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EPA & Volkswagen

EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
EPA, California Notify Volkswagen of Clean Air Act Violations

I can totally understand why OEMs might want to cheat their sporty cars through noise legs, but I fail to see the point of having a "defeat device" to cheat the emissions test. If the emissions devices have an adverse effect on fuel economy, that would also show during the tests. Or maybe the EPA tests don't combine economy and emissions in a single cycle, as we do in EU?

Maybe it's more complex than that. Maybe the (artificially good for other reasons) fuel economy figures that the EPA tests give can only be achieved on the road if the emissions devices are shut off? What other reasons might an owner not want their car to be emissions compliant in daily use? I wonder if they just shut down the SCR so that the urea tank lasts forever?

Doesn't look good though.

(Does California even allow passenger car diesels?)

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The VW TDI cars are known for using LESS fuel than the EPA tests say they should ... this may have something to do with it!

The EPA emission test and fuel economy test is one and the same.

It's likely an indication that whatever VW has to do to fix this, is likely going to make the cars use more fuel in the real world.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)

Quote:

known for using LESS fuel than the EPA tests say they should

That's interesting and against the normal trend. But thinking about it a bit more, SCR doesn't really have a negative impact on (diesel) fuel economy. So I'm still confused as to the benefit of not activating the expensive SCR system that's already part of the price of the vehicle.

I guess it might be more of a cheat than I originally assumed though. They could be reducing the engine-out NOx during a test instead of shutting down the SCR unless testing. Or maybe the control strategy required for the SCR makes the vehicle undriveable?

I do hope the technical details emerge, not just the legal ones.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

My understanding is that the worst offenders are the '09 - '14 Jetta/Golf series, which use a lean-NOx catalyst, not SCR. The Passat, and all '09-on V6 models (Touareg etc), and all 2015 models, use SCR but only the 4-cylinder models are affected by this and evidently the margin of failure was not as large as the lean-NOx models.

Obviously the vehicles passed the EPA tests in some fashion, so the vehicles are capable of passing the test (which means fixing them ought to be a simple re-flash), but for whatever reason, they opted to use less aggressive emission control strategies when it is not going through the test procedure.

If the reason is to reduce DEF usage in SCR-equipped models, that's not the end of the world, only a minor irritant and cost for having to fill it up more frequently. If the reason is to improve fuel consumption, it means they'll lose their reputation for using less fuel than EPA says; an owner irritant/cost factor, still not the end of the world. If the real reason is that they cannot pass the 150,000 mile durability test and that this is the reason VW has been having less DPF troubles than others ... that's bad. Really bad.

There is plenty of suspicion in Europe over diesels emitting more NOx in real world driving than in their test procedures (and it is by quite a large factor) so no doubt the European regulators will be watching this.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

There's a couple things to consider here. First, if you read the relevant section of the US CAA, "...for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter...", it is not clear that VW violated the law as written.

From what I can see VW sold a product that fully complied with the US CAA regulations as written. And if you were to take one of the vehicles in question and put it through the same emissions test, I'm sure it would likely pass. The software algorithm did not "bypass, defeat, or render inoperative" the vehicle's ability to comply with the US CAA emissions test standard requirements. So there is no violation of the law as written.

The only basis the EPA and CARB have for prosecuting VW is their subjective notion that VW has violated the "spirit" of the law. But I don't see the EPA and CARB being successful with that approach.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"the EPA has determined that VW manufactured and installed defeat devices in certain model year 2009 through 2015 diesel lightduty
vehicles equipped with 2.0 liter engines. These defeat devices bypass, defeat, or render inoperative elements of the vehicles· emission control system that exist to comply with CAA emission standards."

"VW sold a product that fully complied with the US CAA regulations as written. "

No, they did not; the cars can only comply with smog regulations during the smog test. That means it violates the smog regulations during normal driving, and the hardware and software that makes that happen is, by definition, a bypass device.

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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

That's not what I can see after reading the EPA's complaint against VW and the text of the CAA regulations. If you were to operate the VW vehicles in question at the same conditions used for the emissions compliance test, the "device or component", which in this case is a software algorithm, would still be fully functional and perform exactly as it did during the emissions compliance testing. It has not been "rendered inoperative, bypassed, or defeated" in any way.

