Volkswagen’s world records set using TDI diesel engines could be in jeopardy.
The brand’s records could be retracted in light of new evidence that Volkswagen’s TDI diesel engines had software that allowed them to cheat on emissions tests. “Guinness World Records is looking into the matter and it has been passed to our Records Management Team in London to investigate,” Kristen Ott, PR Manager for Guinness wrote in an e-mail to AutoGuide.com. “We will comment further once the result of the investigations are clear.”
The 2015 Golf TDI holds the record for the lowest fuel consumption of any non-hybrid car to drive across all 48 U.S. contiguous States. The car traveled 8,233.5 miles around the U.S. in 16 days on just 101.43 gallons of gas, worth $294.98. What no one knew at the time was that the car was spewing 10 to 40 times the allowable amount of NOx into the air while doing it.
Behind the wheel for that record, and others like it, was self-professed hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, who released a statement following news from the EPA of VW’s cheating ways. “I am disappointed with the VW managers that authorized the tampering code inclusion for US-based TDIs,” reads a release on his site CleanMPG.
Despite the situation, Gerdes, does not dismiss diesel technology bur rather says that, “The power, torque, and efficiency of diesel still holds just as true today as it did yesterday.”
“As soon as the EPA emissions Certificates of Compliance are released on the 2016 VW TDIs, you can bet I will be back behind the wheel of one of those fantastic automobiles to once again prove they are some of the most efficient cars on the road to own and drive.”
Gerdes said he reached out to the Guinness World Records immediately following the troubling news, telling AutoGuide.com that he’d rather have a clean record, than a world record.
“I am not one who would stand on a tainted record. While I spent well over a thousand hours in prep and driving time to earn both VW TDI 48-State Lowest Fuel Consumption records, if they were not ‘cleanly’ earned, I do not deserve them,” he said. “I am sure VW feels the same.”
When Volkswagen decides how it will fix its nearly 11 million vehicles equipped with the cheating software, it may affect fuel economy and engine performance of all of its TDI engines built from 2009 to 2015. Considering the negative environmental impact and bad publicity of this story, there’s a chance Guinness may not want to be associated with these records.
“This is most certainly a short-to-intermediate setback for the VW Corporation of America, Audi, and the TDI moniker,” said Gerdes. “However, name a compact through mid-size sedan that offers the ease to drive and massive torque output of a TDI while consuming 20 to 50 percent less fuel over the same distances vs any other non-turbo diesel offering? This has not changed with today’s news.”
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