In such a huge industry like the vehicle industry, you are bound to have a controversy or two. They pop up every so often. Some controversies are just about cutting corners to get round safety standards or environmental law. Others are life or death.
Generally speaking, businesspeople will keep to the rules though with the amount of money involved, there will always be a company willing to bend the rules if an investigative journalist is determined to find one.
Emissions Testing Controversy
One of the more recent controversies was the emission test scandal discovered in 2014. It was associated with VWs but it affected Chrysler, Nissan and Mercedes. It boils down to the same model vehicle showing different levels of CO² in American and European tests. There might be slight fluctuations in the test but not as much as the results submitted. Something was off it seems.
It’s not the first time that these emission tests have caused problems. In 1973 the “ambient temperature switches” (we would probably call it an air conditioner these days) seemed to affect the emission recall. More recently in 1996, there was a problem with the onboard software that seemed to alter the test results. Ultimately the only way validate emissions tests is to continually compare and contrast results from different locations.
The Hennessey Venom GT
Was the Hennessey Venom GT the fastest turnaround in production or was it just a complete ripoff of the Lotus? The evidence would suggest the latter, the chassis belonging to the Lotus Exige, according to sources. Though the manufacture involved various part of the Exige Hennessey remains adamant it is not associated with the Lotus—which doesn’t stop the car from being registered as a Lotus Exige (modified) with many DMV’s.
The Most Mysterious Controversy Yet
There was a limited number of the BMW 2002 Turbo, about 1700. There’s some discussion about why both Turbo and 2002 were written backwards on the vehicle, Journalists and police bemoaned this altered script, but it’s not clear why. Look into it yourself and let us know why you think this is a big deal (https://buy.motorious.com/articles/news/308437/bmw-2002-turbo-began-the-m-division).
Fuel from Water
There have been quite a series of water fueled car inventors that have spawned controversy.
The 1st thing you must understand is that there are two basic approaches to fueling a car with water. One is two split hydrogen out of the water using super-efficient nanotechnology to get as close to frictionless energy transfer as possible without breaking Newtonian physics, and the other is to toss out Newton and Einstein and use ninja techniques from Nikola Tesla’s mad years when he claimed frictionless forms of electricity exist. Guess which one is more accepted in the scientific community.
A company named Genesis World Energy/United Fuel Cell Technology patented a process to split water into HHO gas, and mixed it to create a fuel. Four years later, in 2006, after raising nearly three million dollars from investors, the owner of the company, Patrick Kelly, was convicted in New Jersey of theft.
In 2008, similarly named Japanese company Genepax announced a car that runs on water. But the company received a sound beat down by Popular Mechanics magazine. No lawsuits so far, let’s see what their 2016 claim to run a car on two cans of pop will bring.
Daniel Dingel, a Filipino inventor, also claimed to have invented a water-powered car. He applied for a patent, view it here, and in 2000, he talked Formosa Plastics Group to back him. They appear to have sued him in 2008 for fraud and won. Dingel passed away in prison in 2011, escaping the last 15 years of his sentence.
In 2015, a Swiss-French company, nanoFlowcell AG, came out with a whole line of water-powered cars. They, at least, have remained in business. Fending off initial concerns from skeptical journalists. NanoFlowcell doesn’t burn HHO gas, instead, it’s an electrolysis process powering a fuel cell through—you guessed it—a nanoflow process. But it’s a water-powered electric car by any other name.
In 2019 a Chinese company claimed they had created a car that ran on water by catalysing (or transforming) the hydrogen in the water. Many people felt this to be a scam. The Chinese government which usually funds car production in the country did not release a statement. It seemed that the science didn’t work and despite the unique technology that must be involved, no patent had been filed.
No further follow-ups of this story seem to exist online, so it seems most people’s suspicions were justified. Just a pie-in-the-sky, license-to-print-money exercise. It’s not clear however how they thought they could get away with it, you can’t market a water powered car without some kind of explanation. So perhaps this time they did make the discovery of the century and when the Chinese government realized it, they quickly squashed all talk of it.
What will be the next controversy? Well, there are discussions about the safety of driverless cars and whether electric cars are as environmentally safety as advertised. Just another car controversy to be wary of. Just another day in the office around here.