Diesel passenger cars have had a tumultuous past in the United States. In the last 15 years, they gained some acceptance among American consumers before a recent downturn. But in the pursuit of increased gas mileage, an increasing number of car makers are now offering diesel models in this country.
But a notable absence today is Volkswagen, which once sold the most diesels vehicles in this country. After VW was slapped with a huge penalty for rigging emission test results, the company pulled its diesels off the market.
According to automotive contributor Mark Savage, despite diesels and turbodiesels being very "viable as far as power and gas mileage," the Volkswagen scandal may have damaged the image of diesel engines for years to come.
"You might say that diesel has a black cloud hanging over it to a certain degree," says Savage. "GM hurt it because they had bad diesels and bad cars when they were making them, and now Volkswagen had good cars and decent diesels but they weren't as clean as they said they were. Lying usually hurts you in the long run."
Lake Effect automotive contributors Mark Savage and Dan Harmon focus on diesels in their conversation this month, starting with the extent of Volkswagen’s deception: