnight.

None of these behaviours is suggestive of a carmaker struggling to meet demand. All of these behaviours are marketing initiatives designed to sell excess inventory. You know what a fluffer does, right? This is that.

So there’s a disconnect here between what Tesla says about demand, and what they’re actually doing about demand.

Here’s what I think will happen: Chapter 11 bankruptcy and bailout. And, by ‘bailout’ I can see Daimler, Volkswagen or maybe even Toyota swooping in and picking up the badge for eight cents on the dollar.
 

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How green is the new Audi e-tron? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
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Published on Sep 20, 2018
Audi has finally revealed its e-tron - a shiny new toy for rich, virtue-signalling, scientifically illiterate dickheads. They’re the only demographic that could possibly queue up to buy one here in ‘Straya.

The headlines: Silent but deadly. 0-100 in under six seconds, 95 kWh battery pack, 400km range.

95 kilowatt-hours for 400 kilometres range, driving 15,000 kilometres per year (let’s say) at 830 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (which is the CO2 impost of the grid here in New South Wales.

So, that’s pretty much three tonnes of CO2 per year, driving your virtue-signalling, four-ringed monkey-spank-tronic-plus e-tron wank wagon, using the grid to power it up from home or the office.

The e-tron is gunna cost you about $200,000 (That’s in Shitsvillian micro-pesos, including luxury tax and on-road costs, and doubtless with the endless options Audi pumps up the price with, once they get you through the door, with your trousers at half-mast.)

Alternatively, I guess you could spend $100,000 and buy a diesel shitbox Q7. Screw the environment, right? You’re rich. WGAF (who gives a…)

Crunching the enviro-numbers there is pretty easy. 150 grams of CO2 per kilometre, combined cycle. Times 15,000 kilometres equals two-and-a-quarter tonnes of CO2.

Versus three tonnes with the new four-ringed electric wank-wagon. These are ballpark estimates, right? New Euro driving style versus reality. Assuming 100 per cent charging efficiency versus reality. Audi’s range claims versus reality. I wouldn’t plan a rocket launch this way, but that’s the data and it’s a bit loose, but ballpark.

That’s about 25 per cent less CO2 from the notionally filthy diesel.

Also, inconveniently, with the e-tron, you need to have an 11-kilowatt power outlet to recharge, minimum, and that’s gunna take 8.5 hours.
Eleven kilowatts. That’s nearly five conventional single-phase, 10-amp wall outlets each on the verge of tripping the breaker, for more than eight hours. It’s rather a lot of electricity.

I’m not anti-EV. I’m not. I’m pro-fact. There’s a disconnect - and most motoring journalists are too scientifically inept, or too keep to suck on the car company teat, or both, to point this out.

Frankly, if you’ve got $200k to spend on a car, you could buy a Prius and drop the rest on actually being green, but I guess if you did that, people would not know you’re a rich, virtue-signalling dickhead, 400 metres out.

Now, if you’re a climate change-denying arsehole, cherry picking this and that - pounding out absurd comments to the effect that CO2 is really plant food, or something, I’d suggest your most valuable contribution here would be premature death. Preferably today.

However, we could park your objections to climate change at the door, and I could sell the world ‘green’ cars - provided they were truly green - on the health benefits of clean air alone. Exhaust pollution kills more Shitsvillians prematurely than car crashes.

And I could sell it on the basis of energy security alone, too. Because dependency on the supply of liquid fuels from Dogshitistan, or wherever (geopolitically unstable regions) is a bad look for ‘Straya. If we made all of our transport fuel here: good for us.

Which brings us, of course, to our dickhead in chief, and Arse-trailer’s seemingly bronze-age energy policies:

To Scott Morrison, Shitsville’s latest, most ridiculous, temporary Prime Minister, I’d suggest:

A) God’s a kid with an ant farm. We’re the ants. Thus, he doesn’t care what you think. (And also, there’s no evidence he exists, so there’s that.) Stop wasting your time talking to him, and start fixing, I dunno, everything that’s broken.

And, B) as a priority, you must ask the coal industry, politely, to remove its wedding vegetables from the government’s rectum, and kindly green-up the grid as a matter of some urgency, because…

C) Climate change is real, you preposterous wanker, and Shitsville could be an energy-independent superpower with clean air in our cities if you weren’t such a God-bothering, science-denying dick.
 

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BMW profit slide on China trade war: great news for luxury car buyers | Auto Expert John Cadogan
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Published on Sep 26, 2018
BMW just issued a profit warning - which is a good thing to know if you’re an actual; intending premium German car buyer over the next few months. Because this is bad news for them and great news for you.

See, BMW is viewed as something of an investment ‘safe haven’ on ze Cherman stock exchange. A pillar of stability. That all changed yesterday, when the company issued an official market alert that it would miss its quasi-guaranteed eight per cent (plus) operating margin target.

Credit where it’s due - it’s hit the mark for the past 33 consecutive quarters. But I guess, on the markets, you’re only as good as your last profit warning.

The company’s shares took an immediate four per cent hit, dragging the three-point swastika down 2.4 per cent and Volkswagen death-dealing shitheads down two per cent.

There are, of course, a list of excuses longer than your arm for this reduction. Some are quite valid, and hardly BMW’s fault.

Number one with a bullet: Trade spat with the Chinks. Massive 40 per cent tariff slug for BMW, but only 15 per cent for Volkswagen Group arseholes. Go figure. It’s all down to geography.

Most people don’t know this, but BMW’s biggest factory is actually in Retardistan, not Germany.

Last year, the Bavarian Money Wasters produced just over 370,000 cars in Spartanburg, and 70 per cent of those were exported - with China the number one destination.

