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    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    CGX car nut:
    JoeRockhead:
    964C2:

    Winterkorn was known as a micro-manager.....he must have know about the ECU tampering to meet the emissions tests!

    I wonder if that could result in criminal charges, if it's proven that senior management authorized it.. Smiley

    In the United States, the Department of Justice has started such an investigation into any potential criminal activity.  

    This is the best way to deal with the issue. Keep the fines minimal, put the people responsible in jail. This way the company moves forward with new leadership, VW workers keep their jobs, it sends a strong message to the rest of the industry, the public is satisfied that justice was done. There's no point to crippling fines and putting them out of business, people out of work, and wrecking the German economy.



    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    apias:
    CGX car nut:
    JoeRockhead:
    964C2:

    Winterkorn was known as a micro-manager.....he must have know about the ECU tampering to meet the emissions tests!

    I wonder if that could result in criminal charges, if it's proven that senior management authorized it.. Smiley

    In the United States, the Department of Justice has started such an investigation into any potential criminal activity.  

    This is the best way to deal with the issue. Keep the fines minimal, put the people responsible in jail. This way the company moves forward with new leadership, VW workers keep their jobs, it sends a strong message to the rest of the industry, the public is satisfied that justice was done. There's no point to crippling fines and putting them out of business, people out of work, and wrecking the German economy.

    Volkswagen is much more skilled and proactive in crisis management than when Audi faced the "unintended acceleration" problem in the United States during the late 1980s.  The company is losing much experience with the losses but mid- to longterm, Volkswagen Group will be a better company, if it survives.  One must be realistic about the prospects that the company can survive this crisis, as the extent of the violations is not completely known, and the violations have grown significantly since the 483,000 vehicles were highlighted last week Friday.

    On a similar, but separate topic, has anyone here read the original report from the International Council on Clean Transportation and West Virginia University's Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions?  

    The cars used in the sample were rentals and there is some issue with the amount of equipment used in the cars for the testing; the equipment is being reported as weighing 700 pounds.  Hence, with one or two passengers in the cars, the cars are beyond their gross vehicle weights.  This is an important point as the lean NOx trap technology works only on lightweight vehicles.  This could mean that the reported NOx emissions are distorted because the vehicle weight is greater than the system's design parameters.  Note, this is not the same as stating that the car is within specifications but the levels of exceeding the standards, real-world, might not be as great as reported.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    So that's  700l b of equipment in addition to the driver, and probably a passenger to monitor that equipment, right?  Smiley

    Is there a mention of the corresponding total payload as stipulated in the specs for the EPA test cycle as a comparison value?   Smiley


    --

    fritz


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    fritz:

    So that's  700l b of equipment in addition to the driver, and probably a passenger to monitor that equipment, right?  Smiley

    Is there a mention of the corresponding total payload as stipulated in the specs for the EPA test cycle as a comparison value?   Smiley

    The EPA probably has specifications on loads of the EPA test cycle; however, do realize that the evidence is very convincing that there is an on-off device related to the emission control system.  The cars operate well within the EPA  Tier2 bin 5 specifications when on the testbed but deviate substantially when on the road; however, only the NOx emissions are out-of-specification.  Emissions related to CO, CO2 and HC/THC are well within the limits.  

    A review of the test results show evidence of a major engineering trade-off.  Either the NOx emission system does not meet the required reliability cycle or the performance falls off dramatically that the car is virtually "undriveable."


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Well, and also, VW admitted that they programmed a "defeat device".


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Was the equipment in the car or towed? I guess it really doesn't matter as the proof is in the software.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Winterkorn stepped down? Not exactly http://dailykanban.com/2015/09/winterkorn-stepped-down-not-exactly/


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    palenimbus:

    What does this mean for Porsche if anything? 

    Depends who replaces him. I know who I would like to see at the head of Porsche but I don't think it will happen because he is too nice and too customer oriented. Smiley

    Overall, I think there is a lot of talking and speculation going on right now at VW Group but in the end, nothing much will change in the core of the VW Group. I wish the separate brands would get more independence but... Smiley


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Porsche Macan Turbo, Ford Mustang GT500 Shelby SVT (2014), Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (2014)


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Here is the article that I provided the link to the facebook post. Apparently the poster has given his permission to share:

    Eve asked me to put a post together to explain the VW situation and cut through all the ill informed mainstream media. So, here goes...

