Volkswagen is in trouble with just about everybody on the f'ing planet

LazarusMP

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Wow. Just saw this article from the New York Times.

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

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. The device is programmed to detect when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and to only turn on full emissions control systems during that testing. Those controls are turned off during normal driving situations, when the vehicles pollute far more heavily than reported by the manufacturer, the E.P.A. said.

?Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,? said Cynthia Giles, the E.P.A.?s assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance. ?Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, E.P.A. is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. E.P.A. will continue to investigate these very serious violations.?

The software was designed to conceal the cars? emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, which contributes to the creation of ozone and smog. The pollutants are linked to a range of health problems, including asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases.

The state of California has issued a separate notice of violation to the company. California, the E.P.A. and the Justice Department are working together on an investigation of the allegations.

The allegations cover roughly 482,000 diesel passenger cars sold in the United States since 2009.

Affected diesel models include the Volkswagen Jetta (model years 2009-15), Volkswagen Beetle (model years 2009?15), Audi A3 (model years 2009?15), Volkswagen Golf (model years 2009?15) and Volkswagen Passat (model years 2014-15).

The notice of violation is part of a broader, more aggressive enforcement effort by federal environmental regulators on the auto industry. Analysts said it was meant to send a clear message to automakers that they will be harshly treated for compromising federal rules.

It follows a November 2014 announcement of the administration?s largest-ever penalty for a violation of the Clean Air Act, in which the government fined the Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors a combined $300 million as part of a settlement for overstating vehicle fuel-economy standards on 1.2 million cars.

?They want to make it clear that they?re going to crack down on cheaters,? said Frank O?Donnell, president of the environmental advocacy group Clean Air Watch. ?They?re cheating not only car buyers but the breathing public. They want to lay down the law, enforce the law, and show they?re not going to tolerate cheaters. The laws and regulation are only as good as the enforcement.?
 
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Mitchi

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This is news? This is how quite a few manufacturers do this ... apparently the EU doesn't have a problem with that. :dunno: / :lol:
 

rickhamilton620

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So many questions....

*How the hell did VW think they'd get away with this...surely someone had to figure that it would be revealed somehow?
*Say they solve this via a software update (which will likely have to happen) that activates the full emissions controls all the time....does this affect everyday drivability, performance, MPG, overall specs, etc.

*Will they face class-action suits by owners if they have to restate MPG, horsepower, etc. IIRC, Hyundai faced the latter in the 90's, and of course dealt with the MPG Scandal by giving owners debit cards that they get "refilled" at the dealer every month.
 

BlaRo

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Damn, that is the Smokey Yunick School of Automotive Shenanigans right there.
 

rickhamilton620

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Jalopnik reports that VW's social media team set all the diesel ads to private on youtube. The same ads where they mention such measurables like driving range and MPG....things that may be affected by a software update to meet US emissions. Ads that will need to be altered if a few of the latest ones are on national tv still.

The plot thickens...
 

JimCorrigan

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This actually doesn't bother me at all. Given the EPA testing cycle slants heavily in favour of hybrids and turbocharged engines (since "load" is not a factor and acceleration in these cars occurs off boost/off batteries), I'm happy to see people fucking with it even more.
 

Spectre

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So many questions....

*How the hell did VW think they'd get away with this...surely someone had to figure that it would be revealed somehow?
Often, no, they don't think they'll get caught.


*Say they solve this via a software update (which will likely have to happen) that activates the full emissions controls all the time....does this affect everyday drivability, performance, MPG, overall specs, etc.
It's almost going to have to affect those and affect it severely.

I had been wondering how VW had been able to meet the 09-on emissions restrictions with so few changes to their diesel engines, no significant power penalty and most importantly no urea injection system. All the more so since Navistar and Cummins had gigantic problems meeting the requirements without urea injection and both eventually gave up. I guess it turns out that VAG didn't, not really - they just faked it.

If they change the software to keep the emissions in limits, I bet those cars are going to experience some severe power loss and degraded drivability.
 
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Spectre

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I see a class action lawsuit in the very near future.
I see *many* class action lawsuits in the near future. The few A3s that got sold tend to be bought as cars for the children of wealthy people. Who, when their child comes to them telling them that their car is now all but undrivable after the emissions compliance update, are likely going to start reaching for the lawyers.
 

argatoga

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This won't be fun for VW. Piech's dream of selling ten trillion cars a year is going to hit a roadblock with this. Not that he is one to care now.
 

Spectre

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Yeah... that ad is what may have started someone looking at this seriously.

Come to think of it, doesn't this also make VW a gross and willing polluter and therefore liable for billions of dollars of fines for fraudulently selling non-compliant engines?
 
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GRtak

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Yeah... that ad is what may have started someone looking at this seriously.

Come to think of it, doesn't this also make VW a gross and willing polluter and therefore liable for billions of dollars of fines for fraudulently selling non-compliant engines?

I am sure that is how it will be interpreted by some. It really is true too, so they will get bent over and cry all the way to the SCOTUS until the fine gets lowered.
 

Spectre

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"Tone deaf" should be your user title.
Nah, he's right about the VAG tribe of Germans this time. Their "zuperior engineerink" that they were so proudly touting as producing cleaner diesels without the use of urea injection when Cummins and International/Navistar were unable to do so even with billions of dollars thrown at the problem, so much so that Navistar almost went out of business trying, turned out to be 'we used a Game Shark on the tests.'

Yeah, sorry, when you're running huge ad campaigns trumpeting how your superior engineering means that your diesel vehicles are cleaner and eco and safer for the earth therefore people should buy your product and it turns out it was all a bunch of lies? You need to be smacked down hard, the more so since other companies were being honest and were penalized for not meeting the standards while VW was lying their asses off.
 

JimCorrigan

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Nah, he's right about the VAG tribe of Germans this time. Their "zuperior engineerink" that they were so proudly touting as producing cleaner diesels without the use of urea injection when Cummins and International/Navistar were unable to do so even with billions of dollars thrown at the problem, so much so that Navistar almost went out of business trying, turned out to be 'we used a Game Shark on the tests.'

Yeah, sorry, when you're running huge ad campaigns trumpeting how your superior engineering means that your diesel vehicles are cleaner and eco and safer for the earth therefore people should buy your product and it turns out it was all a bunch of lies? You need to be smacked down hard, the more so since other companies were being honest and were penalized for not meeting the standards while VW was lying their asses off.
It's not the sentiment behind the comment, it's the comment itself I find objectionable.
 
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