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Old 26th September 2015, 21:50   #301
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
...The VW incident shows how difficult it is to clean up diesel...
I agree with you with respect to where diesel technology -- that is, diesel derived from petroleum -- stands now.

But the exciting part of the article are the four final paragraphs:
Quote:
...But the current scandal does not represent doom and gloom for the clean-diesel world. We are on the forefront of some absolutely amazing technology in terms of biofuels and lab-produced diesel alternatives.

The most revolutionary alternative right now is actually a solution supported by Volkswagen Group’s own Audi brand.

Audi has partnered with a company that has developed a sustainable bio-diesel produced by microbes fed only sunlight and nutrients, which Audi calls “e-diesel.”

If a fuel based on water and air, which can be run as a drop-in replacement for petro-diesel isn’t a sustainable viable option, I don’t know what is...
Some analysts predict electric, hydrogen and hybrid technologies to compete for zero-carbon Olympic gold, along with e-diesel. I think the VW episode has made coming years exciting for technology pundits and evangelists. Let the games begin!
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Old 26th September 2015, 22:47   #302
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

The general consensus is VW was wrong, VW too admits guilt. However, at the risk of going a bit off-topic, if VW is guilty for coding the ECU to "subjectively" meet it's regulatory obligations, can't individuals who tune/re-map their vehicle's ECU in the interest of performance without re-homologation be painted with the same brush?

I haven't used ECU mods in my rides nor do I profess to be a subject matter expert on this. But, I have yet to come across an owner who has submitted his vehicle to ARAI or other such homologation agency for scrutiny after modding to ensure that the vehicle as such is still within the full ambit of the law.

Please don't misconstrue this to read as being anti-mod or that I am against performance tuning, but from my time working with TUV in Germany, I know that the tuners there have a specific framework through which they demonstrate compliance to EU regulations for their re-maps or modded ECU, but in India this seems to be a grey area?

Experts may feel free to correct.
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Old 26th September 2015, 23:21   #303
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by msprabhakar View Post
I agree with you with respect to where diesel technology -- that is, diesel derived from petroleum -- stands now.

But the exciting part of the article are the four final paragraphs:Some analysts predict electric, hydrogen and hybrid technologies to compete for zero-carbon Olympic gold, along with e-diesel. I think the VW episode has made coming years exciting for technology pundits and evangelists. Let the games begin!
E-diesel sounded really good as a concept until I read this on the Audi page: But such fuels are costly and compete with food agriculture – so they do not represent a long-term solution in a world whose population continues to grow increasingly rapidly.

Sounds like the ethanol/jathropa seeds story all over again.
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Old 27th September 2015, 00:41   #304
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

This is a good read and provides a nice perspective on the run up to the current situation VW is in the US.

Problems at Volkswagen start in the boardroom

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/b...w/49100495.cms
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Old 27th September 2015, 07:18   #305
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by autobahner View Post
can't individuals who tune/re-map their vehicle's ECU in the interest of performance without re-homologation be painted with the same brush?
Yes, they can. But we Indians aren't well known for our civic sense, so it won't matter to them what colour you paint them.

Even changing the exhaust pipe on a motorcycle for a noisier/dirtier one is illegal, but Royal Enfield sells it as an after market accessory through dealers. They do this because it would be illegal for them to sell a motorcycle with that installed at the factory.
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Old 27th September 2015, 08:12   #306
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

Meet the automotive engineer who helped expose VW's emissions scandal. Ironically, he goes by the name John German.

As explained by the article earlier on Jalopnik, the tests by ICCT was done with the right intentions. To counter the results from ICCT's EU research that passenger cars running on Diesel can be clean.

Some Excerpts

Quote:
German explained that the idea to carry out the test, which he described as “very ordinary”, came from Peter Mock, a colleague in Europe, who noticed discrepancies in the emissions of the diesel VW Passat and VW Jetta. He said they decided to carry out on-the-road tests in the US as the emissions regulations are much stricter than in the EU. They expected the cars to pass and they could use this as proof to show Europeans that it was possible to run diesels with cleaner emissions.

German sourced a Passat, Jetta and a BMW X5 (which also showed emissions discrepancies in Europe) and “had a drive around”. “The VWs were massively exceeding their official emissions readings in normal driving conditions, which was completely inexplicable and totally surprised us,” German said.

