VW Faces $17B Fine for Emissions Scam

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

  1. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I wonder if they've been doing this in Europe, and getting away with it, for so long that it's just become second nature to them?

    This UK article from 2014 for instance;

    Emission tests 'substantially underestimate' pollution pumped out by diesels - Telegraph

    this from 2013;

    'Carmakers manipulate emissions tests' - BBC News

    And another where they can't understand why city emissions are increasing when cars are restricted to newer, lower emission models.

    http://www.cleanair.london/wp-content/uploads/CAL-227-Reducing-NOx-emissions-from-diesel-vehicles_030413.pdf

    I hope the US kick VW so hard they don't know what him them.
     
  2. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    I'm sure the US Government and a few Law Firms will get paid, but remember VW has a relatively small market share here. They make most of their money on your side of the pond if memory serves me correct.
     
  3. Grus

    Grus Member

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    Well ... now you may guess if Volkswagen & Audi still want to stay in US market ...
    VW, Audi Cited by EPA for Cheating on Diesel Emissions Tests

     
    #43 Grus, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  4. Alesf76

    Alesf76 Member

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    Yes. Only this year the Euro 6 emission rules had become compulsory, and diesel limits are sitll higher than petrol one, NOx limit is 0.080 vs 0.060. The previous Euro 5 rules (valid from 2009) were even more generous, NOx limit for diesel was 0.180 while petrol one was already 0.060.
    German government always lobbied heavly to avoid stricter regolation for diesels.
     
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  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    My 1st though yesterday - who's going to have to fall on their sword - be the sacrificial lamb. Then of course, the nature of man being what it its .... I can't WAIT to hear from those 1st few slobs who will be going down, as they begin the finger pointing, "I was just doing what they told me to do !! " . Good thing VW is so huge ... they can afford to get fined a few mill or a few bill. so much for their, "look how clean our diesels are!! ". It's a dirty little story.
    .
     
  6. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    And those limits are presumably being bypassed by VW Group (VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda) too.

    The quicker they get diesels off our roads the better. I'm actually meeting a city council next week about this matter and also had some success in working with another local city to encourage hybrid taxis. My own district are also interested in encouraging electric or zero emission vehicles now. The pollution levels all over the UK have been increasing massively despite new apparently cleaner cars hitting the market. I'm guessing as 50% of new cars are diesel and as diesel emissions are 40% higher than actually mandated, that that is the problem.

    Tax changes in the UK have made diesels less viable and they'll probably continue. Good. All this fud on here over the last 5 years about how diesels can match petrol emissions has been totally blown out of the water by this VW news.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Off topic, but "classic car enthusiasts" can put some stinkers on the road too: rich-tuned carb's singlehandedly negating hundreds of clean cars.
     
  8. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    They can, but a classic car only comes out for a few thousand miles a year - if that.

    A diesel, especially in the US & Canada, will be bought for thumping high mileages on the highways as the better fuel economy and higher cost of the fuel make that sort of use cost effective - I imagine. What miles would they cover? 10k, 20k, 30k? at 40x the emissions of a petrol?
     
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  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Quite the opposite, this is huge positive news for hybrids. We were attacked for many years by diesel supporters with claims of how much better the "clean" versions would be, making hybrids a pointless technology.

    But as ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) rollout approached (required for "clean" diesel systems), the hybrid supporters noticed something was amiss with VW. There was a massive over-supply of 2006 models, enough to last well into sales the following year. This is my favorite quote from back then: "The Detroit Free Press reports that Volkswagen of America will drop the diesel versions of the Jetta, Golf and Beetle models from its USA line-up for the 2007 model year due to their inability to meet the new, incoming stricter emissions standards nationwide."

    When the newer diesels finally did roll out, the MPG wasn't as good as hoped. However, VW was somehow able to deliver "clean" without having used urea for emission cleansing. Hybrid supporters were surprised by that, but too busy dealing with misleading MPG claims to follow up. They saw reports on a regular basis that were blatant greenwashing attempts. It was dishonest and nasty.