VW simply did a good job of complying with the letter of the law as it was written. If the EPA and CARB see that as a problem, they need to do a better job of writing their regulations in the future. VW has the financial resources to litigate this case, and as far as I can see they have a pretty solid legal position. In federal court any "determination" made by the EPA should have no impact. What will matter is the decision of the judge presiding over the hearing, and if it goes to trial the decision of the jury. Frankly, I can't see the EPA prevailing in this case.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

kind of funny - from a consumer point of view, lots of times I'd like to fudge the system to get better performance, but still make it pass smog testing.
This is the first time I've heard of the mfg doing it for me.
(no, don't have VW diesel)

Jay Maechtlen
http://www.laserpubs.com/techcomm

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Any of the 2010 and older VW's registered in California must pass an emissions test every other year. If a 2009 or 2010 VW vehicle passes the required emissions test, what basis does the EPA or CARB have for filing a complaint against VW?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I'd have though the EPA would only write such a letter if they had an iron-clad case - if they thought it was a bit wobbly they'd have a quiet word. I guess we'll have to let the lawyers mull that over.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

It is certain that this has been brewing for some time, and only became official and public knowledge now.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"In September, after EPA and CARB demanded an explanation for the identified emission problems, Volkswagen admitted that the cars contained defeat devices."

This is not the first time a manufacturer has done this. One of the truck engine makers was caught several years ago.

tbuelna. The defeat software is not just "tuning" for best emissions during the operating modes used most frequently during testing - that would be legal. The defeat software "recognises" the drive cycle modes and tunes the engine differently to the default tune for the remainder of the test.

No doubt the economy (and probably the performance) suffer when the engine is operating in the low emissions mode. eg Retarding injection timing is a sure-fire way to reduce NOx but performance and economy both suffer.

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Apparently CARB busted them by running part of the Federal Test Procedure repeatedly and skipping other parts of it. NOx skyrocketed.

If the vehicle had been "tuned" for best emissions during the operating conditions that are encountered in the test procedure, which is something that ALL engine manufacturers do, this shouldn't happen.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I look forward to seeing the letter the EPA Office of enforcement and compliance Assurance send (sent ?) to the folks across the hall regarding the Animas River event.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CL0HbstWcAAxime.png

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

This is beginning to bite VW - hard!

Link

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

It is illegal to defeat emissions controls. There is also fraud. So, this is a criminal investigation. This morning I heard the possible fine could be $37,000 per vehicle = $16 billion. As well, customers may experience a loss of performance and economy when the vehicles are corrected, so lawsuits. VW is in a little trouble.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I wonder if this will spill over to affect other brands in the group, e.g. Audi, SEAT, Skoda? There's a lot of shared technology in the group, at least among engines.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

It would seem unlikely to me that the they would have written the law clearly enough to show that this was actually a violation of the letter of the law. But then, I notice not much argument from the Volkswagen people on that point, either. They could be saying, "Well, technically, it's not a violation of the law, it's just the way the engine works." And they're not.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Brand " Made in Germany" is shaken, by this one incident. Mercedes-Benz and BMW were quick to clarify their status.


"Even,if you are a minority of one, truth is the truth."

Mahatma Gandhi.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
It's always interesting to see how the newspapers and other media report these stories. I read today an allegation that VW were "cheating during the tests by squirting in urea to mop up the pollution". That's how the average person and the politicians will understand this.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"It would seem unlikely to me that the they would have written the law clearly enough to show that this was actually a violation of the letter of the law. "

Assuming that the EPA is correct regarding the actual facts, it's pretty clear VW violated the law with malice and forethought. They supposed wrote software that specifically detected the EPA test conditions and only turned on the smog controls during those times. Since they passed the testing using the smog controls, turning them off at any other time is clear violation of 7522(a)(3)(B):

"(B) for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter, and where the person knows or should know that such part or component is being offered for sale or installed for such use or put to such use;"

The test is not the regulation; it's merely the compliance test. If it can be shown by other testing, which is what the EPA did, that it fails to comply with the smog regulations, AND if it can be shown that VW turned off or disabled parts of the smog control system unless it was under one specific test condition, then they more definitely violated the law. Both VW's silence on the subject and the pounding of their stock indicates pretty much near complete agreement from all interested parties that the law was violated. This is, of course, also confirmed by VW's apology, which indicates that they are busy looking for the lowest level scapegoats they can find at this time for falling on their swords.

TTFN
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
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FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (IRstuff)


One thing that interesting is that most people complain about not getting the mileage that the was achieved by the EPA...