This new 40 per cent tariff for US products going into China does alter the profit landscape significantly - mainly on the demand side of the ledger, because Monkeyspanker competitors originating in the EU only cop a 15 per cent tariff.

No Christmas card this year, I note, from Munich for Donald J Penishands the 3rd and his ongoing, demented sabre rattling - that’s pretty certain.

BMW also copped a big increase in warranty and replacement car costs, this year, and a spate of fires in South Korea triggered reliability question marks a big recall, ultimately. So it’s fair to say they did smear some of this excrement on their own faces.
But most of it is due to external factors.

Their top procurement guy Markus Deusmann fucked off to run Audi. (Deuss ex machina. Gotta love a good Latin play on words.)

So here’s why this is great news. At least, for you, the ‘Strayan luxo car-buying dude (or dude-ess). The way these German companies operate they’re gunna do two things.

One: Cut costs with extreme prejudice. Middle management is gunna fly economy everywhere. Slightly lower class hookers even in the boardroom. Re-stock the fridges with Verve instead of Dom - even for good news. Workers will have to BYO bog roll. Stuff like that.

And they’re gunna push every other market to perform harder. Even inconsequential, microscopic markets like the local one here in Shitsville. And I’d suggest this is fantastic news for the next 6-12 months for the premium car buyer in ‘Straya.

See, at its core, BMW is the best of the three luxury German brands to own. They’re pretty true to their core philosophy to build “the ultimate driving machine”.

To them, that’s not just empty rhetoric in the way the Death Star’s ‘best or nothing’ claim is. And as far as Audi’s statements go: ‘Horse-hump durch picnic’ - or whatever - we speak English. It doesn’t impact. Who gives a…?

Speaking of the horse-humpers - terrible customer support. (Almost as bad as Mercedes.)

And then there’s the $10 billion lawsuit against Audi’s parent, the Volkswagen Group. That was filed on September 10. Shareholders versus the company, for deceit. Legal experts say it’ll probably succeed, and, together with costs, that’s going to be a $15 billion hit across the Volkswagen Group. A thermobaric financial bomb.

So - in a nutshell, BMW is looking even better, as a vehicle ownership proposition. Bonus points - and I have no commercial relationship with any carmaker, including BMW - every time I have referred a customer with a valid outstanding complaint or concern to BMW here in Shitsville, they got on it and fixed it. Credit where it’s due.

Something you don’t get all that often in luxury cars is decent customer support. So my closing advice to you, if you’re in the market for a premium German car over the next 6-12 months is: the choice just got a whole lot easier.
 

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Petrol price hysteria is bullshit (because fuel is cheap) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
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Published on Sep 27, 2018
That bastion of quality journalism, news.com.au, has come out swinging, with a hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism, lifting the lid on the alleged inequity of fuel prices here in Shitsville.
According to this soon to be Walkeley-awarded expose, the price of fuel is so high that:

“...one in 12 drivers have had to abandon their car and walk or cycle to reduce fuel consumption.”

Well, I guess that explains the one million abandoned cars we’ve all seen just left behind, with the door ajar, stopped in the middle of the street, with telltale footprints and/or bicycle tracks leading away - the only vestigial clue as to the whereabouts of the owners.

That claim is according to a national survey of only 1139 ‘Strayan drivers by finder.com.au, which obviously would never just hype up a bullshit survey to promote its online presence by leveraging the voracious appetite of the news media.

An unkind person would form the conclusion that this is a carefully timed media stunt, rolled out to coincide with the Term 3 school holiday nationally - which I’m sure is just a coincidence.

Uncle Rupey’s bullshit story goes on to ‘explain’ that:

“More than 60,000 Aussies have already planned to boycott service stations to fight against increasing petrol prices in a national fuel strike due to take place on October 26.”

Nothing I like more than an indignant protest in the street.

The uprising (the second favourite one) is being organised by a Queensland grandmother, Sabrina Lamont. She’s had enough. This is her personal line in the sand. She’s calling on the God-bothering Federal Government to:

“...remove the burden of excise and taxes, which accounts for more than 30 per cent of the cost of fuel.”

I’d suggest that the people planning on protesting against this alleged inequity should also boycott breathing for the day to protest against third-rate genes making it into subsequent generations.

When will numb-nut Aussies get it through their thick heads that fuel is cheap, and the price has been remarkably stable for almost 10 years? National average price this week, $1.52.8 per litre for regular unleaded, nationally.

If you put 50 litres of that fuel in Nanna Lamont’s bomby Corolla it’ll take you probably 500 or 600 kilometres at 100 kays an hour. It’ll cost you 70-something bucks and it’ll give you more mobility than a Roman friggin emperor.

Incredible. You should be riffing air guitar that this stuff is available to you at any price.

As for petrol being expensive and the tax being excessive - don’t waste my friggin time with that bullshit. Fuel is the perfect ‘user pays’ taxation instrument. The more you burn, the more tax you pay - so there’s that.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum publishes a list of 33 advanced, developed countries against which we proud Shitsvillians like to compare ourselves. The UK, Germany, Sweden, Canada, France, Retardistan - like that. It’s not a cherry-picked list. It’s advanced western countries.

Shitsville has the fourth lowest petrol price, and the sixth lowest diesel price. And the difference is overwhelmingly due to taxation. The Netherlands has the most expensive petrol, at about $2.45 per litre, ‘Strayan, with the tax component being about $1.65 - call it two-thirds of the price as tax.

Only Canada, Mexico and the US have cheaper gasoline - but for transparency I should tell you that the Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia, are not on that API list. Fuel’s pretty cheap there.

So if you’re concerned about the price of fuel, get it in perspective. And even take control - because you have the power to change your fuel consumption radically.