    Now, all these years later, we find out VW never actually delivered what they claimed and owners of those "clean" diesels face the possibility of reduced MPG and reduced resale value.

    This is an amazing new twist in automotive history. The next round of emission regulations are on the way and one of the biggest opponents to hybrids cannot even meet the current level of clean required.

    It explains that strangely cryptic announcement from VW the other day. They provided a strong endorsement for plug-in vehicles, declaring they'd deliver 20 by 2020 but didn't include any detail. The vague nature of such a bold new approach for them seemed odd... especially since we've heard so little about the current VW hybrid. Now, for anyone who was suspicious about such an abrupt turn of attitude, there good reason to understand why.
     
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  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The models VW cheated on were the ones without SCR(urea/DEF treatment). The 2016 models are updated with SCR.
    Yes.
    The WHO study was on mine workers with the bare minimum or zero pollution controls. If they were using gasoline versions, the carbon monoxide would have killed them by the end of their shift.

    We'll soon see if VW has been cheating there too, but Euro6 only became mandatory recently, and it is still slightly more lenient than EPA.

    Again, this only applies to the non-SCR models; the Jetta, Golf, and Beetle. The Passat has SCR, and is not part of the illegal activity. Using DEF was seen as a major hassle and expense, like plugging in an EV, so not needing it gave those cheating VWs an advantage. Masda had palnned to bring their non-SCR SkyActiv diesel to the US, but haven't been able to meet EPA and maintain the level of performance they want. Honda had planned to bring over a diesel Accord in the early days of the stricter diesel emission limits, but canceled it when they couldn't meet targets without SCR.

    A hot rod went past us in a parking lot. You smell the gasoline from the carb, and the unburnt hydrocarbons from the exhaust.
    The average personal vehicle age in the US is over 11 years. The vast majority are gasoline. Even when new, their average emissions were higher than cars sold in the past few years. Some are still daily drivers.

    It was once possible to unlock the lean burn of GM gas engines with the info from Holden technicians in Australia. The after market tunes that give higher power and better fuel economy can't do so without degrading emissions in some way.

    In the US, fewer diesels are sold than hybrids. For every older or out of emission spec one on the road, there is at least ten gasoline ones. Then lets throw in the motorcycles. Plus the lawn equipment, whose emissions could be the main pollution source in the suburbs.

    I thought I quoted Grumpy Cabby about the discrepancy between emission testing results, and on road emission levels. This is an issue of the current testing not reflecting modern driving cycles. Gasoline cars emit more out on the real road than on their certifications tests. Just not as greatly over as the diesels.
     
  11. energyandair

    energyandair Active Member

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    You mention diesel emissions are 40% higher than actually mandated. The EPA said 40 x higher (i.e 4000% higher) than the the US Clean Air Act limits. I'm not sure what that would translate to as real world emissions or how it compares to European / UK mandates.
     
  12. godzillaismad

    godzillaismad Member

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    This story just hit Australia too, VW facing massive US recall over emissions test cheating

    This is a huge blow to all VW diesel lovers... Tell you what, I will be giving it back to them after all the years of taunting.

    But just like others said, these so-called emission tests could easily be beaten by flashing some software even after the cars were recalled. APR - High Performance Development for Audi, VW Porsche and Skoda Vehicles. is one of many companies that could change your VW/Audi/Skoda power output, tranny mapping, etc. for a small fee. One colleague claimed that your warranty will not void after the APR software upgrade. In theory you buy a VW knowing that you could upgrade it with a trip to APR, so all these emission tests for VW products are really meaningless.
     
  13. HGS

    HGS Member

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    I have a medical doctor friend that tried to talk me into buying a VW diesel like he did. VW is taking over and clean diesel is the future he kept saying. They build solid cars that don't rattle like Prius, he bragged.

    I've wanted a Prius for years; gas mileage and reliability is the primary reason. I'm glad I went with my gut and didn't fall for his attempts to sway me.