    What VW have done is this; their diesel engine ECUs include some coding known in the industry as a "cycle beater". Cycle beaters recognise when a car is undergoing an emissions test. They can do this because the drive cycles (consisting of set speeds and acc/decelerations for certain durations) utilised for emissions testing are very prescriptive and consequently, recognisable. The drive cycle in the US is defined by the EPA and in Europe by the EC, known as the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), although it's actually some 40 years old now! Both cycles are different and consequently pretty hard to compare, although they do both follow the same prescriptive philosophy. When the ECU/cycle beater recognises an emissions test is occurring the engine then employs a mode that improves emissions test results and there are several ways of doing this. This is on the assumption that one cycle beater can recognise either of the two drive cycles.

    Cycle beaters are not illegal in Europe, all the OEMs use every trick they can to get the best result possible. Why wouldn't they when the loopholes are there and they're operating in such a competitive market!? Cycle beaters are only one such trick and many, if not all, of the OEMs are at it and not just for emissions testing. However, much like tax avoidance, it is up to the legislators to close these loopholes, rather than publicly condone an OEM for not sticking within the spirit of the regulations. They have not broken the law after all. However, in the US things are different...

    When certifying a car for sale in the EU an OEM is only obliged to present a production specification vehicle for approval that must then pass the test there and then, as presented. These tests are witnessed by an authority, often a government department, to ensure the test is conducted correctly. Even for retests during production runs, conducted on randomly selected cars, (known as Conformity of Production), the car must only pass the test there and then, as presented. Therefore, the production vehicles have cycle beaters built in to their ECUs so they are representative of production specification cars. Again, none of this is illegal in the EU.

    This is where VW have fallen down though. In the US, approval tests are self certified and generally unwitnessed, although I'm told emissions are the exception and the EPA do witness these tests. The OEM presents a test report as evidence that they comply with the regulation and in doing so are stating they are compliant AT ALL TIMES, not just in the test laboratory. This is where the US and EU approval processes differ the most.

    Understandably, VW have pursued global build standards for their vehicles to save cost and complexity, whereby the same specification of car can be sold in the EU or US. However, in doing so they have failed to remove the cycle beaters that are legal in the EU and contravened the US regulations. Whether this has happened because of arrogance in taking a (mis)calculated risk or a lack of respect for the US regulations, we cannot say for definite. All we do know is that VW got caught and the US legal system is such that woe betide anyone who does not comply with their regulations, they'll be hit by punitive fines that could kill them off for good. VW stole a march on everyone else with diesel sales into the US (Audi's ALMS R10 TDI programme played it's part in this) and a conspiracy theorist might like to suggest that a thorn in GM and Ford's side has now been dealt with...but of course there is zero evidence for this.

    So that's what happened to VW and the consequences for them and OEMs importing into the US as a whole could be huge. Based on the numbers that have been mentioned, I would say VW's marketing budget, including motorsport activities, could be at risk from the amount they'll have to pay out in legal fees and fines over the coming months.

    Emissions were already a political hot potato and things could be about to get hotter... For example, the EC will likely be asking questions of KBA, the German approval authority, for potentially knowingly approving vehicles that do not comply with the spirit of the law. How much of a legal case, the EC and anyone else in the EU will have, as the law has not actually been broken, remains to be seen. One for the lawyers to fight out...
    Also, the UK is currently being fined by the EC for below par air quality. You'd think the Environment Agency will now be arguing that this poor air quality is not their fault but the fault of VWs and perhaps other cars, not necessarily having fully EU compliant exhaust emissions...despite the approvals being in place from KBA. How this all pans out will be fascinating and the consequences could be huge. It is worth pointing out that the public have nothing to worry about, this should not cost them any money or inconvenience. A recall to recalibrate ECUs and remove cycle beaters is possible though I suppose, pointless as that would be. It could be a lucrative time for emissions test organisations too.

    I would imagine engine calibration departments across European OEMs importing into the US are busy and uncomfortable places to work at the moment.

