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  #41  
Old 28 September 2015, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
I'm very interested to see whether Volkswagen manages to meet that deadline, or whether from Oct. 8 most of the 2.8 million VW-Diesel drivers are forced to hitchhike to work...
It shouldn't be too hard to meet that deadline as it is a deadline to have a plan. The plan could be as simple as "modify the existing code to make the engine computer think it is always being tested".
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  #42  
Old 29 September 2015, 05:58 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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As embarassing as this is for Volkswagen and Audi (and, I would guess, for Skoda, Seat and Porsche, who are all basically Volkswagens today) and Bosch (who made the software), it's ten times as embarassing to the various authorities around the world doing the testing who hasn't noticed it.

Heck, even a Swedish car magazine doing their own testing noticed this something like a decade ago, simply by doing more realistic tests (testing with a torque meter, so the they could see the extreme power drop, and testing with all wheels turning). It's not rocket science, and surely, a government agency should be able to spot it, and one must ask why they didn't, and why no alarm was raised.

I'm also sure that there are many other car manufacturers shaking now. Bosch's software are in many cars, not just VW. Even those not running that software probably has similar schemes. Many cars today have a possibility to switch between modes, such as economy, sport, towing. I would be surprised if not all/most of the manufacturers have considered the possibility of getting a marketing edge by adding a hidden "super economy mode".

Even the electric cars cheat. The measure their range on a full charge by driving at 20-30 km/h, with all but a bare minimum of Electronics switched off (so, no stereo, no AC, no lights and so on). Is that representative of real world conditions?
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  #43  
Old 29 September 2015, 07:04 AM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Is there excellent public transport in all of Germany, including rural areas? (Genuine question: I have no idea.)
Germany has good public transport, but for a lot of people, especially in rural areas, it would nevertheless be very difficult to get to work with out a car. Add to that that a lot of Diesel cars in Germany are delivery vans or vans of craftsmen that can't be substituted by public transport.

I doubt that the agency will go through with the ban. If the Volkswagen company hand in any plan with dates on it ("Have the software rewritten by mid November. Recall cars by letter to all owners by mid November. Replace software in authorized workshops at a rate of 250 cars a day. Second letter to the remaining owners by mid January. Hold sales of all affected models until software is replaced."), the KBA will hold back on the ban.

Everything else could bring Germany to a standstill.

In other news, the Mayor of the town of Wolfsburg, home to Volkswagen headquarters, has announced austerity measures and a hiring freeze for the town administration, citing expectations* of lower tax income. 50,000 of Wolfsburg's 120,000 jobs are directly at Volkswagen, many more at suppliers and independet contractors.

Other towns with Volkswagen production sites are thinking about similar measures.


*I wrote "fears" here at first, but the Mayor seems to be pretty sutre that he will have laess money to spent in this and the next years. He probably is right.
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  #44  
Old 29 September 2015, 01:52 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
It shouldn't be too hard to meet that deadline as it is a deadline to have a plan. The plan could be as simple as "modify the existing code to make the engine computer think it is always being tested".
That's technically "correct", but it also means that fuel consumption might be higher and that performance will go down.

If VW sold a car as having 150HP/300ft-lb of torque, getting 40mpg, and a 0-60 time of 7s (just e.g.), and that all of a sudden, you have 100HP/200ft-lb/30mpg and 0-60 of 13s, you'll have some very upset customers who will want to get a refund or might organize a class action lawsuit.

So, "just changing the software to test mode" would work to restore the emission levels, we have no idea if the performance will remain even remotely close to what it was.

I have a 2012 Passat TDI (US spec) and while some websites say it's affected, others says it isn't. (Jalopnik says that mine isn't).

The EPA says that the emissions are 10-40-times higher "in normal driving mode". That's a pretty vague term in itself. Some people think that pedal-to-the-metal (100%) is "normal driving mode", while others might never put the pedal past the (25%) mark.

OY
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  #45  
Old 29 September 2015, 02:14 PM
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That's technically "correct", but it also means that fuel consumption might be higher and that performance will go down.
I would say that at least one of those is a certain result since VW wouldn't have created the defeat software if they could meet emission requirements with the same fuel consumption and performance. I'd bet that performance will suffer most from the corrected software. But whatever results, KBA is only demanding that VW have a plan to make their cars meet the emission requirements.

Quote:
The EPA says that the emissions are 10-40-times higher "in normal driving mode". That's a pretty vague term in itself. Some people think that pedal-to-the-metal (100%) is "normal driving mode", while others might never put the pedal past the (25%) mark.
I think "normal driving mode" refers to the software, not how hard the engine is being pushed. IOW, the software has "normal driving mode" and "pass emissions mode".
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  #46  
Old 29 September 2015, 02:17 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
I think "normal driving mode" refers to the software, not how hard the engine is being pushed. IOW, the software has "normal driving mode" and "pass emissions mode".
Quite possible, I hadn't understood it that way.

The trickery is probably either/both of a GPS thing (car is not going anywhere as GPS recognizes) or a front/rear ABS thing, where front wheels are turning on a dyno and the back wheels aren't.