I suspect that the culprit here is that the vast majority of the gas sold in the US today is at least a 10% ethanol blend. At the same time the EPA mileage tests are done using 100% gasoline. That is, NO alcohol, which means that of course the average mileage will be somewhat better since the BTU, or heating value, of alcohol is significantly lower than gasoline, as discussed in the article below:

https://www.cars.com/articles/2013/12/another-reas...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I'll admit that that IS true, but if you reread IRstuff's post that I was responding to, I at least took it as not being specific to the VW issue. Rather, I saw it to be a general comment about the whole EPA Emissions/Mileage program and the publishing of their subsequent test results. And since the vast majority of cars being driven in this country are NOT diesel powered, when he wrote "most people complain" I took that as another node toward drivers of gasoline powered vehicles.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The public seem to be painting all German and some other European brands with heavy diesel production with a broad brush. While VW share valuation is down the most, BMW, Mercedes, Renault and Peugeot are also down. Interestingly, it does not seem to have affected Fiat/Chrysler or GM even though both have light duty pickups with diesels.

VW can easily bring these vehicles into compliance given that the vehicles do meet emissions standards when tested, all they have to do is get rid of the code that changes the fueling when it detects it's not under test. This is really quite similar to the EPA - heavy duty truck industry lawsuit a decade or so ago. The heavy duty truck industry simply increased the injection timing when the control unit detected that the truck was under steady state cruising in top gear. Driving the test cycle they were in compliance. The big difference here seems to be VW used the steering input as well as load/gear changes to determine if the vehicle was on rollers to indicate a test cycle. The trucking industry lost the law suit but I don't think they faced these huge fines.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

While it's true that VW could change the programming to eliminate the "switch" as the EPA calls it, what isn't known is what the results of that would be. There would have had to be a strong reason for VW to have programmed the "switch" logic in with the intent that the car essentially never operates in "low emission" mode on the road (just as in Europe, it essentially never operates within the very low speed and load bounds prescribed by NEDC).

I have a funny feeling that the DPF will not pass the durability requirements if they operate in low-emissions mode (due to the engine having to run slightly rich much more frequently to properly regenerate the lean-NOx filter and with a lot more EGR, which would encourage sooty combustion conditions).

If they can not pass the durability requirements, or some semblance of them, they are in a world of hurt. One would hope this would result in a negotiation of a longer and stronger emission control system warranty that covers more than just the "catalytic converter" and gets extended to every piece of the car, no matter how small or how unrelated, that has anything whatsoever to do with emission control. Taking the car in for a new DPF every (say) 50,000 km would be a pain, warranty or otherwise, and when that emissions warranty is up, the car goes to the scrap heap.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I suppose the US gov't or California's could mandate that owners get the ECU flash updated, or face not getting their car license tabs at the next smog test. But barring that penalty (and how would the emissions test station check? Via software? Who provides the software for checking, VW? Would you trust them now?), why would any rational VW diesel owner bother to get the update if the result was poorer mileage or performance?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The first of what I assume will be many shoes has dropped:

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn Resigns Amid Diesel Scandal

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/volkswagen-ceo...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
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Digital Factory
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Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

John,

Yes, I was hinting that maybe the fuel economy tests could equally have been jimmied. But, it turns out that there's an easier way around that. Apparently, auto makers can do self-tests and report the mileage to the EPA. Hyundai apparently overstated their mileage and eventually got caught. Not a testing error, since EVERY correction resulted in decreased gas mileage, and not minor errors, since at least one car model was overstated by 5 mpg out of 30-something, so nearly 15% error, on a test that's supposed to be accurate to less than 1 mpg, given that Hyundai had to correct a bunch of mileage numbers by 1 or 2 mpg.

As for VW, yes, there may be perfectly sound reasons to turn off the smog control, but in the US, that's just illegal, and other companies with diesel cars either have figured out how to do it without gross degradation of life, or their approach to disabling the smog controls haven't been caught yet.

TTFN
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
So when Joe American Public gets a recall letter for his affected VW and decides to ignore it (I would), I wonder what the next step is. I can't imagine the annual smog tests differentiate old cars from new.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I've seen several reports that VW was saving about $400 per car by not having urea injection & the proper catalysts and that other automobile manufactures could not figure out how they could both pass emissions and get great performance & fuel economy with the hardware they were using. So I don't think other car companies are doing the same thing.