Thinking it must be a technical error, the tests were expanded and the cars were driven more than 1,200 miles from San Diego to Seattle – almost the entire length of the west coast of the US.

The VWs nitrogen oxide emissions – which creates smog and has been linked to increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses – still exceeded the US standards by up to 35 times. The BMW X5 was within the regulated range.

Arvind Thiruvengadam, a research assistant professor at WVU, who conducted the tests said: “We were doubting ourselves and our procedures and making sure to double check that we were not doing anything wrong. We did so much testing we couldn’t possibly doing the same mistake again and again.

German published the research in May 2014 and handed it over to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). “There was an expectation that they would find out what was causing the higher-than-expected emissions,” he said. “We did send a courtesy copy to VW to say ‘vehicles B and C are your vehicles and you might like to know’, we had no response.”

There was no response from the EPA either, but keen-eyed German noticed an EPA press release in which VW agreed to recall almost 500,000 vehicles in December 2014 to reinstall software, which it said would solve the higher-than-expected emissions.

However, a couple of months later the California Air Resources Board (Carb) carried out spot checks and discovered that the “defeat device” software – used to dramatically reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions only when the cars are undergoing strict emission tests – was still present.

“That is actually the single most inexplicable thing about this whole business,” German said. “VW had a chance to fix the problem, and they continued to try and cheat and do what they had done. That’s just amazing.”
VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test-640.jpg

Read the whole story here.
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Old 27th September 2015, 08:53   #307
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

Excepts from New York Times explaining the genesis of what fueled the VW scandal. Interesting read on http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/bu...a-scandal.html

"Volkswagen’s current crisis has its roots in decisions made almost a decade ago. In 2007, it abandoned a pollution-control technology developed by Mercedes-Benz and Bosch and instead used internal technology.
At the same time, the determination by Mr. Winterkorn, the company’s hard-charging chief executive, to surpass Toyota put enormous strain on his managers to deliver growth in America.
To capture market share, Volkswagen, which also makes such brands as Audi and Porsche, would need to build the larger cars favored by Americans. But it would also need to comply with the Obama administration’s toughening standards on mileage. All automakers developed strategies to meet the new mileage rules, and diesel was a big part of Volkswagen’s plan. But diesel engines, while offering better mileage, also emit more smog-forming pollutants than conventional engines, so Volkswagen’s strategy ran head-on into American air pollution standards, which are stricter than those in Europe.
Cheating on emissions tests solved several issues at once. Not only were drivers rewarded with better mileage and performance, but the automaker also avoided more expensive and cumbersome pollution-control systems.
In 2013, a nonprofit group, the International Council on Clean Transportation, proposed testing on-road diesel emissions from cars in the United States — something never done before.

California regulators decided to team up with the group. They had an attractive chip to offer: the state’s laboratory, where vehicles were tested for California emissions compliance.

The transportation council, staffed by a number of former E.P.A. officials, did not expect to catch Volkswagen, or anyone else, cheating. In fact, it assumed that American diesel cars would run much cleaner than their European counterparts, thanks to stricter United States emissions rules. The group felt that by promoting a success story for diesel, it could pressure — and perhaps shame — automakers in Europe into improving their own emissions.

“We thought we would be seeing some clean vehicles,” said John German, one of the project leads at the council. “That was the whole point when we started.”

It was only by chance that the group’s testing of three vehicles began with two Volkswagens. The researchers already had a BMW X5 and a Volkswagen Jetta — and then a Passat owner happened to see an ad seeking cars for the project and offered up his.

Researchers hit the road, traveling five routes with varying terrain and traffic. Almost immediately, the two Volkswagens set themselves apart from the BMW.

“If you’re idling in traffic for three hours in L.A. traffic, we know a car is not in its sweet spot for good emissions results,” said Arvind Thiruvengadam, a research professor at West Virginia University, which was hired to conduct the tests. “But when you’re going at highway speed at 70 miles an hour, everything should really work properly. The emissions should come down. But the Volkswagens’ didn’t come down.”

It was difficult to know what was going on: When the two Volkswagens were placed on a “car treadmill” known as a dynamometer, they performed flawlessly.

