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The Volkswagen pollution monitor defeat device.

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The Volkswagen pollution monitor defeat device.

Old 19th Sep 2015, 08:11
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The Volkswagen pollution monitor defeat device.

VW have been caught fitting a device to some of their cars that lowers the cars pollution emissions when undergoing testing, and restores them to their higher level after the testing equipment has been disconnected.

Volkswagen to recall 500,000 pollution-hiding cars in US - BBC News

Now, this seems to have been found on only some of their cars so far, but what if it has been fitted across other marques in the group, Seat, Audi etc?
It lets them advertise their cars as pollution beaters, when in fact they will be no better, or possibly worse than their competitors.

As well as the fines, customers should be able to get full refunds on their purchase by claiming they were sold a lie. This could get very expensive for the group.
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Old 19th Sep 2015, 08:51
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Now, you can't tell me, that the instructions to insert this logarithm - which was inserted into the VW ECU's programming, and which logarithm was designed to pick up when the vehicle was being tested, and alter the engine settings accordingly to meet the specifications - and then relax the settings after the testing was completed - didn't come right from the very top of the company?

I'd say some very senior management including the CEO are going to be roasted over this piece of devious designing. On top of that, it makes one wonder - what else is yet to be discovered in their deviousness?

Sitigeltfel, it would take a class action to try and recover refunds for the buyers who are outraged about the deceit. More likely, VW will just be made to pay a huge fine, and promise not to be naughty, ever again.
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Old 19th Sep 2015, 09:35
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Originally Posted by sitigeltfel View Post
VW have been caught fitting a device to some of their cars that lowers the cars pollution emissions when undergoing testing, and restores them to their higher level after the testing equipment has been disconnected.
Smells like a media beatup to me. More likely VW have a different engine profile for the car when its not moving, than one when it is actually travelling at speed.
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Old 19th Sep 2015, 10:20
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The EPA said Volkswagen could face other action and fines for the alleged breach of the Clean Air Act. The maximum fine for violations of the act is $37,500 per vehicle, which works out to a maximum possible fine as high as $18bn.
VAG have admitted to the software, but refuse to comment.

I suspect p.j.m. may be correct though.
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Old 19th Sep 2015, 18:50
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...hmmm I posted this topic here yesterday...but post was deleted...must have a VW lover in the admin...
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 00:51
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GM was just fined $900 million for hiding a fault which has killed 100 some people. Fair chunk of change, but no criminal charges.
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 08:11
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A cigarette company tried something similar by designing a filter which let clean air through when it was placed in the testing holder but when it was actually gripped in the fingers of a smoker the vent holes became crushed and blocked so the smoke going through was more concentrated.
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 08:54
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I wonder how they found that one - a whistle blower perhaps?

Any product designer who does not focus on how to pass the mandatory tests is too naive to be true. As I know only too well, the real trick is in the standardisation body specifying tests which are realistic and VERY difficult to fiddle the results!
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 10:15
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If this is just a specially crafted ECU profile, I can't believe that VW are the only car maker doing it. They would all be using the same trick.
I suspect the EPA have chosen one manufacturer to pin to the wall as an example, and naturally they have selected a foreign company instead of a home one.
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 10:47
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Our modern box ticking culture lends itself to this principle. Comply, but only within the specified parameters. Having said that, I agree that pjm is probably closest.
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 11:50
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Not the only industry that gets in to stuff like this. Smartphone manufacturers (including Samsung iirc) were recently found to have code that overclocked the cpu when running testing software to achieve higher benchmark results.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 11:44
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I wonder how they found that one - a whistle blower perhaps?
I understand someone went to the trouble of fitting the trunk with a full emission measurement gear and actually drive the car around. They were shocked to find out that the day to day emissions were far above limits...

If this is true (and VW doesn't seem to deny it) it opens quite a can of worms...
  • what other models are concerned ?
  • what happens to the affected cars ? can they actually be made legal ? at what cost / performance loss ?
  • is this an US only problem ? what about cars sold in Europe ?
  • is VW the only offender or is it an industry practice ?
  • last but not least why did they do it and who signed up on this ?
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 12:57
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BlankBox - your post was binned because it consisted entirely of a link to particularly intrusive and insistent leveraging pop up ads to get people to sign up and pay for full access beyond the FT firewall.

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Old 21st Sep 2015, 13:32
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Heard on the radio this morning that Chrysler is connected to this as well. Not sure where the overlap is.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 14:36
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customers should be able to get full refunds on their purchase by claiming they were sold a lie
That, I suspect, may be just a tad optimistic.... Not that the lawyers won't try for it, of course. As well as for emotional damage suffered!

More likely outcome is a massive fine - which will go straight to Govt coffers. Punters will remain shafted.

Last edited by er340790; 21st Sep 2015 at 14:59.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 14:54
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Guess who just bought the daughter a 2014 VW Golf with a 150-horse diesel engine, one that is supposed to meet the Euro 6 emissions standards? Yup, us.

I think that both EU and US models are engineered to meet the same emissions standards, although California-market cars may have to meet even stricter standards than those. If VW was fiddling the test in the US, then they probably were also fiddling it in Europe, using the same software trick to beat the same test.

It may be so that meeting the standards causes the car to be a dog to drive. Put another way, not meeting the standards other than in testing modus probably allows the car to both perform better and use less fuel.

Here in Germany we have these inner-city areas where only cars meeting Euro 4 (Green emissions badge) or higher are allowed to operate. A worst-case scenario might see some cars and light trucks degraded to Euro 3, leaving them barred from operating in many cities. That would put the cat among the pigeons!

VW is very big on using similar components across their whole range, so that this problem shall be found in VW, Seat, Skoda and Audi; they all might use the same diesel engine with the same software. Last time it was a problem with the DSG gearbox that hit all these various brands.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 17:09
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Possibly they were managing idling emissions and just coincidentally the testing situation matched the idling situation
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 17:23
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One of the main reasons thatI had for buying my current car was the low emissions (which resulted in zero VED) together with published economical fuel consumption.

Now, of course, the government has removed the financial incentives to buy low-emission vehicles from 2017, so published (or, indeed, actual) values are irrelevant apart from the cost of the fuel used.

I accept that my actual fuel consumption doesn't match the published figures, but there should be some relative comparison between different models.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 20:48
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It will be interesting to read the history of this massive screw-up: who came up with it; who has to walk the plank.

The thing is, we just paid quite a bit of money for a VW Golf VII that is supposed to meet Euro 6 emissions standards, and give good performance. If we end up with some manky software update that turns it into some sort of thirsty slug, that will not do, not at all.

On the other hand, if it can't pass emissions testing then it won't get that new TüV sticker in a few years, when it should then turn into a rather finely engineered garden ornament. (Germany recently combined emissions testing with the safety inspection, the TüV, their version of the MOT. New cars need one after three years, new bikes after two.)

The first thing was this problem in the States, in California. Next came the realization that the same problem is very likely present in the EU-market cars. Stand by for other manufacturers to come under the same scrutiny, when more cheating may be found.

I always wondered how they manage to create such clean-running diesel engines nowadays, but took it for granted that this had been done on the up-and-up. We have a BMW 330dXi that is amazing: twin-turbo, straight-six, 245 hp with 7.5 liters/100 km (37 mpg with imperial gallons) fuel consumption, and Euro 6 emissions. Let's hope those numbers do not turn out to be too good to be true!
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 21:04
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This whole story sounds weird to me. Noone who would want to determine real levels would let the car measure the emissions itself.

One would put the car on rollers like used for measuring braking action, stick a probe into the tailpipe and measure. The ECU would never know that it was being tested.

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