OY
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  #47  
Old 29 September 2015, 02:26 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0RT0OL20150929

Quote:
Volkswagen announced plans on Tuesday to refit up to 11 million vehicles and overhaul its namesake brand following the scandal over its rigging of emissions tests.

New Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said the German carmaker would ask customers "in the next few days" to have diesel vehicles that contained illegal software refitted, a move which some analysts have said could cost more than $6.5 billion.
"Re-fitted" is not clear to me. Could be either software + hardware, or just software.

OY
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  #48  
Old 29 September 2015, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
The trickery is probably either/both of a GPS thing (car is not going anywhere as GPS recognizes) or a front/rear ABS thing, where front wheels are turning on a dyno and the back wheels aren't.
Doesn't appear to involve the GPS, but using the antilock brake speed sensors could be part of it:

Quote:
Full details of how it worked are sketchy, although the EPA has said that the engines had computer software that could sense test scenarios by monitoring speed, engine operation, air pressure and even the position of the steering wheel.
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  #49  
Old 29 September 2015, 05:03 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Doesn't appear to involve the GPS, but using the antilock brake speed sensors could be part of it:
Quote:
When the cars were operating under controlled laboratory conditions - which typically involved putting them on a stationary test rig - the device appears to have put the vehicle into a sort of safety mode in which the engine ran below normal power and performance. Once on the road, the engines switched from this test mode.
I find this interesting. Much of the cars out there have a safety mode, aka a "limp mode" where fuel delivery/speed (and therefore power) are limited when there are certain parameters that show certain results. I'm wondering if this limp mode was implemented by VW to intentionally lower emissions, or if it was a mistake in software coding that was unintentional.

About limp-mode here.

I had a 1994 Jeep that went into limp-mode when the engine overheated.

OY
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  #50  
Old 05 October 2015, 06:49 AM
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Default Top VW exec warns emissions crisis could kill company

Volkswagen Groups's incoming chairman warned managers that the automaker's diesel-emission scandal poses "an existence-threatening crisis for the company" as new details emerged about how the debacle unfolded.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...isis/73356630/
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  #51  
Old 05 October 2015, 10:31 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
I doubt that the agency will go through with the ban. If the Volkswagen company hand in any plan with dates on it ("Have the software rewritten by mid November. Recall cars by letter to all owners by mid November. Replace software in authorized workshops at a rate of 250 cars a day. Second letter to the remaining owners by mid January. Hold sales of all affected models until software is replaced."), the KBA will hold back on the ban.
Can someone explain why ordinary car owners should go through the hazzle of changing software? It does not affect them at all, it only removes the "lab mode", which only activated under very specific circumstances not likely to happen under ordinary driving.

To me, it looks like the authorities feel a need to not just punish VW economically, but also by broducing badwill by creating a hazzle for the customers which will have absolutely no effect either way for the customer.

Why should I as a car owner worry about a "hack" in my computer which makes it run in lab mode under circumstances that will never happen? It's not like the authorities are going to pick my car at random when they need to check if the model is within limits needed for sale. The circumstances needed to trigger this feature will not even happen during annual inspections.

So, why?
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  #52  
Old 05 October 2015, 09:13 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Can someone explain why ordinary car owners should go through the hazzle of changing software? It does not affect them at all, it only removes the "lab mode", which only activated under very specific circumstances not likely to happen under ordinary driving.
Two reasons I can think of. (1) In the US modifying a pollution control system by the car owner is strictly forbidden. If the pollution control systems is updated or modified the owner must have that change made. (2) Since the current software basically makes all emission testing unusable, and many jurisdiction require regular emissions testing, the owner must do whatever is required to meet the emission requirements. The current vehicle cannot pass an emissions test, so the law requires that it must be taken out of service. So if a car owner wants to continue to drive the car they must have the problem corrected.
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  #53  
Old 07 October 2015, 06:51 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Ah, I see.

Neither of these reasons will affect us in Sweden. We are allowed to modify our vehicles (in fact, "chip trim" is common, and certainly affects emissions). As long as you pass the levels in the annual inspections, everything is fine. The annual inspecition measurements are made in a way which will not trigger the "lab mode" (idle, no wheels spinning).

However, we do risk getting the vehicle in a higher tax class, but the difference will be marginal.
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  #54  
Old 14 October 2015, 09:03 PM
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Germany More VW Trouble: 2016 Diesels Have New Suspect Software

U.S. regulators say they have a lot more questions for Volkswagen, triggered by the company's recent disclosure of additional suspect software in 2016 diesel models that potentially would help exhaust systems run cleaner during government tests.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wir...tests-34467957
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  #55  
Old 02 November 2015, 10:39 PM
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Germany EPA: VW cheated on Audi, Porsche diesel SUVs, too

Volkswagen Group's emissions scandal broadened Monday to encompass larger, more expensive vehicles with larger diesel engines, including Porsche and Audi sport-utility vehicles and luxury cars, as the Environmental Protection Agency issued a casts doubt on the company's past statements about the situation.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...sche/75044132/
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  #56  
Old 04 November 2015, 05:57 AM
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Germany Volkswagen's new stunner: CO2 emissions were understated

Still reeling from the diesel emissions scandal, the German automaker said Tuesday it had set carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption figures too low when certifying some models.