If they have to prove a reflash does not cause emissions system degradation then it will be a long time before any of these cars can be brought into compliance. Those tests must take ~3000 hours to run. Even when they have a recall ready to go I'll bet a lot of owners will not get it done. Most of them are not going to want to give up performance and fuel economy just for cleaner exhaust.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

well, in California, you must smog test every other year, so the most you could stall is 2 yrs, because someone will come up with a new test, and if you do not have the recall implemented, you'll either get a fix-it ticket to get it fixed, or they'll just fine your butt until you comply. Either way, all affected cars will wind up getting fixed within the next 3 yrs.

TTFN
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FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (SomptingGuy)


I can't imagine the annual smog tests differentiate old cars from new.

They certainly do, at least here in California. When our youngest son finished high school (some 19 years ago) we bought him an old VW Karmann Ghia (wish I still had that car) which just slipped under the age for testing. At the time, I think it was anything manufactured before 1974 was basically exempt since cars that old were considered to be 'classics'. However, newer cars have to pass stricter tests than older one, even those not considered classics and thus still required to pass the semi-annual smog-test.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
... by "old" John, I mean like my car. It's 2004 and under our system, would only have been Euro 3 compliant when new. Which is probably not that different from what the affected VWs are actually putting out in terms of NOx.

The only smog test I had (in IL) was a joke. I think I might have failed had they measured inside my car rather than up its exhaust pipe.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Here in California they're pretty strict, but it's better than when we first moved here when even new cars had to be tested. Now, unless the car is being brought in from out-of-state, you don't to have to have it tested for the first six years (but you'll still be charged an annual 'smog abatement' fee) and then only semi-annual testing is required after that. Now some counties in the state require that any time a car is sold that it be tested before the registration can be transferred (this doesn't apply if the car is four years old or newer, or when you trade a car in when buying a new one as you're not actually selling it to the new owner, that will be the dealer's responsibility when and if they eventually resell the car). BTW, I just checked and 1975 or older gasoline powered cars are now exempt as well as diesel powered cars from 1997 or earlier model years.

And for the record, the effort seems to be paying off.

When we first moved to SoCal from Michigan back in 1980 the smog here was terrible. There were frequent smog alerts where you were asked to avoid any unnecessary driving, school kids were not allowed outside for recess, outdoor events were cancelled, etc. We haven't had one of those in 15+ years at least. We arrived here in late-August and it wasn't until December, when we started to get some rain, that the air cleared up enough that we even noticed the San Bernardino mountains, just 30 miles or so away.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Everything is relative, sadly. While we haven't had Stage 3s in a while, we still have the worst smog of coastal cities. The Central Valley has it worse for some measures. I just flew in this afternoon, and air still had the old distinct brownish haze.

TTFN
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
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FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

LA had smog when the Spanish arrived. It always will.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

There are stories that an early 1542 spanish expedition called the area " bay of smoke".
http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/history/la...

I can recall years back hearing or reading that the native American name for the area (iyáangẚ ) translates as bay of smoke as well, but other Internet sources say the better translation is "poison oak place."
Google translate balks at iyáangẚ.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"LA had smog when the Spanish arrived. It always will."

It did NOT. The LA Basin has atmospheric inversion. This traps haze. Haze is NOT smog. When industrial pollution entered, then you got smog. If you lived in L.A. in the 1950s and '60s you know what smog is. L.A. is nothing like that today (well just a fraction). Pollution controls work!

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
My parents were Londoners, born in the mid 40's. To hear them banging on about smog and how bad it was when they were kids, was like listening to a Monty Python sketch.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

And so it continues...

http://www.wsj.com/articles/two-more-volkswagen-ex...

It's interesting that they seem to be starting at the 'top'. I wonder if we'll ever really learn how high-up it was that this decision was made to rig the engine management software?

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Also keep in mind that the CEO who just resigned, Martin Winterkorn, it's being reported that his contract was going to expire on Friday anyway and that the board meeting that is going to be held tomorrow was already scheduled to vote on it being renewed, so who knows, his days at VW may have already been numbered.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The NPR report indicated that his winning against the previous CEO had pretty much guaranteed contract renewal this week, had it not been for the EPA debacle. In some respects, VW's board dodged a bullet; had the EPA story broken two weeks later, they would have renewed Winterkorn's contract only to have to fire him immediately afterwards.

It's amazing how fast this spiraled; the EPA letter was dated less than 1 week ago.

TTFN
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
homework forum: //www.engineering.com/AskForum/aff/32.aspx
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

There were rumors of this circulating around Germany this past July already:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/24/german-min...