    I hope that sheds some light and understanding into what's happened and what the implications could be going forward. As always, don't believe everything you read in the mainstream media.

    Personally, I feel sorry for VW and fear for their and my beloved Audi's future but it seems they could've brought it on themselves, time will tell...


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    I would say this is perfect moment for Porsche guys to take over VW completely smiley 

    BBC News:

    The board of scandal-hit Volkswagen meets on Friday to shake up its management. On the agenda will be choosing a replacement for chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who resigned on Wednesday. Reports have said that the front-runner for the top job is Porsche chief executive Matthias Mueller.


    --

    My new blog with automotive & motorcycle renders: tessoart.blogspot.com


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    CGX car nut:
    fritz:

    So that's  700l b of equipment in addition to the driver, and probably a passenger to monitor that equipment, right?  Smiley

    Is there a mention of the corresponding total payload as stipulated in the specs for the EPA test cycle as a comparison value?   Smiley

    The EPA probably has specifications on loads of the EPA test cycle; however, do realize that the evidence is very convincing that there is an on-off device related to the emission control system.  The cars operate well within the EPA  Tier2 bin 5 specifications when on the testbed but deviate substantially when on the road; however, only the NOx emissions are out-of-specification.  Emissions related to CO, CO2 and HC/THC are well within the limits.  

    A review of the test results show evidence of a major engineering trade-off.  Either the NOx emission system does not meet the required reliability cycle or the performance falls off dramatically that the car is virtually "undriveable."

    Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt in the least that someone consciously tried to cheat the system here, nor would I condone or defend it. There was obviously, in layman's terms, an IF ..... THEN .......  gate built into the engine control software diverting to the EPA compliant data map set IF the giveaway driving conditions for an EPA lab test were detected by the car's various relevant sensors.
    In the absence of detailed knowledge of diesel emissions requirements and procedures on my part, I was trying to understand for my own curiosity:
    (a) why the data mapping for optimised driveability could result in NOx emissions levels a factor of over 30 times greater than the EPA allows
    (b) how the perpetrators could have dreamt that this could go undetected over time
    (c) how the hell it did go undetected for so long.  

    The fact that the detection itself involved loading up a car with 700 lb of test equipment, which would itself lead to the test conditions being outside those specified by the EPA and could also be expected to negatively distort the test results, goes a long way to answering those 3 questions in my mind.


    --

    fritz


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    I also wonder why VW immediately acknowledged the "cheating", it wasn't very clever in my opinion because it leaves only little to be "handled" by the lawyers they hired. yes


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Porsche Macan Turbo, Ford Mustang GT500 Shelby SVT (2014), Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (2014)


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Spyderidol:

    Here is the article that I provided the link to the facebook post. Apparently the poster has given his permission to share:

    Eve asked me to put a post together to explain the VW situation and cut through all the ill informed mainstream media. So, here goes...

    What VW have done is this; their diesel engine ECUs include some coding known in the industry as a "cycle beater". Cycle beaters recognise when a car is undergoing an emissions test. They can do this because the drive cycles (consisting of set speeds and acc/decelerations for certain durations) utilised for emissions testing are very prescriptive and consequently, recognisable. The drive cycle in the US is defined by the EPA and in Europe by the EC, known as the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), although it's actually some 40 years old now! Both cycles are different and consequently pretty hard to compare, although they do both follow the same prescriptive philosophy. When the ECU/cycle beater recognises an emissions test is occurring the engine then employs a mode that improves emissions test results and there are several ways of doing this. This is on the assumption that one cycle beater can recognise either of the two drive cycles.

    Cycle beaters are not illegal in Europe, all the OEMs use every trick they can to get the best result possible. Why wouldn't they when the loopholes are there and they're operating in such a competitive market!? Cycle beaters are only one such trick and many, if not all, of the OEMs are at it and not just for emissions testing. However, much like tax avoidance, it is up to the legislators to close these loopholes, rather than publicly condone an OEM for not sticking within the spirit of the regulations. They have not broken the law after all. However, in the US things are different...

