Free-For-All Friday 9/25/15

Feel free to use this post to make comments and ask questions about local issues not yet discussed here over the past week.

61 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 9/25/15”

  1. About to go to Great Clips and park in that accursed garage. It’s been a while — do the tokens still shoot back out of the broken coin return slot and roll under your car before you remember that machine is the spawn of the devil?

    1. Or how about, you put your token in, make your right turn to exit, and see the taillights of a car exiting under the lifted gate you just paid for. And you don’t have another token. And there’s no attendant. And there’s no intercom or telephone — or even telephone number — to call for assistance.

      1. I’ve never had sansho1’s problem but have had a situation like OMG Fan’s. Anyone who leaves that garage by using someone else’s token deserves to die a horrible and painful death. I was very thankful to see my kid’s PE teacher in the garage who gave me an extra token. One more reason to love CSD teachers. Always prepared!

  2. To a car guy, the VW fraud and deception on TDI “clean diesels” has been a fascinating story to watch unfold. They expect to issue a recall on those sold in the U.S. with the defeat software, but I’m curious to see how many will actually take it in.

    Do any DM’ers have one of these cars? Will you get the recall, despite the expected loss of power and MPG?

    1. I had the same thought. If I owned one, I probably would not take it in. However, I wonder whether Georgia will eventually require proof that those cars have had the recall service performed in order to pass the emissions inspection.

      1. TDI owner here. I’ve been wondering what my full recourse will be. I purchased the vehicle because of the MPG and performance. But in order to now make the car’s emissions compliant I lose those features; haven’t I technically been defrauded? I’m assuming a class action lawsuit will eventually be filed.

        And what about pain and suffering? Until this gets settled, I’ll have to endure the judgmental looks from other drivers. That’s gotta be worth something. 🙂

        1. Class actions have already been filed, and it’s likely that you will be a class member. The case will likely settle for a big number, and then you’ll get to submit a poof of claim. So hold onto documents that prove when you purchased the car.

        2. I think you’re absolutely right in saying what VW did constituted fraud. And I agree that there is going to be some sort of class action on behalf of TDI owners. Owners should receive an award for the diminution in value of their vehicle and the loss in performance due to the recall. And while you may not be able to get pain and suffering damages, VW may very well have to pay punitive damages for what they’ve done, particularly given this isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this. It seems to me as if the total compensation for each owner could be several thousand dollars. However, I don’t know if VW can actually afford to pay that much.

          1. I suspect the VW fraud will end up being a major test of the Justice Department’s vow to crack down on white-collar crime, though the international aspect will complicate matters.

            1. Yeah, there are some diplomatic issues mixed in here, just as there were in the BP case. Germany won’t want us driving one of their largest companies into bankruptcy, so that will constrain the size of the fines sought and imposed.

              Still, it will be a very big number. I think VW has already reserved something like $7 billion, and everyone agrees that’s not going to be enough.

              1. Arguably, for VW, the greater issue is the perhaps permanent brand damage. Even the temporary damage will be devastating (for example, Consumer Reports blanket advice not to buy ANY Volkswagens)

                1. And let’s not forget that VW owns Bugatti. So I am holding off on that Veyron purchase until I am convinced that the car actually gets 7 mpg in the city, as Bugatti claims.

                  1. They stopped making those, so those 450 or so cars sold per year won’t bail them out I’m afraid.

              2. I heard someone on television make the point that the RICO statutes have been successfully applied in much weaker cases. Would be interesting if the Justice Dept. decided to go that route.

              3. “Germany won’t want us driving one of their largest companies into bankruptcy, so that will constrain the size of the fines sought and imposed.”

                Which is why here and in other countries, there may be a stronger push for individual criminal prosecutions that are less harmful to rank and file workers and the economy in general.

      2. My understanding is that vehicles that run solely on diesel in Georgia do not require emission testing (at least at this time). I’m not sure if that will change in the future. I own an affected VW Golf TDI unfortunately.

    2. It’s almost certain that proof of the software removal will be required for emissions test passage. IMO, this is going to bankrupt VW, as the only satisfactory step they could take, as best as I can see, is to buy back the cars. The resale value on these are going to tank.

      1. VW has over $20 billion on the balance sheet. Even if they purchased each car at purchase price, they would still have $5 billion left over. Most likely, the worst case is they would need to compensate owners for the blue book value before the issue was announced so probably a $5 -$7 billion issue. My guess is they engineer a fix that costs about 2k per car like adding a blue urea chemical N0x scrubber to each TDI engine. This would cost less than a billion and then add punitive damages likely to add another $1 or two. VW will be fine, it is in no one’s interest to drive VW out of business except competitors like Daimler or BMW.

