VW Faces $17B Fine for Emissions Scam

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Jeff N, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    VW secretly added code to their 2009-2015 diesel engine control computer to recognize when emission testing was taking place in order to temporarily comply with clean air regulations. Otherwise, their cars emit 10-40x too much smog-forming nitrogen oxide.

    They only fessed-up when EPA threatened to block sales of their 2016 cars while the excess emissions were being investigated.

    The potential fine is $37,500 for each of 482,000 cars sold.

    EPA accuses Volkswagen, Audi of evading emission laws

    EPA's Notice of Violation to VW:
    http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/cert/documents/vw-nov-caa-09-18-15.pdf
     
    #1 Jeff N, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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  3. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Interesting and fascinating.
    That's a huge and potentially devastating scandal for VW.

    The other thing I wonder about, is the exclamation from the EPA that VW would be required to "fix" the cars for free.
    How?
    If the EPA's desire or contention is to force VW to make the vehicles legitimately produce the emission results they were producing falsely due to the defeat mechanism hidden in their software, I don't see how VW does "fix" the problem. The software evidently was specifically designed to defeat the test, but the vehicles aren't designed to operate in the real world with the same parameters.

    If I was a VW owner I'd be very upset. My vehicle suddenly doesn't meet the emission standards it was suppose to meet, AND even IF VW can/could make software/hardware adjustments necessary for the vehicle to honestly and legitimately meet those standards would the vehicle then perform in the manner I have come to expect and in the manner it performed when I purchased it?

    What a mess.

    VW's new slogan should become " Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! '.

    VW is evidently cooperating with investigation. I'll be interested in how this all plays out as more information is brought to light. Who knew what and when.

    I suppose I should say, at this point it's allegations and accusations.
     
    #3 The Electric Me, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  4. dipper

    dipper Active Member

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    With the EPA story just coming out Today... wonder if VW can pull it off still if EPA fines them $18 billion.
     
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  5. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    VW? That story doesn't surprise me, clean diesel my a**!
     
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/19/business/volkswagen-is-ordered-to-recall-nearly-500000-vehicles-over-emissions-software.html?_r=0

    The Environmental Protection Agency issued the company a notice of violation and accused the company of breaking the law by installing software known as a “defeat device” in 4-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years 2009-15. The device is programmed to detect when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and to only turn on full emissions control systems during that testing. Those controls are turned off during normal driving situations, when the vehicles pollute far more heavily than reported by the manufacturer, the E.P.A. said.

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    The full story is still unraveling but my understanding at the moment is that these cars were sold without the urea-based diesel emissions treatment hardware that other car makers had to use. VW claimed they were able to meet the emissions standard without resorting to using the urea hardware and that gave their cars a cost and maintenance advantage.

    I'm guessing they will end up retrofitting urea emissions treatment hardware onto those 482,000 cars at far higher cost than if they had just included them in the cars at the factory originally. Plus large fines. Plus many hours and legal fees dealing with regulators and investigations. This was such an egregious scam that they may very well end up in a criminal investigation.

    GM didn't intentionally ask their supplier to design a bad ignition lock (the lock failed to meet GM's original design specification). GM made design changes along the way to fix it in newer cars but were caught up for not disclosing the original problem to avoid having to recall earlier cars and compensate victims of accidents in earlier cars.

    Toyota didn't intentionally design inadequately secured carpet mats, accelerator pedal HW, etc. that caused some stuck accelerator pedal events. They were caught up for not disclosing the problems and in some cases lying to regulators about it.

    Here, VW seems to have intentionally inserted software in their cars to detect emission control testing in order to change the engine controls so as to pass while otherwise operating in a non-compliant mode during normal operation. No individual deaths can be directly traced to the excess NOx emissions but statistically people die from NOx. They seem to have done this for financial gain. They did this intentionally for 6 years and apparently planned to continue doing it in 2016.
     
    #7 Jeff N, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
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  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Yikes, this may require its own thread, but part of the plug-in push may be that vw has been cheating on emissions tests in the US
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/19/business/volkswagen-is-ordered-to-recall-nearly-500000-vehicles-over-emissions-software.html
    Its not hybrid news, but if they were making hybrids they probably wouldin't have tried to cheat.
     
  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    As I said I think it's a very interesting story.
    I'll be interested to hear more details, and interested as to how the media, EPA and VW and VW owners react.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    this is war, fella's. corporations are people.
     
    #11 bisco, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
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  11. DtEW

    DtEW Active Member

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  12. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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  13. DtEW

    DtEW Active Member

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    I think a long visit back to the dealer and revised performance parameters (power, efficiency, and/or reliability) are now in his future.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i'd like to be a fly on the wall at the vdub fanboys site.:cool:
     
  15. DtEW

    DtEW Active Member

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    #16 DtEW, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  16. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    The allegation is that VW/Audi installed on 4-cyl diesel engines from 2009 a defeat device (software which detected when the vehicle was undergoing smog testing and turned pollution controls on, leaving them off in normal operation). The fine could be up to $37k per car or up to $18B. VW has admitted to using the devices. There could also be criminal penalties and look for class action lawsuits claiming the cars, as retrofitted to remove the devices, do not achieve the advertised mileage.
     
  17. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    So all this song and dance they made about diesels being able to match petrol for emissions was a total load of ****? No wonder European cities are dying under smog clouds when the manufacturers are saying their diesel vehicles comply, when clearly they don't.

    VW should pay for this. The German run EU will see that they're let off in Europe, but they should be punished, so hopefully the US will kick them hard.
     
  18. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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  19. DtEW

    DtEW Active Member

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    Well, it's actually just VW's implementation on small engines. BMW, MB, and even bigger-engine'd VWs diesels that utilize a consumable "diesel fluid" (actually a urea compound in some sort of solvent) that is added to the exhaust, which neutralizes these NOx compounds. This does represent added complication, equipment, and of course purchase/maintenance costs... but it works. VW was adamant that they found a way to make a small diesel engine and emissions system without this consumable urea compound and all the requisite equipment and maintenance, while offering a more affordable car.

    Well, we now know that it was too good to be true.
     
    #20 DtEW, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
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