“It just didn’t make sense,” Mr. German said. “That was the real red flag.”

By 2014, the California regulators determined what to do next. First, they alerted their federal counterparts at the E.P.A. Then, they opened an investigation. “We brought in Volkswagen and showed them our findings,” said Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board. “We asked them, ‘How do you explain this?’ ”

Volkswagen fired back. “They tried to poke holes in our study and its methods, saying we didn’t know what we were doing,” Mr. Thiruvengadam said. “They were very aggressive.”

The company offered many explanations: Weather conditions. Driving styles. Technicalities that it claimed the researchers and regulators did not understand.

“There was always some story, some reason they’d come up with each time,” Mr. Young said. “Meeting after meeting, they would try to explain it away, and we’d go back to the lab and try again. But we’d get the same results.”

The back-and-forth lasted for months. Finally, in April, Volkswagen made an offer: It would conduct a voluntary recall, or service campaign, to fix the problem in certain model year 2010 to 2014 diesel vehicles.

Regulators got the software update for their test vehicles and returned to the lab. The results were not good. “It didn’t solve the problem,” Mr. Young said.
Confronted again, Volkswagen continued to maintain that there was a problem with the testers, not the vehicles.
California regulators changed tack, examining the company’s software. Modern automobiles operate using millions of lines of computer code. One day last summer, the regulators made a startling discovery: A subroutine, or parallel set of instructions, was secretly being sent by the computer to what seemed to be the emissions controls.
Regulators were floored. Could Volkswagen be trying something similar to what the heavy-truck industry did to manipulate emissions tests in the 1990s?
Regulators set out to cheat the cheat, tweaking lab test parameters to trick the car into thinking it was on the road. The Volkswagens began spewing nitrogen oxide far above the legal limit.
……..The revelations were so stunning that some executives at Volkswagen Group of America were kept in the dark about the pending E.P.A. violation until just before it was announced, according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This month, Volkswagen and Audi executives in Herndon, Va., began pressing executives in Germany for information about the delay in certifying the 2016 models for sale. The absence of details was already hampering plans for product introductions at United States dealerships.

But there was no explanation from Germany — until just before the E.P.A. announced the violation of the Clean Air Act…..

On Mr. Winterkorn’s watch, Volkswagen did become the largest automaker in the world, surpassing Toyota in July. He had two months to savor it. "
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Old 27th September 2015, 11:00   #308
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

Quote:
(From the NYT article)"...Regulators set out to cheat the cheat, tweaking lab test parameters to trick the car into thinking it was on the road. The Volkswagens began spewing nitrogen oxide far above the legal limit..."
Amazing! Three requirements for regulators to go to this extent:
1. A deep sense of motivation and pride in their work
2. Belief in their knowledge, skills and results
3. A sense of security that their government and the system will back them

Now we know why Indian regulatory system fails miserably...
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Old 27th September 2015, 11:58   #309
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by Nitrous Power View Post
As per following article in CNET, US EPA claims that Audi and Volkswagen used illegal Emission control software for getting its diesel vehicle pass the required test. As per the article, the software detects when the car is going through emission control test and turns full emission controls on while connected to testing machine and returns to normal mode once disconnected from the testing machine. If proven, Volkswagen is looking at penalties up to $18 billions. Here is the link:
Cheating the society is not good and such companies must be punished.

I have few queries:
  1. Why was excess emission not detected in the pollution control tests by the car users? When the pollution is checked by the regulatory bodies during certification, the software can help Volkswagen. But when the car owners get the pollution checked for periodic certification, I guess the software will not detect this. Also the fake PUC certificate will not be given everywhere in the US.
  2. I understand if the team-BHP members criticize Volkswagen. But does no one think that Volkswagen may neither be the first nor be the last company involved in such kind of things? Shall the regulatory bodies in India not find out if such practices are being followed in India?
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Old 27th September 2015, 12:05   #310
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

