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Bloomberg reported last night that in the wake of VW's diesel debacle they may push back plans to introduce diesel engines in the US.

Mazda's worry is two pronged.

First diesel is suffering a perception problem. What should be a VW problem has been projected into a diesel problem.

Second, reality is perception and if consumers perceive Mazda diesels=VW diesels it doesn't really matter if they're not. Doubt is spinkled over Mazdas ability to build a clean and efficient diesel (without DEF), regardless of the real reality.

As the smallest large automaker in Japan Mazda is fighting with one hand behind their back. They simply don't have the cash to fund hybrid and electric technology like Japans other 3 (which is why they partnered with Toyota earlier in the year), leaving them more exposed to diesel. Mazda does about 45% of its JDM volume in diesel.

They're working on adapting the Skyactiv-D to EPA standard but there's fear the regulatory goalposts could move thanks to VW. “Mazda is aiming to introduce the diesel vehicles in North America, but this Volkswagen cheating case looms dark in front,” Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW Inc. in Tokyo, quipped to Bloomberg. “There is the possibility that authorities raise the bar of emissions testing even higher. That would be a burden for their strategy.”

Mazda did release a statement earlier this week regarding the compliance of their engines, but for the time being, at least in the US, Mazda seems to be adopting a wait and see policy. The regulations are only going to get tougher...
 

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I still believe diesel is better than hybrid tech. The raw materials needed for batteries and the waste after the fact is a negative. Had GM not given us crap diesel vehicles 30 years ago, perception could be different here. The Chevy Cruze is a new start but like VW, you need a supplementary tank of emmision treatment only refillable at the dealer. I would pay extra for a diesel motor in a CX3 or CX5. I hope Mazda figures it out for my next Mazda vehicle purchase.
 

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VW seems to be affecting everyone even the Japanese auto brands. I think BMW was recently accused of going over the emissions allowance too.
Let's hope the authorities doesn't raise the bar because there's bound to be a trade off for better emissions.
 

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I don't think that diesel is better than hybrid technology. Sure we have to change how we are producing energy as well, but obviously there is a peak for how clean diesel can get, and I think we have reached that peak. EV technology can still get more efficient.
 

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I don't think that diesel is better than hybrid technology. Sure we have to change how we are producing energy as well, but obviously there is a peak for how clean diesel can get, and I think we have reached that peak. EV technology can still get more efficient.
EV is in it's infancy as it seems, plus hybrid and EV's are here for the long term, hybrids followed by EV's... EV's of course will be the longer standing one.
 

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Mazda pretty much cancelled the Mazda 6 Diesel for the US market way before the the VW scandal. They just couldn't meet the EPA emission standards with the 2.2L at this time.
 

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Considering the price the U.S. government wants just to certify a diesel, let alone the per unit cost for each engine actually sold, makes it a lose/lose situation for most manufacturers. Almost ALL auto manufacturers, even the U.S. Big Three sell diesel powered automobiles in Europe. If the U.S. manufacturers won't sell them here what makes you think a smaller company would want to jump in the quagmire?
 

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I think its important to note that VW used software to change the settings of its vehicles and "cheat" the emissions tests. All the other diesels that have discrepancies between real world and tested emissions didn't use a defeat device. Those diesel simply made the car to perform best in testing circumstances. They engineered for the test. It is not in the spirit of the regulations, but it is completely legal.
 

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I spent many years testing vehicles in the brake industry and in every case, a vehicle was "prepared" for its legal approval test. You would be surprised how much would change through the life of a vehicle too. In some cases, raw materials were changed because they became unavailable or cheaper alternatives were found. In some cases, the method of production was changed for various reasons. Should these have required a reapproval? Well again, in some cases, it had an effect on the life or performance of the product from that originally approved.

These approval tests have some value in setting baseline datums but they are not really a true representation of what might happen in service. In other words, a vehicle might meet the legal initial test but be less effective than one that didn't pass when it is put into real world service. An example might be that the test is passed to meet the standard but an air filter that is too small or badly positioned, quickly becomes clogged and long before the vehicle is due to be maintained, it is way outside its original test parameters.
 

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I spent many years testing vehicles in the brake industry and in every case, a vehicle was "prepared" for its legal approval test. You would be surprised how much would change through the life of a vehicle too. In some cases, raw materials were changed because they became unavailable or cheaper alternatives were found. In some cases, the method of production was changed for various reasons. Should these have required a reapproval? Well again, in some cases, it had an effect on the life or performance of the product from that originally approved.

These approval tests have some value in setting baseline datums but they are not really a true representation of what might happen in service. In other words, a vehicle might meet the legal initial test but be less effective than one that didn't pass when it is put into real world service. An example might be that the test is passed to meet the standard but an air filter that is too small or badly positioned, quickly becomes clogged and long before the vehicle is due to be maintained, it is way outside its original test parameters.
Well I have two responses.

1. In Canada there are emissions tests that you must go through with older vehicles as well to make sure they aren't terrible as they get old.

2. They are going to change the testing regime so that it has real world tests. No more in a lab and then on the road its totally different.
 
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