        1. Are you talking just US numbers, or the estimated 11 million cars worldwide?Because when I tried to calculate the latter, my smartphone calculator gave me an error message.

        2. “Most likely, the worst case is they would need to compensate owners for the blue book value before the issue was announced so probably a $5 -$7 billion issue.”

          Well, if you believe that and you prove to be right, you stand to make an absolute killing by buying VW shares right now.

          I don’t know where this ends up, but I think it’s much worse than a $5-7 billion issue when you add in liability for civil settlements, government fines, costs of recalls, and massive goodwill lost, which in this case will translate to lost sales pretty quickly. For example, I don;t know how many TDI diesels are now sitting on dealer lots, but right now they can’t be sold. And that assumes there is no carry-over effect to Porsche and Audi.

          1. I have bought the stock a couple of days ago and am up about 10% so far. The stock will go up and down but expect it to be a profitable investment over the long term. Yes, I am primarily looking at US vehicles as in Europe, the emission test are much more lenient and over 50% of consumers drive diesel cars. if you used our emission test on vehicles in Europe, about 90% of their diesel vehicles would fail. Their maximum levels of N0x are about 2x our levels and test can be performed on specially designed cars (unique tuning and with the A/C and other features stripped from the car to lower the load on the car so that it creates lower emissions. In other words, vehicles can be legally modified before it is tested. Yes, VW probably pushed this too far and will be slapped on the wrist for it but no way is Germany or anyone in Europe going to be too punitive on a company that directly employs over 600k workers and indirectly employs million more via suppliers and other support personnel. FYI – I used to design cars for one of the big 3 years ago and have spent a little time dealing with consumer recalls during my tenure. Remember GM hid failure in their ignition system, Toyota had pedal problems, and each resulted in multiple deaths yet their penalties didn’t even exceed $1 billion. Yes, they were not intentional but hiding the issue was and it was much more serious. I have read multiple comment that many TDI owners are happy and want to keep their cars as is if they are given the choice which they probably will in many states like Florida and TX.

            1. You may be right in the long run, but I think the credibility hit is more than you are allowing for. This, apparently, was calculated fraud, and of a nature that flies in the face of VW’s reputation.
              If nothing else, though, the market for diesel passenger vehicles in this country is now basically zero.

            2. Good luck to you, Phog. I admire that kind of contrarian bet and have been thinking of dipping into VW myself, though there’s probably a bit too much debt on that balance sheet for my taste.

    3. We have a 2012 VW Passat TDI. If it’s recalled, we will take it to the stealer and have whatever work done to it that’s required. We have enjoyed the car and the mileage but are disappointed in the deception. I imagine we will join in on the class action lawsuit that’s being initiated as we speak.

      1. From what I’ve read, I think you are actually okay. I think only the 2014-2015 model year Passats are affected.

    4. We have a 2014 Jetta wagon TDI. We will take the car in and do whatever the solution is – software change that affects performance/mileage, etc.

      What I am mostly upset about is the deception – the “clean diesel” marketing is one of the main reasons we’ve stayed with diesel VWs (this is our third – we owned two others before this that could also run biodiesel and were bummed that the newer engines could not).

      Do have to admit being pretty pissed that there’s no way we could sell it now, and likely won’t be able to in the future. So, I guess we’ll be driving this wagon until the wheels come off.

    5. Volkswagen has created a new website with the affected vehicles and a FAQ section. Fairly sparse for now, but I’m sure it will grow as more detail is released.

  3. Why has the building that Maddy’s used to be in been empty for the past few years? I know at one time there was talk of some sort of bar that would be geared towards Emory students was going to open there. With all the redevelopment in that area I would think that would be a prime spot.

    The parking lot is pretty bad but the location should be able to be home to something, right?

    1. It’s now owned by Medlock Gulf’s owner. He is/was looking to move the hybrid business into the space. (The Cross-Neighborhoods Committee met with him in April, but haven’t heard anything since. We were fine with his plan.)

  4. Anybody know what’s going in the Decatur Heights neighborhood this morning? Decatur police cars staking out Sycamore St and officers on foot obviously looking for something or somebody?