    When certifying a car for sale in the EU an OEM is only obliged to present a production specification vehicle for approval that must then pass the test there and then, as presented. These tests are witnessed by an authority, often a government department, to ensure the test is conducted correctly. Even for retests during production runs, conducted on randomly selected cars, (known as Conformity of Production), the car must only pass the test there and then, as presented. Therefore, the production vehicles have cycle beaters built in to their ECUs so they are representative of production specification cars. Again, none of this is illegal in the EU.

    This is where VW have fallen down though. In the US, approval tests are self certified and generally unwitnessed, although I'm told emissions are the exception and the EPA do witness these tests. The OEM presents a test report as evidence that they comply with the regulation and in doing so are stating they are compliant AT ALL TIMES, not just in the test laboratory. This is where the US and EU approval processes differ the most.

    Understandably, VW have pursued global build standards for their vehicles to save cost and complexity, whereby the same specification of car can be sold in the EU or US. However, in doing so they have failed to remove the cycle beaters that are legal in the EU and contravened the US regulations. Whether this has happened because of arrogance in taking a (mis)calculated risk or a lack of respect for the US regulations, we cannot say for definite. All we do know is that VW got caught and the US legal system is such that woe betide anyone who does not comply with their regulations, they'll be hit by punitive fines that could kill them off for good. VW stole a march on everyone else with diesel sales into the US (Audi's ALMS R10 TDI programme played it's part in this) and a conspiracy theorist might like to suggest that a thorn in GM and Ford's side has now been dealt with...but of course there is zero evidence for this.

    So that's what happened to VW and the consequences for them and OEMs importing into the US as a whole could be huge. Based on the numbers that have been mentioned, I would say VW's marketing budget, including motorsport activities, could be at risk from the amount they'll have to pay out in legal fees and fines over the coming months.

    Emissions were already a political hot potato and things could be about to get hotter... For example, the EC will likely be asking questions of KBA, the German approval authority, for potentially knowingly approving vehicles that do not comply with the spirit of the law. How much of a legal case, the EC and anyone else in the EU will have, as the law has not actually been broken, remains to be seen. One for the lawyers to fight out...
    Also, the UK is currently being fined by the EC for below par air quality. You'd think the Environment Agency will now be arguing that this poor air quality is not their fault but the fault of VWs and perhaps other cars, not necessarily having fully EU compliant exhaust emissions...despite the approvals being in place from KBA. How this all pans out will be fascinating and the consequences could be huge. It is worth pointing out that the public have nothing to worry about, this should not cost them any money or inconvenience. A recall to recalibrate ECUs and remove cycle beaters is possible though I suppose, pointless as that would be. It could be a lucrative time for emissions test organisations too.

    I would imagine engine calibration departments across European OEMs importing into the US are busy and uncomfortable places to work at the moment.

    I hope that sheds some light and understanding into what's happened and what the implications could be going forward. As always, don't believe everything you read in the mainstream media.

    Personally, I feel sorry for VW and fear for their and my beloved Audi's future but it seems they could've brought it on themselves, time will tell...

    This is an excellent explanation of the background to this situation. Petty it wasn't available sooner so that we wouldn't have needed to read so much of the ill-informed reporting in the media to try to arrive at an accurate picture. 


    --

    fritz


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    RC:

    I also wonder why VW immediately acknowledged the "cheating", it wasn't very clever in my opinion because it leaves only little to be "handled" by the lawyers they hired. yes

    They didn't, EPA and VW talked about this issue since 2015 but VW got cornered in the end and had to confess. No other options left.

    I fear that more dirt will come to light in the comming months.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    If you see the timeline below the issues started as from May 2014. What was revealed last week wasn't a sudden thunderbolt. In September 2015 VW had just nowhere to run.

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/vw-emissions-scandal-how-story-unfolded


    --

     

    "Form follows function"

     


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    spudgun:
    RC:

    I also wonder why VW immediately acknowledged the "cheating", it wasn't very clever in my opinion because it leaves only little to be "handled" by the lawyers they hired. yes

    They didn't, EPA and VW talked about this issue since 2015 but VW got cornered in the end and had to confess. No other options left.

    I fear that more dirt will come to light in the comming months.