    I looked and researched, but went with a Prius and am so glad I did.

    Hopefully in about 10 years we will see vastly cleaner air as older cars are crushed and recycled. I've never been a big fan of some of the EPA's tactics that hurt individuals, but I like the goal of car emissions being lower and one day maybe becoming zero.

    Manufacturing emissions, especially overseas is still a concern, but that's another story.
     
    #53 HGS, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
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  14. rxlawdude

    rxlawdude Active Member

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    Volkswagon cooked the software in their diesels since 2009 to pass EPA tests, but in real life spew 40x allowed nitrogen oxides.

    Karma. Or is that carma?
     
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  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    One interesting piece of evidence is the VW fan-boys claimed their real world mileage was higher than the EPA numbers. A statistical analysis of fuelly.com and the user reported, fueleconomy.com revealed they were correct and I said so in the past. I actually commented that VW must have incompetent engineers doing their EPA tests. I did not realize that during the EPA test, the software behaved differently than in non-EPA driving.

    It was not 'spoofing' the OBD reader, it was actually defeating their emissions equipment so the engine was more powerful, more efficient, and made more NO{x}. They sold no "clean" diesels in the models with this fraud.

    Bob Wilson

    Having stuffed AC inverters into both a 2003 and 2010 Prius, this may not be practical. The limited space, absence of control wiring, high-temperature parts, and required reliability makes retrofitting a urea kit impractical. It would be cheaper to buy back the car at a generous rate. Think EV1 solution.

    Bob Wilson

    I have an account and visited them when trying to understand why their user mileage was higher than the EPA numbers. One of their members had some MPG vs mph data so I could compare it to my Prius numbers. I have sympathy for them and have nothing but sympathy for the position VW put them in.

    Worse, Greenhuman did an 8,000 mile, endurance drive from Portland Maine to Portland Oregon via Florida and various VW dealershiops with video cameras. They found less than 1 MPG mileage difference between the NHW20 and the Jetta. Now they have a Google-footprint based upon this VW fraud which they had no part in arranging. They honestly thought it was a fair test and now they've been played the fool. I sent them this note:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Received: by 10.182.153.168 with HTTP; Fri, 18 Sep 2015 20:04:14 -0700 (PDT)
    Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 22:04:14 -0500
    Delivered-To: . . .
    Message-ID: <CA+HYe78FWejWPF0uv8MyZpCNdLiXp8LOCZrP9tenbrToQKMiSg...>
    Subject: My sympathies
    From: Bob Wilson
    To: [email protected]
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=047d7b33cb2441830f052010e719

    --047d7b33cb2441830f052010e719
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8



    Recent news reports suggest the Jetta used in the Portland-to-Portland
    drive may have been not so clean to get better mileage. Of course one
    should check the facts and data before acting. Still, I don't envy the
    moral decision you face.

    I have to update my Prius vs Jetta charts with "polluting the environment
    at 40 times standards."

    Bob Wilson
    Huntsville, AL

    Realizing that was not enough, I quoted more from the Los Angeles Times article and the date of the article. But there is something worse.

    There are 'professional engineers' who have to sign off on major projects. My understanding it is more often used in Europe. The professional engineer(s) who signed off on these cars have their license at risk, their careers. As for the cuties who designed and implemented this fraud, I would not want to be them or their supervisors.

    Bob Wilson

    I'll take a 24 hour break while the moderators figure out where and how we should comment on this news. In effect, this kitty in the herd of cats will take a nap.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  16. HGS

    HGS Member

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    bwilson4web, very interesting.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    So there's a cold-nosed puppet master behind the whimsical, nerdy/cute, whitecoat clad, clipboard packing VW reps portrayed in their tv ads?
     
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  18. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    In Virginia, we supposedly have some road-side emissions tests that automatically check your emissions as you drive by. One would think those could pick something like this up.
     
  19. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    "I vas only followink orderz"- it's a German thing. :p
     
  20. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I so very nearly put that earlier but thought twice. :whistle:
     
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