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Main Discussion Area => Off Topic Discussions => Topic started by: Barbara from New Jersey on September 24, 2015, 07:06:25 PM

Title: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: Barbara from New Jersey on September 24, 2015, 07:06:25 PM
There has been a great deal of press given to the flagrant deception involved in VW's gas mileage scandal.  The attitude of "what can we get away with?" rather than "what is the right way to behave?" was just written by Mark Gilbert in his column for Bloomberg News.  As more and more of this outright corporate fraud and gaming the system is exposed, the fines become increasingly staggering for companies.  As Gilbert points out, "there's never just one cockroach."

"Perhaps this will be the beginning of closing the door to a culture that regards rules and regulations as obstacles to be dodged rather than standards to be observed" Gilbert writes.  As each industry is being exposed with their flagrant violations in skirting the rules and regs, I'm guessing there will be a lot more exposure of how the food and drug industry is gaming the system. 

Its not just about corporate greed anymore.  Not only will specific company stock prices decline dramatically, but the fines imposed may just put the company out of business.  When health and safety are concerned. corporate fraud can kill.  Are you listening Monsanto?  Tyson Foods? 
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: Rita on September 25, 2015, 06:18:11 AM
It's really shocking at how blatant this was to misinform the public.
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: BarbinNC on September 25, 2015, 04:44:59 PM

I just had to read up on what actually happened here.  Shocking and so deceptively evil, truly!  I frankly never understood how the US allowed Diesel engines in anyway, with their strict emission rules.  In Germany they are quite common of course, because of the cheap Diesel fuel, and also the good mileage they get.  But the stink is undeniable, and the smoke and fumes they create, to this day!  My uncle in Germany drives a Diesel Mercedes, and I remember standing next to it, while idling and thinking - wow, they must still have different standards here than in the US, that would never fly!

Never say never .  :o
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: Bob Niland (Boundless) on September 25, 2015, 07:06:47 PM
TDI owner here (2003 Mark IV/ALH engine, 2 generations before the EPA Tier II and Euro 4 regs in play here) ...

The really shocking thing is that they got away with it for 6 years. Surely they must have known that CARB, Mythbusters or (as in this case) some pesky college kids would eventually do a tailpipe test on the road, and there'd be hell to pay.

The real question is now is who knew. This was not the work of a single rogue ECU programmer. It might have been the work of an entire engineering section, who over-committed to being able to meet EPAt2/Eu4, and then discovered that they couldn't. Odds, however, favor that management knew, all the way up. Don't be surprised if VW (Audi, etc) isn't the only conglomerate found to be gaming these regs (t happened before, with diesel truck engines in the late '90s).

I've been ready to replace our TDI with another since 2007. VW keeps screwing up (google HPFP) and now it looks like diesel will be out of the US market again (as it was in 2007,08), perhaps this time for good. A hybrid SportWagen or Tiguan would be OK, but I'm not holding my breath for VW to be that sensible.
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: BarbinNC on September 29, 2015, 05:54:09 PM
I was just reading some of the German press on this issue, and a lot of Germans are defending VW, in a sort of patriotic way, saying the US is blowing this out of proportion, since the US is way more wasteful when it comes to energy sources and polluting the environment.  These were just the comments from average citizens on the misc. articles.

I went to wiki to check on the latest facts, and found this interesting last paragraph copy and paste.  Seems this has been going on for a while, esp. in the US!  Leave it to the Germans to take it to the next level, those devious, industrious devils!!