    I'm not so sure about this. Apparently they hired the specialized lawyers just right now, so I doubt it was a clever move to confess everything, no matter if you are cornered or not. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm not a lawyer and I don't have much of a clue about the law system in the US.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Porsche Macan Turbo, Ford Mustang GT500 Shelby SVT (2014), Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (2014)



    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Spyderidol:

    EPA To Volkswagen: Emissions Cheating Is Far Worse Than Killing 124 People

    EPA isn't that wrong. For years, I have laughed into the face of people who told me that I shouldn't drive a V8 or a sports car, simply because 95% of these people were driving a Diesel. Diesel emissions are the worst, very poisonous and directly hazardous.

    VW could be in for a very bad surprise here if EPA tries to tie VW to the suspected hundreds of thousands of deaths per year because of Diesel NOx emissions, etc.. This could get very very ugly in the end.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Porsche Macan Turbo, Ford Mustang GT500 Shelby SVT (2014), Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (2014)


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    fritz:
    CGX car nut:
    fritz:

    So that's  700l b of equipment in addition to the driver, and probably a passenger to monitor that equipment, right?  Smiley

    Is there a mention of the corresponding total payload as stipulated in the specs for the EPA test cycle as a comparison value?   Smiley

    The EPA probably has specifications on loads of the EPA test cycle; however, do realize that the evidence is very convincing that there is an on-off device related to the emission control system.  The cars operate well within the EPA  Tier2 bin 5 specifications when on the testbed but deviate substantially when on the road; however, only the NOx emissions are out-of-specification.  Emissions related to CO, CO2 and HC/THC are well within the limits.  

    A review of the test results show evidence of a major engineering trade-off.  Either the NOx emission system does not meet the required reliability cycle or the performance falls off dramatically that the car is virtually "undriveable."

    Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt in the least that someone consciously tried to cheat the system here, nor would I condone or defend it. There was obviously, in layman's terms, an IF ..... THEN .......  gate built into the engine control software diverting to the EPA compliant data map set IF the giveaway driving conditions for an EPA lab test were detected by the car's various relevant sensors.
    In the absence of detailed knowledge of diesel emissions requirements and procedures on my part, I was trying to understand for my own curiosity:
    (a) why the data mapping for optimised driveability could result in NOx emissions levels a factor of over 30 times greater than the EPA allows
    (b) how the perpetrators could have dreamt that this could go undetected over time
    (c) how the hell it did go undetected for so long.  

     

    a) Can you elaborate on your question?  Basically, emissions controls were turned off, correct?


    --

    2005 997S Blk/Blk


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    http://www.autobild.de/artikel/klarstellung-abgaswerte-bei-bmw-diesel-6920195.html

    Kein Indiz für Manipulation bei BMW


    --

    2005 997S Blk/Blk


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    I'v never been a diesel guy. I've never fallen for the propaganda that was fostered by VAG.....but, the EPA is really hypocritical: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/09/us/colorado-epa-mine-river-spill/


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    SoCal Alan:
    fritz:
    CGX car nut:
    fritz:

    So that's  700l b of equipment in addition to the driver, and probably a passenger to monitor that equipment, right?  Smiley

    Is there a mention of the corresponding total payload as stipulated in the specs for the EPA test cycle as a comparison value?   Smiley

    The EPA probably has specifications on loads of the EPA test cycle; however, do realize that the evidence is very convincing that there is an on-off device related to the emission control system.  The cars operate well within the EPA  Tier2 bin 5 specifications when on the testbed but deviate substantially when on the road; however, only the NOx emissions are out-of-specification.  Emissions related to CO, CO2 and HC/THC are well within the limits.  

    A review of the test results show evidence of a major engineering trade-off.  Either the NOx emission system does not meet the required reliability cycle or the performance falls off dramatically that the car is virtually "undriveable."

    Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt in the least that someone consciously tried to cheat the system here, nor would I condone or defend it. There was obviously, in layman's terms, an IF ..... THEN .......  gate built into the engine control software diverting to the EPA compliant data map set IF the giveaway driving conditions for an EPA lab test were detected by the car's various relevant sensors.
    In the absence of detailed knowledge of diesel emissions requirements and procedures on my part, I was trying to understand for my own curiosity:
    (a) why the data mapping for optimised driveability could result in NOx emissions levels a factor of over 30 times greater than the EPA allows
    (b) how the perpetrators could have dreamt that this could go undetected over time
    (c) how the hell it did go undetected for so long.  

