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Topic # 180723 19-Sep-2015 12:22
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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/19/business/volkswagen-is-ordered-to-recall-nearly-500000-vehicles-over-emissions-software.html


The Environmental Protection Agency accused the German automaker of using software to detect when the car is undergoing its periodic state emissions testing. Only during such tests are the cars’ full emissions control systems turned on. During normal driving situations, the controls are turned off, allowing the cars to spew as much as 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act, the E.P.A. said.


This will be interesting.
It's one thing to use cycle-beating to exaggerate real-world performance, but this time it looks like VW have been pinged for doing something far more sneaky and deliberate.  
The cynic in me may lead me to conclude that EU authorities may have been prepared to turn a bit of a blind eye because of the economic importance of the car industry.  Uncle Sam might not be so forgiving when AFAIK, VAG don't have production in the US (though VW are Borg Warner's largest customer for DSG dual-clutch auto transmissions, I believe most of that DSG production is outside the US).

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  Reply # 1390194 19-Sep-2015 13:06
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Deliberately fooling government emission standards testing is very serious.

Fuel consumption figures? That one needs a look as well.

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  Reply # 1390272 19-Sep-2015 15:13
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If true that's bloody clever.




Matthew


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1390276 19-Sep-2015 15:19
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At the end of the day no cleverer than a fridge manufacturer.

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  Reply # 1390293 19-Sep-2015 15:38
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   Uncle Sam might not be so forgiving when AFAIK, VAG don't have production in the US ...


vw have had a plant operating in chattanooga, tennessee since 2011 where they build us market passats.

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  Reply # 1390298 19-Sep-2015 15:49
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I think it is a pretty common practice for the ECU to retard the vehicles performance at the RPM test points. Some vehicles also change the exhaust systems as well.




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  Reply # 1390305 19-Sep-2015 16:01
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ilovemusic:
   Uncle Sam might not be so forgiving when AFAIK, VAG don't have production in the US ...


vw have had a plant operating in chattanooga, tennessee since 2011 where they build us market passats.


Indeed - I missed that.



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  Reply # 1390313 19-Sep-2015 16:21
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pdath: I think it is a pretty common practice for the ECU to retard the vehicles performance at the RPM test points. Some vehicles also change the exhaust systems as well.


Smarter than that from the look of it.  It reads as if they set up the ECU to detect when an actual EPA test cycle was being run, then the ECU turns all minimum emissions settings "on" regardless of input settings (ie how hard a driver may be pushing it, whether they'd switched drive mode from "eco" to "sport" etc.) for the duration of the test.

For several reasons, having all the emissions control "on" would not be the way most people would choose to drive the vehicles, and would come at some economy and performance hit.  The appeal of these cars is that they perform extremely well and are very economical - and "green" of course.  Looks like it was too good to be true.

Not sure what went on here.  Sounds like California (CARB) specific testing may have been showing huge anomalies - possibly on out of state re-registrations, where mandatory "smog testing" of individual cars brought in to California would include NOx, and they'd do the NOx test using their own test which would be different from an EPA test cycle and probably a bit more random in terms of how it was carried out at a local testing station.

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  Reply # 1390360 19-Sep-2015 17:35
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I have no actual knowledge of the subject but I can imagine the US laws were written along the lines of "car must pass the following test..." rather than "car must preform like this and we will test it using various methods"

So quite possibly VW have done nothing wrong, just taken advantage of a stupidly written law.




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  Reply # 1390401 19-Sep-2015 19:05
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Reminds me of PC hardware manufacturers cheating at WHQL driver certification!



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  Reply # 1390404 19-Sep-2015 19:08
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mdooher: I have no actual knowledge of the subject but I can imagine the US laws were written along the lines of "car must pass the following test..." rather than "car must preform like this and we will test it using various methods"

So quite possibly VW have done nothing wrong, just taken advantage of a stupidly written law.


Stupidly written law or not, they've shown utter contempt for that law.


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  Reply # 1390420 19-Sep-2015 20:12
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VW are definitely in the gun. To get the certificate before being allowed to sell a vehicle they have to have the EPA test done and declare any aspect of the vehicle which could affect the test results. They also have to make a declaration that the vehicle contains no systems that will try and alter the results.

They are completely screwed. Maximum fine is 18 billion. They are also not allowed to sell any new model diesels until the issue is resolved. They are also required to make every existing vehicle sold compliant. To make them compliant they will have to rob the vehicles of their preformance.

Would you want to take your vehicle on knowing it will come out performing worse?




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  Reply # 1390430 19-Sep-2015 20:23
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Behodar: Reminds me of PC hardware manufacturers cheating at WHQL driver certification!

Classic.

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  Reply # 1390447 19-Sep-2015 21:16
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pdath: 
Would you want to take your vehicle on knowing it will come out performing worse?


I think there is a fair good chance that VW can look forward to a class action suit from their customers following the callback and reduced performance of the cars... 




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  Reply # 1390484 19-Sep-2015 22:34
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Fred99: 

Stupidly written law or not, they've shown utter contempt for that law.



I wonder how many other companies do this sort of thing, and haven't been caught out. The thing about laws, is that they can be very badly written and full of hole, and lawyers can interprete  them differently. NZ is no different, so of our district plans for example are full of holes.

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  Reply # 1390502 20-Sep-2015 02:35
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jarledb:
pdath: 
Would you want to take your vehicle on knowing it will come out performing worse?


I think there is a fair good chance that VW can look forward to a class action suit from their customers following the callback and reduced performance of the cars... 

They might be offered the best trade in deal ever during this recall. Expensive, but it will make sense in so many ways.

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