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    Thread: Volkswagen, Audi accused of cheating US Diesel Emissions Tests - May face $18 Billion in fines!

    1. #1
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      Volkswagen, Audi accused of cheating US Diesel Emissions Tests - May face $18 Billion in fines!

      For years we've been praising Volkswagen's TDI vehicles for their excellent blend of driving performance and fuel efficiency, but a recent claim by the US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that VW's diesel emissions may not be as clean as we've been led to believe.

      The EPA claims that illegal emissions control software was used on Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles sold in the United States between the model years 2009 and 2015. In its official statement, the EPA explains its findings:

      "A sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test. The effectiveness of these vehicles' pollution emissions control devices is greatly reduced during all normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard. The software produced by Volkswagen is a "defeat device," as defined by the Clean Air Act."

      Allegedly, the cars run in a clean mode when hooked up to testing equipment and switch back to a not-so-clean mode when disconnected. This causes the torquey TDIs to actually spew up to 40 times more tailpipe emissions when driven in the real world.

      The affected vehicles are 2009-2015 model year Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle and Golf, the 2014-2015 VW Passat, and 2009-2015 Audi A3, totaling roughly 482,000 diesel passenger cars.

      Neither the EPA's official statement nor its notice of violation to the Volkswagen Group of America makes any mention of a recall, but the agency did state that "VW may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged in the [notice]." With a maximum possible fine of $37,500 per vehicle, VW and Audi could be looking at up to $18 billion in fines.

      Sources:
      Volkswagen, Audi accused of using software to cheat US diesel emissions tests - CNET
      VW Is Said to Cheat on Diesel Emissions; U.S. to Order Big Recall

      EPA's official letter to VAG
      http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/cert/docume...a-09-18-15.pdf
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      Quote Originally Posted by Digital Vampire View Post
      A sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test.
      Watch out people ... Digital Vamires abound!!
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      The software is called Code9.. Surprisingly, an inverse version the Code6 is available in India which bumps up the emissions 40 times... The moment it discovers an enthusiast behind the wheel!!

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      I had a general understanding that fuel efficieny is directly linked with pollution control. Better the FE better the car in controlling pollution. But the scenario is different. Anyway, what would screw VW further that just recalling and disabling the software won't do here as disabling the software would lower the FE of VW cars (as compared to their reported figures to EPA).

      In order to create a win-win situation (from Emmission & FE perspective), VW finds themselves in lose-lose situation.

      By the way, it would be quite interesting to know - who let the dogs out ?

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      Quote Originally Posted by sanguine View Post
      By the way, it would be quite interesting to know - who let the dogs out ?
      Americans want to keep Germans controlled in US car market? VAG TDIs are well known for black smoke emission.
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      Enough of German technology noise. Good the thieves are caught. Can they not be shut down for, say, three months!
      Drive carefully, the life you save may be your own.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sanguine View Post
      it would be quite interesting to know - who let the dogs out ?
      Copy pasting from Ars article comments:

      The anomaly was discovered by academic researchers. They actually were not looking for it. They had been contracted to get real world testing on US diesel by an organization looking to improve emission standards in the EU. Ironically they were looking to US VW "success" with clean diesel in the US as proof that EU can get much tougher on diesel emissions.

      The researchers found for two models of VW vehicles emissions 10 to 40x higher depending on model and conditions. As a control they had the same equipment measure the EPA test which those models were within 2% of standard. They notified VW, CA, and EPA with the findings.

      VW stalled and obfuscated for nearly a year. The EPA went back and tested multiple vehicles from multiple years and found the problem was not isolated to just the two models found by the researchers. The idea the EPA was reluctant to proceed further is nonsense.

      Today no diesel VW are sold in the US and VW has no COC for its 2016 lineup because the EPA is withholding its certs pending resolution.

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      Quote Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
      Enough of German technology noise. Good the thieves are caught. Can they not be shut down for, say, three months!
      I believe same would have been practised for VW cars in other countries as well, including India. Can we expect a similar actioan against VW here? Or, atleast in Europe and other developed countries?

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      Quote Originally Posted by sanguine View Post
      who let the dogs out ?
      Quote Originally Posted by Balavignesh Ram View Post
      Americans want to keep Germans controlled in US car market?
      I don't think Americans are really that much concerned about environment, no country is. The case may also have some political angles. Germans also don't give too much freedom to American companies like Google in their county. Now German politicians have also jumped into the matter after seeing VW share value declining drastically after the incident:


      German minister tells Volkswagen to clear up emissions scandal

      “You will understand that we are worried that the justifiably excellent reputation of the German car industry and in particular that of Volkswagen suffers,” Gabriel said.

      On Sunday, the German carmaker’s chief executive apologised for the scandal. “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Martin Winterkorn said. “Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.”

      VW suspended sales of cars containing the company’s four-cylinder turbo direct injection (TDI) engine on Friday after the investigation.

      Bailey said the US allegations could have wider reverberations for the car industry’s efforts to reassure regulators about its environmental impact. Shares of VW’s German rival carmakers also fell in Germany. BMW shares dropped 3.7% and Daimler’s lost 4.2%
      Last edited by Jack Sparrow; 22nd Sep 2015 at 13:33.

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      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      I believe same would have been practised for VW cars in other countries as well, including India.
      It's quite possible that VW had fooled around with the environmental tests.

      Quote Originally Posted by speed79 View Post
      Can we expect a similar actioan against VW here? Or, atleast in Europe and other developed countries?
      But here in India, I don't think the regulatory bodies are much bothered about environment or pollution anyways.

      Back in 2008/2009 I was looking forward to get a quantitative result of pollution variables before and after remap but the tests were just a huge waste of time due to dummy equipment.

      The very validity and requirement of PUC Certificate every 6 months itself is a huge SCAM. In the last 8+ years, I have not seen a single PUC machine that works reliably (forget being accurate!). Most of these machines are just dummies of a machine which might have worked once upon a time! In instances spanning across 3 different states, I've always received just a pre-filled template as PUC Certificate (with number plate snapshot appended) and it has no correlation with the test being conducted or the UUT.
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