     

    a) Can you elaborate on your question?  Basically, emissions controls were turned off, correct?

    There is no ON/OFF switch for emission controls as such.

    Take the following with a pinch of salt, as I'm not a specialist in the field and this my interpretation of the more reliable of the reports we have been reading: 

    There should be one set of engine control data maps which, in the case of a diesel engine, define how much fuel is allowed to be injected into the cylinders at any one time, dependent on throttle pedal position, load on the engine (resistance from the road wheels due to gradient, sum of rolling and wind resistance of car), inlet air and engine temperatures, manifold air pressure and probably some other factors I've overlooked or don't even know about.
    This data set should be optimised to allow the engine to operate as economically as possible, to produce as much power as possible when called for, and to be as "driveable" as possible, whilst at the same time keeping exhaust emissions within the limits prescribed by (in this instance) the EPA. (By "driveable", I mean that the engine responds immediately and satisfactorily to the driver's inputs or to changes in external loads).

    Problems arise with optimising the data maps due conflicts between the fuelling requirements for the various desired operating conditions. Intuitively, we might expect a conflict between optimising for power and economy, for instance. It appears that there was a conflict here between driveability and/or power and/or economy on the one side and keeping down NOx emissions on the other. In many engines, this is countered by feeding urea into the exhaust system to enable a post-combustion stroke chemical reaction to take place which makes the nitrogen compounds leaving the exhaust pipe more benign. 

    In this instance, two sets of engine control data maps were stored in the engines' electronic control units. The default "real world" maps allowed the engine to run under optimised conditions from a driving point-of-view, but to produce excessive undesired NOx emissions. The "EPA test bench" data maps reduced undesired NOx compound output at the expense of driving "comfort", power and economy. 

    The software "switch" referred to recognised if the EPA test bench conditions were given at any time, and diverted the ECU from the "real world" maps to the more benign ones. 

    Any corrections of or clarifying additions to the above are heartily welcomed.


    --

    fritz


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Matt.JPG


    --

    fritz


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    fritz:
    SoCal Alan:
    fritz:
    CGX car nut:
    fritz:

    So that's  700l b of equipment in addition to the driver, and probably a passenger to monitor that equipment, right?  Smiley

    Is there a mention of the corresponding total payload as stipulated in the specs for the EPA test cycle as a comparison value?   Smiley

    The EPA probably has specifications on loads of the EPA test cycle; however, do realize that the evidence is very convincing that there is an on-off device related to the emission control system.  The cars operate well within the EPA  Tier2 bin 5 specifications when on the testbed but deviate substantially when on the road; however, only the NOx emissions are out-of-specification.  Emissions related to CO, CO2 and HC/THC are well within the limits.  

    A review of the test results show evidence of a major engineering trade-off.  Either the NOx emission system does not meet the required reliability cycle or the performance falls off dramatically that the car is virtually "undriveable."

    Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt in the least that someone consciously tried to cheat the system here, nor would I condone or defend it. There was obviously, in layman's terms, an IF ..... THEN .......  gate built into the engine control software diverting to the EPA compliant data map set IF the giveaway driving conditions for an EPA lab test were detected by the car's various relevant sensors.
    In the absence of detailed knowledge of diesel emissions requirements and procedures on my part, I was trying to understand for my own curiosity:
    (a) why the data mapping for optimised driveability could result in NOx emissions levels a factor of over 30 times greater than the EPA allows
    (b) how the perpetrators could have dreamt that this could go undetected over time
    (c) how the hell it did go undetected for so long.  

     

    a) Can you elaborate on your question?  Basically, emissions controls were turned off, correct?

    There is no ON/OFF switch for emission controls as such.