    1. Lt. Ross sent in this report in response to your comment…

      On 9-25-15 at approximately 8:32 am, Decatur Police responded to the Sycamore Ridge Drive area in reference to a male knocking on doors asking for directions. Officers arrived in the area and spotted a male fitting the description given and the male immediately fled on foot. Officers canvassed the neighborhood and located the suspect exiting the backdoor of a house he had just burglarized in the 700 block of Sycamore Drive. A second burglary has since been reported in the Sycamore Station town house complex. Officers have recovered property dropped by the suspect. Investigators are still on scene. The suspect is a 16-year-old male.

  5. Welcome back DM! I didn’t realize how much I rely on this site to get my local Decatur news. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, I guess. Hope you had a nice break.

  6. Is anybody having any success with the new MyDecaturGA app and getting reported problems fixed?!? I reported a sinkhole that is growing on Kings Hwy near Renfroe twice now to no avail. I guess I need to try other avenues.

    1. Once you’ve headed down a particular path, I’d suggest sticking with it rather than initiating a redundant request through another channel. When MyDecaturGA issues get acknowledged, they’re then assigned to someone to take care of and that person, I believe, is indicated online. Have you tried following up with the person now responsible, or with the person who makes the assignment? That would seem to be the best way to get status answers.

    2. A cursory glance at the site indicates that almost none of the issues reported have been addressed, only referred to someone. My guess is that the city was not prepared for the volume of reporting that would happen once the app was made available. With a limited staff being deluged with hundreds of requests, they might be snowed under for the foreseeable future.

    1. I don’t have any experience with these folks, but I’m sure some of y’all will be interested to know that a new music lessons business opened in Kirkwood a couple weeks ago.


  7. Need plans for the weekend???

    Free ‘Fall Equinox Celebration’ at Woodlands Garden this Saturday at 4pm:

    Free ‘Music in the Garden’ at Woodlands Garden this Sunday from 2pm – 4pm:

    ‘Plant Sale’ at Woodlands Garden with plants ranging from $1 – $30 at 1pm – 4pm:

  8. We’re back. Last year’s Boneyard Sale raised over $1000 for English Springer Rescue America so we’re doing it again. Boneyard Sale, The Sequel is tomorrow from 10 am to 4 pm (or whenever we run out of stuff). Decorations for home and yard. Some costumes. Inflatables. Sale at 205 Adair Street.
    Pictures of items are being posted in Boneyard Sale, The Sequel photo album on the Boneyard Buckaroos Facebook page.

    1. Been once. Good beer selection, a tasty, somewhat eclectic selection of food items, great patio, and free video games. Centipede! Donkey Kong! Ms PacMan! We really enjoyed it and look forward to going again.

    2. Loved pretty much everything about it. I enjoyed the grilled “kimcheese” and my husband has not stopped raving about the salami and butter sandwich he had. And free video games! And comics! And BEER!

    3. I’ll join everyone here in the enthusiastic accolades. I know we talk about great burgers all the time on DM and end up agreeing that there’s not a huge difference among pub burgers but MPB does a burger made out of brisket. And it is righteous.

    4. Went a week or two after they opened. Really liked the beer selection, and thought the service was decent for a brand new spot, but food was underwhelming (my date’s) to pretty bad (mine). I’m one of the least picky eaters around, but my meal was darn near inedible. We’ll try again, because we want the place to succeed.

  9. Seems like we’re having more issues with door-to-door solicitations lately, both legitimate and illegitimate. I know you’re required to have a permit, but I also just read (Sec. 70-5 of the City Code) that you can make solicitations unlawful if your home is properly labeled with a “No Solicitation” sign. Anyone around here have any experience as to whether a no solicitation sign actually discourages anyone?

  10. The Alexan now has evidence of siding and a paint job.

    It is an odd potpourri of colors (5+?) and siding (2 textures).

  11. Good evening.
    We have a five section National Geography book case to give away. It has the base and cap. Email me at [email protected] or pick up at curb. 146 Norris Street (BKA- The Old Dirt Road)

  12. I’m trying to find an update about a dog that was running loose on College near Candler this morning a little before 11am. I think he was hit, unfortunately, as he was in the grass when I circled back, but it looked like there was a vet on the scene so I’m holding out hope.

    I had seen him coming from the direction of Agnes Scott diagonally across the Candler/College intersection wearing a collar and trotting along happy and person-free. He was stopped on College near Kimball House so I pulled in next to Kimball House to try to help catch him, but he had run on down College towards the Commerce underpass. A pedestrian on the PATH reported seeing him so I was hoping he would stay away from the busy road. I was very upset to see him lying in the grass between the tracks and the road when I looped around. There were a number of folks there so I didn’t stop. Please tell me that someone has some good news!

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