So the American emission standards are higher than Europe and for us it is only bs3/euro 3 now(nationwide). So I guess VW has nothing to worry about the recently launched investigation. as per wiki BS5/euro 5 will only be applied nationwide in 2017
and to get par with Americans we need to move up to euro6. So I guess that will take another 5 years from now.
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Old 27th September 2015, 12:25   #311
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
  1. Why was excess emission not detected in the pollution control tests by the car users? When the pollution is checked by the regulatory bodies during certification, the software can help Volkswagen. But when the car owners get the pollution checked for periodic certification, I guess the software will not detect this. Also the fake PUC certificate will not be given everywhere in the US.
  2. I understand if the team-BHP members criticize Volkswagen. But does no one think that Volkswagen may neither be the first nor be the last company involved in such kind of things? Shall the regulatory bodies in India not find out if such practices are being followed in India?
That is a good observation, Rahul.
  1. From what is talked about so far, I draw an inference that the software could detect all the instances, when the cars were put up for pollution checks. Thus, they could get away with periodic checks too. I could be wrong though.
  2. Since this was first detected by an independent research agency back in May 2014 after her prior researches, and then the EPA and California Board took up the investigation further until the point of withholding Volkswagen's Environment Clearances, we can safely believe that these questions and answers must have been going on since one and a half years. I'm sure that by now the Americans must have taken up the cases of other manufacturers too. Only time will tell.
As far as India is concerned, we've a system of third party (ARAI) emission testings. If a manufacturer has violated the emission norms, the third party will be held accountable first. And therefore, for certain reasons, I'm convinced, nothing of this sort will happen in India.
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Old 27th September 2015, 18:41   #312
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Post re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post

I have few queries:[list=1][*]Why was excess emission not detected in the pollution control tests by the car users?
Pollution control tests are done on idle and not while driving. It's only during actual driving with load on the engine that this spike will be evident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by castiel View Post
So the American emission standards are higher than Europe and for us it is only bs3/euro 3 now(nationwide). So I guess VW has nothing to worry about the recently launched investigation. as per wiki BS5/euro 5 will only be applied nationwide in 2017
and to get par with Americans we need to move up to euro6. So I guess that will take another 5 years from now.
They exceeded 40 times the limit which is around 4 times the limit allowed in India. So, if the defeat device was used in India, it would have exceeded the threshold even for India.

Another important issue, VW will have to deal with is if they have to bring down any of the following parameters to resolve the emission issue
  • Torque
  • Power
  • Mileage

Customers would obviously feel cheated, and there will be another batch of law suits and fines awaiting VW. This particular point is discussed in this article.

This has the potential to double the mess, VW is in right now.

Last edited by amalji : 27th September 2015 at 18:43.
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Old 27th September 2015, 18:50   #313
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

EU could toughen car emission tests after VW Scandal.


Quote:
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said Volkswagen bosses had to fully come clean about the scandal. "We have to stop fraud, and that's why we have to get to the bottom of this," he told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in comments published on Saturday.

He said the European Union could change its laws to introduce stricter emissions tests.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks also said the European Commission and member states were considering stricter rules.

"We are currently working on new, honest measuring methods in Brussels," Hendricks told Handelsblatt newspaper in an interview to be published on Monday.

"We can't just rely on tests in the lab," she said, adding future tests should focus more on normal road conditions.

The close relationship between the German government and the country's car industry has been thrown into the spotlight by the Volkswagen scandal.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, called on Volkswagen to take action to restore public trust in the industry. "We need a guarantee that cars of German manufacturers are in line with the norms, without manipulation," he told Der Tagesspiegel in an interview to be published on Sunday.
Source:
IndiaToday
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Old 27th September 2015, 19:53   #314
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

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Originally Posted by amalji View Post
Another important issue, VW will have to deal with is if they have to bring down any of the following parameters to resolve the emission issue
  • Torque
  • Power
  • Mileage

This has the potential to double the mess, VW is in right now.
Very important point amalji.
I too think that the torque may go down a little, if they have to restrict the emission within the limits. Also the engine response to the throttle may be more gradual and the driver will notice the slower pick-up.

The slower response to the throttle won't reduce the FE, it may slightly increase the same.

Thanks for pointing out that the PUC test is done at idle.
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Old 27th September 2015, 19:59   #315
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Default re: VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test

I have a 2014 model Jetta DSG TDI. It went for a one year service end of august and since that I have noticed a drop in mileage in city driving. My city driving route or pattern or traffic has not changed much.
I cannot help wonder if VW is doing something to emission control software in India silently. I am sure they knew that this scandal was going to come to light quite some time ago..
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