    Take the following with a pinch of salt, as I'm not a specialist in the field and this my interpretation of the more reliable of the reports we have been reading: 

    There should be one set of engine control data maps which, in the case of a diesel engine, define how much fuel is allowed to be injected into the cylinders at any one time, dependent on throttle pedal position, load on the engine (resistance from the road wheels due to gradient, sum of rolling and wind resistance of car), inlet air and engine temperatures, manifold air pressure and probably some other factors I've overlooked or don't even know about.
    This data set should be optimised to allow the engine to operate as economically as possible, to produce as much power as possible when called for, and to be as "driveable" as possible, whilst at the same time keeping exhaust emissions within the limits prescribed by (in this instance) the EPA. (By "driveable", I mean that the engine responds immediately and satisfactorily to the driver's inputs or to changes in external loads).

    Problems arise with optimising the data maps due conflicts between the fuelling requirements for the various desired operating conditions. Intuitively, we might expect a conflict between optimising for power and economy, for instance. It appears that there was a conflict here between driveability and/or power and/or economy on the one side and keeping down NOx emissions on the other. In many engines, this is countered by feeding urea into the exhaust system to enable a post-combustion stroke chemical reaction to take place which makes the nitrogen compounds leaving the exhaust pipe more benign. 

    In this instance, two sets of engine control data maps were stored in the engines' electronic control units. The default "real world" maps allowed the engine to run under optimised conditions from a driving point-of-view, but to produce excessive undesired NOx emissions. The "EPA test bench" data maps reduced undesired NOx compound output at the expense of driving "comfort", power and economy. 

    The software "switch" referred to recognised if the EPA test bench conditions were given at any time, and diverted the ECU from the "real world" maps to the more benign ones. 

    Any corrections of or clarifying additions to the above are heartily welcomed.

    In the original article of the first post in this thread, it was stated:

    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.

    Independent of "data maps", and assuming that software can control the amount of exhaust back into the intake tract, it shouldn't be to difficult to shut this down (or reduce to nearly zero), while allowing everything else to operate as normal.  This is, assuming that any internal monitoring of nitrous oxides are also disabled.


    --

    2005 997S Blk/Blk


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    Likely no vw execs will face criminal trials in the US, but the threat of that will be used as leverage in  fine settlement between the epa and vw.  Talk of 18 billion in fines, but I doubt that the American govt wants to be known for financially destroying Germany's  biggest employer. If anything the more criminal threats Germany makes against vw execs the less  the US fines will be. ..... but US dealers and consumers harmed from this will go after VW big time.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    from Autocar:

    VW’s group reorganisation includes the creation of a Porsche brand group, including both the Bugatti and Bentley marques, which will utilise use of what bosses term “the sports car and mid-engined toolkit.

    No director has yet been announced as head of the new division, but insiders believe Wolfgang Dürheimer, who had a long career at Porsche and currently leads both Bentley and Bugatti, is the strongest contender.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    I actually think there may need to be some intervention if dealer and consumer suits threaten the company's viability, or even to severely damage it. While it's understandable that they want to be compensated, it's not right that the financial burden of this might ultimately fall primarily on VW workers and suppliers.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    sfo:

    from Autocar:

    VW’s group reorganisation includes the creation of a Porsche brand group, including both the Bugatti and Bentley marques, which will utilise use of what bosses term “the sports car and mid-engined toolkit.

    No director has yet been announced as head of the new division, but insiders believe Wolfgang Dürheimer, who had a long career at Porsche and currently leads both Bentley and Bugatti, is the strongest contender.

    This sounds like an excellent idea.


    Re: VW caught cheating emissions tests

    SoCal Alan:

    In the original article of the first post in this thread, it was stated:

    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.

     The wording of the sentence "allowing the cars to spew as much as 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act" sounds much more like the language of a boulevard press journalist to me than a direct quote of the terminology an EPA engineer might use, so I would not put great store by the use of the expression "the controls are turned off".   Smiley

    Independent of "data maps", and assuming that software can control the amount of exhaust back into the intake tract, it shouldn't be to difficult to shut this down (or reduce to nearly zero), while allowing everything else to operate as normal.  This is, assuming that any internal monitoring of nitrous oxides are also disabled.

     I don't even know if turbocharged diesels are equipped with exhaust gas recirculation pumps, and I suspect that there are no sensors monitoring nitrous oxides.Smiley


    --

    fritz


     
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