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Volkswagen Is Ordered to Recall Nearly 500,000 Vehicles Over Emissions Software

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by hockeythug, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. hockeythug

    hockeythug Active Member

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    Yeah, NY Times is reporting they have to recall half a million cars.

    Hilarious.

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

    ev-enthusiast Active Member

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    #2 ev-enthusiast, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
    I am sorry to admit that I know another German car manufacturer (name starting with B..) doing this as well (and more).
    Not good.
    Showing you the weapons the established car industry is willing to use in their fight against EPA!
    That's why it is so hard for Tesla, it's a fight behind the scenes.
    Don't fight against EPA, fight together with EPA!
     
  3. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    I think it is. Thanks for posting!

    Wow, just wow... So they effectively had two emission control system modes, one running engine cleaner when it was emission tested, and dirtier at all other times. Talking about playing dirty...

    Let's see - roughly half a million cars involved. So W will need to bring them into compliance and face punitive damages. The question is how they can bring cars in compliance without hurting performance? So it is likely that there will be owners that will demand compensation from W.

    All of the above will cost W some penny. Assuming $1000 per car yields $0.5B.
     
  4. ev-enthusiast

    ev-enthusiast Active Member

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    #4 ev-enthusiast, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
    Yes, that's one common solution.

    An other 'solution' is:
    Some emissions are detected as parts per volume (like molecules or particles in the exhaust 'air').
    Now the difficult thing from an engineering point of view is to reduce the number of particles in a given volume.
    The easy way is to increase the volume and leave the number of particles as they are.
    Thus you get fewer particles in the given volume.
    Just increase air intake before or even after engine in exhaust system depending on the operating status of the vehicle/engine.
    This-is-no-joke.
    This-is-implemented.
    Very sad thing.
    Just think about you standing in front of an engineer who implemented that solution and is very very proud of his solution presenting it to you.
    Wired.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. mrdoubleb

    mrdoubleb Active Member

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    You guys may also be interested in an investigative piece by Canadian broadcaster CBC. They have a show called Marketplace and i kind of got hooked on their Youtube channel the other week. They ran a report on gas mileage and how false advertising is vs. reality. I seem to recall they also mentioned the cars are tested in labs and the engines are optimized for those artificial runs to achieve the outstanding mileage values. I suppose gas usage and emissions go hand in hand - so I am not surprised.
     
  6. drinkerofkoolaid

    drinkerofkoolaid Active Member

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    #6 drinkerofkoolaid, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
    I think the Volkswagen mess may be good news for Tesla. Doesn't this mean their will be a surge in demand for ZEV credits?

    Reminds me of this:

    Theyre (Almost) All Dirty: The State of Cheating in Android Benchmarks

    This could end up costing Volkswagen billions of dollars. Wouldn't every person who bought a vehicle that falls under the recall be entitled to damages?
     
  7. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    Thanks for the insight!

    One way or another in order to bring these cars into compliance, W will inevitably have to dial down performance of these cars (running cars leaner at all times if your theory is correct).
     
  8. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday ordered Volkswagen to recall nearly a half million cars from the road, saying the German automaker used software intentionally designed to circumvent environmental standards for reducing smog.
    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...

    Log In - The New York Times


    - - - Updated - - -

    EPA, California Notify Volkswagen of Clean Air Act Violations

    Release Date: 09/18/2015
    Contact Information: [email protected]

    Carmaker allegedly used software that circumvents emissions testing for certain air pollutants


    Washington - Today, EPA is issuing a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The NOV alleges that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. California is separately issuing an In-Use Compliance letter to Volkswagen, and EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have both initiated investigations based on Volkswagen’s alleged actions.

    “Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”

    “Working with US EPA we are taking this important step to protect public health thanks to the dogged investigations by our laboratory scientists and staff,” said Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey. “Our goal now is to ensure that the affected cars are brought into compliance, to dig more deeply into the extent and implications of Volkswagen’s efforts to cheat on clean air rules, and to take appropriate further action.”

    As described in the NOV, a sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test. The effectiveness of these vehicles’ pollution emissions control devices is greatly reduced during all normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard. The software produced by Volkswagen is a “defeat device,” as defined by the Clean Air Act.

    The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to certify to EPA that their products will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution, and every vehicle sold in the U.S. must be covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity. Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices, which reduce the effectiveness of the emission control system during normal driving conditions, cannot be certified. By making and selling vehicles with defeat devices that allowed for higher levels of air emissions than were certified to EPA, Volkswagen violated two important provisions of the Clean Air Act.

    EPA and CARB uncovered the defeat device software after independent analysis by researchers at West Virginia University, working with the International Council on Clean Transportation, a non-governmental organization, raised questions about emissions levels, and the agencies began further investigations into the issue. In September, after EPA and CARB demanded an explanation for the identified emission problems, Volkswagen admitted that the cars contained defeat devices.

