VW electronics cheating the EPA

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by powerabout, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    Story starts here but goes unnoticed for a while
    from IEEE.org
    Volkwagen, which had just become the biggest-selling auto maker in the world, has been nabbed committing perhaps the biggest corporate cybercrime of all time.

    Its diesel cars were found to have cheated systematically on emissions tests run by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past seven years. This dirty trick allowed for a clean getaway for some 482,000 cars under the VW and Audi brand names.

    The EPA found out, VW admitted wrongdoing and stopped selling the offending vehicles, and its shares lost more than a fifth of their value in the early hours of the next trading day. That’s the story up to yesterday. Now come the details of how VW’s deception was discovered.

    “Some people have mischaracterized what our role was,” says Dan Carder, interim director of West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions (CAFEE). “Some have used the phrase ‘tipped off the EPA.’ But we were just working under contract.”
    img
    Photo: West Virginia University
    Dan Carder, director of WVU’s CAFEE

    The contracting organization, a European non-profit, had wanted to convince European regulators to emulate strict U.S. standards for diesel emissions of nitrous oxides (NOX). So it asked CAFEE engineers to gather data from the field. They rented VW diesels, measured their tailpipe emissions on the road and compared them to measurements on the same cars made in the lab. The discrepancies were huge.

    “We presented this in a public forum in San Diego, in the spring of 2014; we said, these are two vehicles; we’re presenting what we can present,” Carder says. “And EPA people were in the audience.” Meanwhile, the sponsoring group, called the International Council on Clean Transportation, published the results online as well.

    The information was out there for more than a year. But the auto press missed its significance.

    The EPA did not. It started testing with a vengence, going through all the necessary protocols before formally approaching Volkswagen. VW resisted for a while, then it admitted that it had deliberately cheated.

    “What’s surprising to me was their total admission,” says Carder. He offered no opinion on who might have been behind the scheme.

    Carder did, however, shed light on diesel exhaust. The problem, he says, is one of thermal management.

    Catalytic converters break down NOX only when they’re hot, and keeping them hot may sometimes require that you burn more fuel than you need for the performance you want. You might want to run the engine on a lean fuel-air mixture, but you have to run it rich.

    “There’s also a trap for NOX that acts like a sponge,” Carder points out. “But if you saturate it with NOX, then you have to go to a rich-burning condition to use the catalyst to reduce the NOX” and thus wring out the sponge.

    When everything’s working as it should, engine emissions measured in the hundreds of units can be reduced to the single digits at the tailpipe. “That’s why you see this huge difference when they’re not working,” Carder says.

    And when you deliberately cause it to stop working, you can get better fuel economy. Some reports have suggested that performance can be enhanced too, but Carder downplays the importance of that.

    “There’d be a larger penalty on fuel than on performance,” he says. “For the average consumer, if you get plus or minus 10 percent torque, they’re not going to realize it.”

    That means that even after VW pays the multibillion-dollar bill to refit its diesel cars to meet EPA standards, its customers will have to pay a price, too. Because their cars will get worse mileage, they will command a lower resale price—a problem that commenters on Reddit say is already apparent.
     
  2. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    The fix will involve fitting cat cons,
    Time to open a VW repair shop
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Does this "scam" have any effect on the particulates emitted by these engines ?
     
  4. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    Maybe
    All the other vendors at the time used post combustion devices to meet the regs so I guess they reduce particulates as well?
     
  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    How about we just get rid of the EPA? That seems to be the real problem.
     
  6. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Getting rid of the EPA would just be a minor start to cleaning up DC.

    Toss in the Dept of Edukation" and Commerce for a better start!

    Simple , If it aint a gov job as laid out in the Constitution , It aint a gov job!
     
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  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    IRS too!
     
  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Given that particulates from diesels is a known serious health hazard, if VW has been knowingly exposing hundreds of millions to higher risk of cancer etc, I would not put any money on them surviving this.
     
  9. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    I heard today that the ceo took a 60 mill payout . Is that possible. ?.
     
  10. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    its a brazilian Petronas deal...
    Board gives him 60m to go but expects most of it back when they are sacked
     
  11. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    So he keeps the funds in a safe account for his mates. Are they not entitled to payouts when sacked.
     
  12. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    they will get less as they earn less but are in charge of deciding what the CEO gets like any listed company
    In Germany its called the board of 8 as its nearly all the same people ( or companies represented) on all major companies, slight exaggeration but..
    Thats how it works in the big tent , thats why you see so many useless execs regurgitated over and over all over the world.
    We used to joke in London that a useless exec might actually end his career with more money than a competent one as they keep getting the big cheque to go but get a glowing endorsement to make them go so the next company makes the same mistake and the cycle starts again.
    This is all supposition at this time and worse if they have sacrificed a good guy which is also common in Germany when maybe the board should go.
     
  13. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I heard more about this on broad cast news. what they did was program their ECM to run as it was supposed to when it was plugged in, giving the false low emissions output. When the testing device was unplugged, the system reverted back to the more optimal running condition so the customers would be happy with the performance and economy. It was not just a software "glitch" (which is what I would have expected them to blame), but rather an intentional deign to deceive the EPA. A car that passes the new more strict standards (perhaps unnecessarily strict), and still have a car that runs well with more power and good economy.

    Like a lot of emissions testing, I have kind of wondered at the logic of it reducing pollution if it consumes more fuel. by law they test for parts per million, rather than parts per mile (this was lobbied for many decades ago so the larger vehicles that they make more profit on are not harmed as much). Consider that if the car is optimized for better economy, and consumes 20 percent less fuel to cover the same distance, putting out 20 percent more combustion products over the same distance, how much less pollution it would put out. This might be the case if they actually measured and optimized for lower parts per mile of operation. How is it possible that, over the life of the vehicle, it could possibly put out less pollution measuring as parts per million? (a percent of the exhaust gases, rather than a total pollution out put).

    consider all of the cars and trucks that burn fuel every day, and how much LESS fuel and less combustion products they would put out if they were using 15 or 20 percent less fuel to drive the same distance.

    Like most of the government regulations, they are their to favor the big contributors, and not serve the population.
     
  14. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "Given that particulates from diesels is a known serious health hazard, if VW has been knowingly exposing hundreds of millions to higher risk of cancer etc, I would not put any money on them surviving this."

    However the "polution" is invisable NO- X ,,,Nitrous oxide , not black exhaust particles..

    You need a big lab to find it.

    The "cure" may simply be a plastic plug that can not be unplugged , to keep the over fueling running till the exhaust pipe is warm enough.

    About 5c if made in china.
     

  15. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    I read on a few SAE blogs all the other car manufacturers had to resort to post combustion cleaning like Cat cons, so VW saved lots of money by cheating, thats why they are going to pay dearly.
     
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