If you live in California and own a VW TDI diesel, you may have gotten a form letter from the California Air Resources Board offering you $1500 and a free loaner car in return for your letting them “test” your TDI for emissions for 3 months. Now there are probably around 50,000 of the allegedly “non compliant” VW diesels in California of three generations, and how many do they need for testing? Heck, probably could score a dozen TDIs just off craigslist in Sacramento in a weekend, and with a budget of the better part of a billion dollars, I’m sure CARB has more than enough petty cash to swing the deals.

Sounds like CARB may be setting up a  scam… Couple decades back I noted a crack in the fork of my Teledyne Titan titanium bicycle frame. I promptly replaced it with a steel fork of similar geometry, and wrote Teledyne to see about repair or replacement. They wrote back that they’d be happy to fix it… Month later I get a letter but no package back from them, Teledyne’s “fix” was to confiscate the fork and send me a check for $75.

So being a good California citizen like most diesel drivers, you gladly hand over your TDI to CARB for “testing”. Couple months pass and another form letter from CARB arrives, saying that you car was “damaged in testing” and here’s a a compensation check for KBB book value and a rebate coupon good on a new electric car! Is CARB setting up a scam?

Taking off the tin foil hat, CARB has a quite public distaste for diesels no matter how efficient and a love affair with electric vehicles, market forces be damned. CARB has crushed vehicles they didn’t like before, and that seems to be their strange idea of fun. And even if CARB isn’t scamming to confiscate and destroy diesel cars now, getting a list of where they are would make confiscation easier at a later date… The Nazis used a similar strategy to find, label, concentrate, and mass murder Jews, gays. gypsies, and the disabled…

So if you get CARB’s form letter asking to “borrow” your VW diesel, don’t throw it… Save it for evidence!