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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test," Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA, told reporters in a teleconference.
Volkswagen could face $18 billion penalties from EPA | Reuters

I've been curious for the last few years why Mercedes-Benz diesels , like most others these days, all need urea injection to meet emissions targets, but VW/Audi/Porsche doesn't seem to need it.

I guess now we know why.
 

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Arrr, Matey!
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Supposedly they emit 10-40 times the standard amount of NOx. Crazy shit....
 

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Dream Crusher
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If true, that's pretty fucked. Odds are good that they'll settle out if there's any liability there.
 

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I have angered the Noodles
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I'd be curious to see how exactly it would know it is undergoing an emissions test. We don't have them here, so its been a good 6 or 7 years since I've had to do one on my vehicles, so the details are fuzzy.
 

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Premium Member
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32,765 Posts
Shares are off nearly 20% today, wiping away 14B EUR (almost $16B USD) in market capitalization. For perspective, 2014 earnings were a little over EUR10B, so that's a huge amount of money.

Not sure exactly how some sort of defeat device unit would work, but they came clean and admitted they were doing it, so it's not just some vague accusation.
 

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Read Only
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Not sure exactly how some sort of defeat device unit would work, but they came clean and admitted they were doing it, so it's not just some vague accusation.
From what I've read, it sounds like the car monitored the pattern of acceleration and braking and could pick up the sequences used in emissions testing. When it detected one, it would turn on the eco mode, and then turn it back off once it detected the car was being driven normally again.

The NYT is also reporting that they lied about it for a year, claiming that the real-world emissions data not matching the test results was due to some kind of technical glitch.
 

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Premium Member
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From what I've read, it sounds like the car monitored the pattern of acceleration and braking and could pick up the sequences used in emissions testing. When it detected one, it would turn on the eco mode, and then turn it back off once it detected the car was being driven normally again.

The NYT is also reporting that they lied about it for a year, claiming that the real-world emissions data not matching the test results was due to some kind of technical glitch.
Yeah - article I read said they only came clean and stopped stonewalling the EPA when they threatened to withhold certification for 2016 models.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many emissions tests don't actually rely on tailpipe sensors being used, but instead trust the car's own On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) computer to report the emissions.

I would assume that VW either ran the car in an "Eco test mode" when a device was plugged into the OBD port, or simply just spat out compliant readings instead of actual values for NOx emissions.
 

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NSLALP
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Yep. The cars, when hooked to a dyno and running the Federal emissions routine, would run in "eco" mode and pass the test. Otherwise they emit up to 40x NOx limit levels. This is pretty criminal.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shares are off nearly 20% today, wiping away 14B EUR (almost $16B USD) in market capitalization. For perspective, 2014 earnings were a little over EUR10B, so that's a huge amount of money.
For a few years now, VW has had the stated goal of wanting to be the biggest automaker in the world. Bigger than GM, bigger than Toyota. You could see them trying to reach this by doing things like cheapening their mass-market offerings like the North American Jetta model, and now, cheating on emissions tests instead of installing required equipment in order to get the TDI models 50-state compliant.

Perhaps they should have focused on becoming the world's BEST automaker, instead of the biggest, which seems like a stupid, dick-swinging goal to have.

It wouldn't surprise me to see California ban this generation of TDI-equipped cars if VW can't provide a fix.
 

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Premium Member
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32,450 Posts
For a few years now, VW has had the stated goal of wanting to be the biggest automaker in the world. Bigger than GM, bigger than Toyota. You could see them trying to reach this by doing things like cheapening their mass-market offerings like the North American Jetta model, and now, cheating on emissions tests instead of installing required equipment in order to get the TDI models 50-state compliant.

Perhaps they should have focused on becoming the world's BEST automaker, instead of the biggest, which seems like a stupid, dick-swinging goal to have.

It wouldn't surprise me to see California ban this generation of TDI-equipped cars if VW can't provide a fix.
What makes this so sad is that diesel is far more fuel efficient than gasoline, yet it has been slow to take hold in North America. This is just going to set things back even further.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's more efficient, but less refined, so all kinds more crap gets burned. What's interesting is that Rudolf Diesel designed his engines to run on peanut oil. Petroleum was just cheaper and more plentiful.

A lot of diesel tech has started being adapted over to gasoline engines (high pressure fuel rails, direct injection, turbocharging), so they're talking about gasoline engines potentially approaching diesel efficiency with much less emissions in the next few years.
 

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I don't like it.
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I wonder why 09 is the cutoff? They've had PD engines since 04, surely they have the same issue with emissions since they're the same technology as the engines in question...
 

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Guiterrorizer
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This is some serious shit. Curious to see how it plays out.

Glad I didn't buy a 2010 TDI over my Matrix now...
 
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