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Volkswagen: new EU 6 diesels clear of software cheat, but up to 11M EA189 diesels worldwide affected

In a statement issued this morning, Volkswagen AG said that new vehicles from the Volkswagen Group with EU 6 diesel engines currently available in the European Union comply with legal requirements and environmental standards. The engine control software in those vehicles does not affect handling, consumption or emissions, the company said.

Although the engine management software that enabled the cheating on NOx targets (earlier post) is installed in other Volkswagen Group vehicles with diesel engines, the company added, for the majority of those engines the software does not have any effect. However, the software “discrepancies” do relate to vehicles with the Type EA189 2.0-liter diesel engines—involving some eleven million vehicles worldwide. (Earlier post.)

Volkswagen said that a the noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine.

(When the engine control software detected regulatory testing on a dyno, it ran a different, more emissions-stringent engine calibration to meet test requirements than when it detected regular use. As a result, real-world NOx emissions increased by a factor of 10 to 40 times above the EPA compliant levels, depending on the drive cycle. Earlier post.)

Volkswagen originally developed the 2.0L EA189 TDI engine as the first four-cylinder diesel engine with four-valve technology in the Volkswagen Group for use in the Touran, and then in the Golf in 2004. The engine was originally spec’d as EU 4-compliant. The EA189 made its debut in the North American marketplace in model year 2009 as a Tier 2/Bin5-compliant solution, initially in the Volkswagen Jetta, followed by other models.

Volkswagen said it is “working intensely” to eliminate these deviations through technical measures. The company is in contact with the relevant authorities and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA – Kraftfahrtbundesamt).

To cover the necessary service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of its customers, Volkswagen plans to set aside a provision of some €6.5 billion (US$7.3 bilion) recognized in the profit and loss statement in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Due to the ongoing investigations the amounts estimated may be subject to revaluation.

Earnings targets for the Group for 2015 will be adjusted accordingly.

Comments

Marshall Taylor

The authorities in the EU and here should immediately subpoena email records. It will be interesting to see who pulled the trigger on this. May justice be served.

Account Deleted

So this defeat devise has been in use since 2009 and has been deliberately updated every year to mimic changes in test cycles that occur all the time. It has also been customised for different car models that can be tested differently. Not only that, it can also detect whether the car is using a test cycle in the European Union or in China or in Japan or in South Korea, etc, for numerous of countries and updated for every year and across car models. 11 million vehicles uses this software! We are no longer talking about a small group of software engineers and managers and a few thousand lines of code. We are talking about a lot people at VW (possibly over a hundred) and 10s of thousands of lines of code and thousands of hours of work every year to create and update this defeat devise across nations and regulations globally. All this so that VWs 11 million cars could pollute up to 40 times more than the maximum pollution levels in the US. As documented by WHO 7 million people dies every year prematurely because of air pollution. That is 12% of all people who dies every year for whatever reason on this planet. VW's defeat devise has undoubted "helped" tens of thousands of people to die prematurely because of the massive extra pollution that this defeat devise is creating and still creates as the problem persists in 11 million cars on the road today.

This is very deliberate and wilful mass murder of people at random all over the world. This is the real crime. It is far more serious than the fact that VW can no longer be trusted. I do not think Winterkorn knew about this. He simply can't be that idiotic and think this would never see the light of the day or would not have detrimental consequences for VW if ever revealed. However, it does not matter whether he knew or not. It happened under his guard and he should have had internal control systems in place that can detect such fraud (or errors) before it is discovered by outsiders or reaches a scale where it hurts as much. In aviation and medicine such internal control departments are commonplace. I do not think Winterkorn will be VWs CEO by next week. Too many people do no longer trust him and VW and to repeat it happened under his guard. VW should get a CEO with software background. Software is the future focal point of the auto industry and Winterkorn is not that person.

Nick Lyons

...Volkswagen plans to set aside a provision of some €6.5 billion (US$7.3 bilion) recognized in the profit and loss statement in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Due to the ongoing investigations the amounts estimated may be subject to revaluation.

Understatement of the year.

Davemart

Henrik said:

' I do not think Winterkorn knew about this. He simply can't be that idiotic and think this would never see the light of the day'

Oh yes he could! He was head of group R & D from 2007 and so would have been intimately involved in research to try to meet ever more stringent emission standards.

It is impossible that he did that without knowing that what they had did not meet any standards at all, but was simply being faked, or how would he have known what was required to meet higher ones in future?

In my view this was a board level, years long deception.

SJC

This remained buried for 5 years, if an outside group was not testing it might not have been found.

clett

Should we start placing bets on how many other manufacturers have also been using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests?

I'll guess 5.

Dr. Strange Love

I'll bet 5+ car companies, diesels and some gassers.

Alex_C

I heard from some Germans I used to work with that US 'stole' all their intellectual property (patents, trademarks, and technologies) and the best scientists (like Wernher von Braun), after the war.
Also they don't like the fact that there are still over 50,000 US troops there, while Russian troops went home around year 1990.
It could be that Germans said "Who cares if our cars poison Americans, they owe us a lot anyway".
US military personnel there is exempt from criminal responsibility, German law does not apply to them, they can do whatever they want, as in most other countries with US bases, there are inter-government agreements that specify it.
So US troops can just kidnap Ms Winterkorn (or entire VW board), bring them to USA for justice, before they try to flee to Russia or China (or elsewhere).

Thomas Pedersen

Not just a few middle management people at VW is under scrutiny here, but all of VW's top management, including the board of directors, which includes government officials.

This is a HUGE blow to all of Germany and their reputation for quality and reputability.

Analysts here are saying that Mr. Winterkorn has no chance in Hell of surviving this, especially not since he was head of R&D back in 2007, and likely had first-hand information about what was going on.

The new 2.0 TDI, called EA288, is likely much cleaner. I remember wondering why they would spend €1-2 billion to develop a new 'Clean Diesel' that looked the same and with only the same torque, when all their competitors were making great strides in performance. Now we know; because they KNEW they needed to do something serious about the emissions, which seems to have been the main focus of their development.

Clean diesels are a delight to drive, but emission and local environment must take precedence over fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Don't forget that diesel gets a tax advantage in Europe, without which there would be little advantage due to the higher cost of diesel drivetrains. Mild-hybrid systems are getting close to offer the same performance and economy without the emissions.

That being said, if diesels can prove they really are clean, they should not be excluded entirely due to one automaker's poor morals.

electric-car-insider.com

Its time to move to technology that does not emit any tailpipe emissions, so that there can be no cheating on emissions tests.

Norway has shown how it can be done.

Account Deleted

Now Winterkorn has resigned as reported by BBC here

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34340997


Hope for VW that their next CEO is a software guy. The future of the auto industry is about having the best software for everything and in particular self-driving cars. If you don't lead in that field you will bankrupt.

SJC

I wondered how VW could bring so many diesel cars into the U.S. now I know, they cheated.

Engineer-Poet
Should we start placing bets on how many other manufacturers have also been using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests?

Try "all of them".  Programming ECUs to e.g. go to maximum enrichment at the wide-open-throttle conditions never seen in EPA test cycles was SOP at the Big 3.  That went on for years.

D3savage

All this fiasco reminds me ... of my personal dealings with VW...I orderd a new golf and imported it into the uk myself. The fuel economy was amazing 75mpg for a 2L GTTDi ..... however, when it had its first service and was reprogrammed by a uk vag dealer the mpg went down to 48mpg.... I had massive rows with the dealer...but I could get nowhere ....... I have often wondered whether it had a special eco map (perhaps for US!!!)

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