Previous defeat device cases[edit (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Volkswagen_emissions_violations&action=edit&section=19)]The Volkswagen TDI diesel emissions case is not the first use of defeat devices (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defeat_device), nor the first time automakers have taken advantage of their foreknowledge of the specific lab test conditions in order to engage emissions controls only during testing, but not during normal driving.[127] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Plungis2015-127)
In 1973, Chrysler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler), Ford Motor Company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Motor_Company), General Motors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors), Toyota (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota), and Volkswagen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen) had to remove ambient temperature switches which affected emissions, though the companies denied intentional cheating and said that strategies like enriching fuel mixture during cold engine warm-up periods could reduce overall pollution.[128] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Chronicle-Telegram-128)[129] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-News-Herald1973-129)[130] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Autoweek2015-130) The switches were ordered removed from production but cars already on the road did not have to be recalled, and fines were relatively modest.[129] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-News-Herald1973-129)[130] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Autoweek2015-130)
In 1996 General Motors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors) had to pay a near-record fine of $11 million, and recall 470,000 vehicles, because of ECU software programmed to disengage emissions controls during conditions known to exist when the cars were not being lab tested by the EPA.[131] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Myers1995-131) The model year 19911995 Cadillacs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac) were programmed to simply enrich the engine's fuel mixture (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-fuel_ratio), increasing carbon monoxide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide) (CO) and unburned hydrocarbon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unburned_hydrocarbon) (HC) pollution, any time the car's air conditioning or heater was turned on, since the testing protocol specified they would be off.[131] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Myers1995-131)
Also in 1996, Ford Motor Company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Motor_Company) paid $7.9 million for programming 60,000 vans to keep emissions low during the 20-minute EPA test routine, and then disable the emissions controls during normal highway cruising.[132] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-EPA1996-132)
Another timer-based strategy was used by seven heavy truck (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck) manufacturers, Caterpillar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar), Cummins Engine Company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cummins_Engine_Company), Detroit Diesel Corporation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Diesel_Corporation), Mack Trucks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mack_Trucks), Navistar International (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navistar_International), Renault Vehicules Industriels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Vehicules_Industriels), and Volvo Trucks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo_Trucks), who in 1998 paid the largest ever fine to date, $83.4 million, for, in the same manner as Volkswagen, programming trucks to keep NOx emissions low during the test cycle, and then disabling the controls and emitting up to three times the maximum during normal highway driving.[133] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-EPA1998-133)
The goal of both the Ford and the heavy truck defeat devices was better fuel economy than could be achieved under pollution limits.[133] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-EPA1998-133) The major truck manufacturers also had to spend up to $1 billion to correct the problem, which affected 1.3 million heavy duty diesel trucks.[127] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Plungis2015-127)[133] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-EPA1998-133)
While Volkswagen's actions have significant precedents, the Center for Auto Safety (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Auto_Safety)'s Clarence Ditlow said Volkswagen, "took it to another level of sophisticated deception we've never seen before."[127] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_testing_scandal#cite_note-Plungis2015-127)

Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: BarbinNC on October 04, 2015, 05:06:11 PM

Good summary article on the deceptive device, and the comments are quite witty, I had a few good chuckles while reading.   ;D
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: Greentree on November 12, 2015, 06:49:04 AM
My DH sold truck engines for 14 years for a VERY large manufacturer. One competitor (also very large) was caught rigging the engines the same way....yes, here in the USA. I think this VW thing is a witch hunt, but I have not yet figured out the  "why".

I do not believe for one second that the same software does not exist in US cars....
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: Lynda (Fl) on November 12, 2015, 09:50:38 AM
I can't believe that manufacturies wouldn't make enough money just building decent products.
Title: Re: Volkswagen scandal
Post by: Bob Niland (Boundless) on November 12, 2015, 01:13:44 PM
re: I can't believe that manufacturies wouldn't make enough money just building decent products.

It's a lot like drugs once the development is underway - once the financial commitment reaches a tipping point, failure is not an option, but faking is.

In the VW case, it rather looks to me like Winterkorn made promises without first getting engineering buy-in, and Piech was notorious for demanding Final Solutions or else, irrespective of whether or not actually possible. I presume we aren't getting any real detail on who-dun-it because they are still negotiating for who will take the fall.
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: Lynda (Fl) on November 13, 2015, 09:34:26 AM
Everyone with their own agenda and it's not to help the consumer. Pitiful!
Title: Re: Volkswagon scandal
Post by: BarbinNC on November 17, 2015, 05:16:15 AM
Not exactly related to the Volkswagen scandal, but an interesting tidbit that I heard yesterday.  American car owners owe over 1 Trillion dollars in car loans now no wonder we couldn't keep up with making the parts, lol!!