It said about 800,000 mainly diesel vehicles were affected, and put a preliminary estimate of the cost to the company of the new admission at about two billion euros ($2.2 billion). It gave no further details about the vehicles.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/03/news...ion/index.html
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  #57  
Old 12 January 2016, 06:50 PM
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Icon13 U.S., California reject Volkswagen's proposed fix for diesel cars

U.S. and California regulators have rejected Volkswagen's proposed fix for most of the vehicles involved in its emissions scandal, dealing another setback to the German automaker as it tries to clean up the diesel crisis.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...ndal/78688056/
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  #58  
Old 21 April 2016, 03:28 PM
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VW to offer "substantial payout" to car owners and buy-back in US deal over emissions cheat scandal.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36103903

As I write it is a breaking news story (posted three minutes ago) so nopt many details yet.
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  #59  
Old 22 April 2016, 03:12 AM
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Dr. Thiruvengadam, who was one of the grad students on the WVU team that did this work, gave an excellent technical talk on this recently. Curiously, our colleagues from Volkswagen USA chose not to attend this year ...

The background for all this was the general knowledge that the European emission standards were way too easy for vehicles to meet - real-world driving generated far more emissions because the high speeds, hard accelerations, and so forth, simply didn't exist on the EURO test cycles. With the EURO6 standard phase-in starting 2014, there was concern European models couldn't meet the more stringent standards, while others suggested it shouldn't be a problem since the same models (with slightly different powertrains) did fine on the much more stringent EPA testing.

To investigate this, The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) gave a grant to West Virginia University to compare several small European diesels with EPA/CARB certifications for real-world driving emissions.

The vehicles were all Tier 2 Bin 5 certified light duty diesels with two types of NOX reduction systems - a VW Jetta with a lean NOX trap catalyst (LNT), a VW Passat with a selective catalytic reduction catalyst (SCR), and a BMW x5 with SCR. The VW vehicles expelled 5-20x as much NOX on real-world driving when compared to the dynamometer cycle. The BMW, however, mostly complied, exceeding emissions only during certain uphill/downhill portions of the drive. In a "compliance line" comparison, the BMW exceeded emissions 10% of the time (indicating it was optimized for the dynamometer but drove the exact same way on a real road) while both VW's exceeded emissions 99% of the time.

In March 2014, the WVU team reported its findings. The paper does not identify the vehicles, but the researchers used proper channels to give the un-redacted information to VW and thence the EPA and CARB. VW suggested the testing was flawed and makes no admission of a defeat device. In my personal opinion, it is most likely that anyone at VW with enough seniority to speak for VW and enough technical know-how to understand and critique the WVU study would have been on the team that designed the defeat device.

In December 2014, with mounting pressure from the EPA and CARB, VW made a voluntary recall in 2014, bringing in the offending vehicles and flashing their ECUs with different software. They told regulators the cars were now clean. CARB conducts tests on these recalled vehicles and finds that VW made no effective change, and may have used the recall to replace the defeat device with a slightly better defeat device. This was probably the point of no return for VW getting nailed to the wall.

In August 2015, after assessing the CARB findings, the EPA threatens VW's Certificate of Compliance for its 2016 diesels unless VW can give a satisfactory answer to the questions it has been asking for 17 months now.

In September 2015, VW admitted the existence of the defeat device to the EPA/CARB, and then publicly.

In December 2015, VW drafted a second (now mandatory) recall program; EPA/CARB rejected this in January 2016 due to the plan being too vague to be evaluated. VW playing coy with its emissions design probably doesn't help any latent suspicion it's trying to develop a third defeat device.

The April 2016 buyback suggests VW/EPA/CARB have all agreed that it's impractical or impossible to bring the offending vehicles back into compliance, and the only remedy is for VW to negate several years of selling those models by returning some or all of the sales price and collecting the vehicles for destruction.
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  #60  
Old 22 April 2016, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
I suspect they did about the same thing as Cummins and others did 20 years ago and just disabled EGR when the ECM knew it wasn't doing an EPA certification cycle.
For the record, I'm probably wrong on this - EGR behavior was apparently not remarkable. The WVU team were careful not to accuse VW of a defeat device per se, but noted problems with the LNT regeneration schedule, so that it stored NOX and was allowed to "overflow" for a while before receiving the treatment to turn the NOX into N2. They also noted that the SCR equipped vehicle may have had an undersized SCR or inadequate diesel exhaust fluid flow (this must be dripped into the SCR for it to operate), so as to reduce the frequency with which the owner must refill the DEF reservoir. Unofficially, they noted the DEF dosing system was not integrated into the ECU, so they could not determine if it was flowing adequately or at all during real driving. There is anecdotal evidence that these vehicles go through very little DEF when compared to other SCR vehicles. Perhaps someday VW will publicly release the details ...
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