    NOx pollution contributes to nitrogen dioxide, ground-level ozone, and fine particulate matter. Exposure to these pollutants has been linked with a range of serious health effects, including increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses that can be serious enough to send people to the hospital. Exposure to ozone and particulate matter have also been associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. Children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk for health effects of these pollutants.

    VW may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged in the NOV.

    The allegations cover roughly 482,000 diesel passenger cars sold in the United States since 2008.

    Affected diesel models include:

    • Jetta (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
    • Beetle (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
    • Audi A3 (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
    • Golf (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
    • Passat (Model Years 2014-2015)

    It is incumbent upon Volkswagen to initiate the process that will fix the cars’ emissions systems. Car owners should know that although these vehicles have emissions exceeding standards, these violations do not present a safety hazard and the cars remain legal to drive and resell. Owners of cars of these models and years do not need to take any action at this time.

    More information on EPA’s NOV: www3.epa.gov/otaq/cert/violations.htm

    More information on CARB’s In-Use Compliance Letter:
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/in_use_compliance_letter.htm

    R251


     
  9. Newb

    Newb Member

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    God bless the EPA. I wish German agencies had the willingness (and the balls) to take on big auto here in Germany. They're violating nitrogen oxide emission standards on a regular basis. For some reason, under reality conditions, euro 6 norm diesels emit a multiple of the NOx they're actually allowed to. It's been discussed in German automotive media, too (Studien: Euro-6-Diesel verpesten die Luft - autobild.de) but government and agencies wouldn't lift a finger to do something about it. Hoping for a spill-over to European agencies from this U.S. case...

    Edit:
    Quote from the EPA announcement: "This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard. The software produced by Volkswagen is a “defeat device,” as defined by the Clean Air Act."

    shameful. so shameful...
     
    • Like x 2
  10. MartinAustin

    MartinAustin Active Member

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  11. mrdoubleb

    mrdoubleb Active Member

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    Ouch! Didn't someone on these forums lectured everyone recently how the VW group has $15Bn of annual R&D budget and will crush Tesla? That takes care of that... :tongue:
     
  12. Drax7

    Drax7 Active Member

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    i dare say , the epa and tesla will never have outstanding issues .
     
  13. Sosius

    Sosius a.k.a. Uptown Frunk

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  14. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

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    Two more quotes from the same article:

    Two points:
    1. Given the types of cargo people and women most frequently haul even if the second row seats don't move in a way that maximizes storage capacity for sheets of plywood, l don't believe it will be a huge problem. If it's easier to load small kids it's probably a plus.

    2. There is no guarantee, right now that the seats impair the cargo capacity. All the evidence suggests that if they do impair carrying large cargo that, at the very least Tesla made a deliberate and intelligent design decision. Even if you personally disagree with that decision there is zero justification for all of the "sky is falling" reactions.
     
  15. Kalud

    Kalud Member

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  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Wow. Just wow.

    I knew that car companies tuned cars so that they'll get better test results, but that's a _really_ serious allegation. This isn't benchmarking a graphics card. This is about poison.
     
  17. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    Per this article in USA Today, VW admitted to installing the defeat device and is cooperating with investigators.
     
  18. jgs

    jgs Member

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    I think this actually relates to the Porsche Mission E thread, in a way. It appears one of VW's core competences is lying. If they're willing to lie to the Feds, with possible criminal penalties and enormous financial sanctions in the balance, what are the chances they'd scruple at "stretching the truth" about a concept car's capabilities or their ability to ship it?

    I think it explains a lot, actually.
     
  19. sub

    sub Member

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    this will have no affect on the company as long as they have 2nd row folding seats.

    As for Model X seats, the seat "issue" will have zero affect on TSLA or Tesla. I don't understand how anyone can prioritize the "convenience" of a freaking folding seat over the environmental issues we are facing. I'm an optimistic person by nature but attitudes like the ones I'm seeing in the X forum this past couple of weeks diminishes that some what.
     
  20. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Volkswagen Accused Of Hacking 482,000 Diesels To Fake U.S. Emissions Tests

    Yahoo Autos
    Justin Hyde

    Managing Editor
    September 18, 2015

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California officials say some 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi diesels were engineered to falsify their emissions for federal tests—a violation that opens the German automaker to a theoretical fine totaling $18 billion.


    The EPA and California Air Resources Board say the affected models had software in its computer engine controls that could sense exactly when it was being tested for emissions quality. At all other times, it would run the diesels in a different mode with illegal levels of pollution; for example, spewing up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide, a key component of smog, than allowed.


    While other automakers have been accused of violating the Clean Air Act, this is the first time one has been found to have designed software specifically to circumvent the rules.

    The notice issued by the EPA and CARB today was the first step in a process that will likely lead to a recall of the affected models with 2-liter turbodiesel engines by VW; the agencies told owners that the vehicles are still safe to drive.


    The affected cars include VW Jettas, Beetles, Golfs and Audi A3s with diesel engines from the 2009 to 2015 model years, along with diesel VW Passats from 2014-2015.

    “Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

    https://www.yahoo.com/autos/volkswagen-charged-with-hacking-482000-diesels-to-129357726737.html
     

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