In the end, this scandal my not be limited to just the private sector.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

All will be revealed in a book in about 2 years. I expect it started with a lowly engineer frustrated with all the bureaucratic hoops he had to jump through to tune his engine and he had a light bulb go off. So he wrote some code and showed it to a co-worker who showed it to his boss. The boss saw that they could pass the emissions test, get good power and fuel economy and passed it on. Probably no one more than a level or two above the engineer understood any of the consequences, all they knew was it looked good in the test results. Everyone above that probably got bonuses for getting such good results with such cheap hardware. I'm sure no one in upper management had a clue about what was going on. Do you think the chairman actually understands ANYTHING about the software in an ECU?

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"Do you think the chairman actually understands ANYTHING about the software in an ECU?"

No, but he doesn't have to and shouldn't have to; however, the rapidity of his downfall suggests that someone VERY HIGH up definitely knew something was done to circumvent the EPA test. Winterkorn supposedly has a PhD in metals research and physics from MPI, so he ought not be a slouch.

Consider the difference with GM, where denials for even just a design error occupied years, while this took just 6 days from first mass market news story to resignation. According to this: http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/in_use_compliance_le... VW admitted the fraud on 9/3

TTFN
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
homework forum: //www.engineering.com/AskForum/aff/32.aspx
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Either their proto fleet all had the fix, in which case the following puzzles would have had to be suppressed during development:

  • Test fleet uses less urea than expected by a substantial margin
  • reliability of emissions gear substantially greater than rig tests would predict
  • on road vehicle performance better than the models would predict
  • on road mpg better than modelled
Or most of the test fleet had the legal version of the software but the production cars had the fix.

The latter would require some senior management involvement, getting a tune into a Job 1 car is not something you slap together on a Friday night after a session down the pub. That's how we used to do proto tunes, when it was fun.

Equally given the cars have been in service for 6 years the same trends as in the second para would have been seen by the service people. I can believe that feedback from them to the company would have been limited, but if you are told to stock thousands of dollars worth of urea that never gets used you'd have thought somebody would smell a rat.

The best (amusing+not at least unbelievable) theory I have seen is that they had some new technology that they were expecting to use but could not be deployed in 2009 for whatever reason, so this bodge was used in the interim. Then people moved on, the new tech never appeared, and the bodge got grandfathered in.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I'm a little confused by GregLocock's assertions regarding urea, the concept that urea consumption would be much lower than expected appears sound, but as a VW owner (!), I've never had to think about urea, either at the bowser or during service intervals. I've seen AdBlue and similar stuff available, usually at the truck filling location, but never given it a second thought.

Does this mean that its being topped up at service intervals and I don't know about it, or is there some other system at play? I do note that VW appeared to be the only manufacturer that got anywhere near the stated fuel economy figures, its one of the reasons I bought it.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The models on which this "fix" is understood to have been first implemented, use a LNT catalyst and do NOT have a urea/AdBlue system at all, so there is NO urea consumption.

dgallup is likely correct about how the "fix" came to be. A low level calibration guy was placed under orders that we have to pass the Federal Test Procedure (a relatively short driving sequence with relatively low engine load and operated on a dyno), and we have to pass a 120,000 mile durability test after which it has to pass the Federal Test Procedure again on a dyno. A light went on in the programmers head, the "fix" came to be; dyno tests were done; the prescribed dyno tests and durability test were completed and that was the end of that. The simplest explanation of why the high on-road emissions were never caught is that since there is no prescribed test for them, the testing was never done. The thought that the intent of the EPA standards was to have low emissions during actual real world driving probably never crossed anyone's mind, or if it did, there was no prescribed test for it so it didn't matter.

This was far from the only problem with that engine design that wasn't foreseen and caught during whatever validation testing that VW did. High pressure fuel pumps blow up too frequently, and intercoolers freeze up under certain weather conditions.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Only someone on crack or with zero morals or ethics could possibly rationalize the situation as having only to pass the test as being fully compliant with smog laws. This is precisely the rationalization that only true criminals can make.

What's really disappointing is that there had to be lots of people in the know, and these people who should have had pride in "German" engineering all failed this real-life ethics test.

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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The EPA regs specifically state that disabling the emissions controls on the road will almost certainly result in certification for that engine being rejected. (sorry clumsily worded)

Sorry about the urea I thought I'd checked that they ran it.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
I like the "interim bodge that got (inadvertently) grandfathered in" theory. There's no way that VW management could hope to get away with something like this forever.

At a push I can imagine that the (no urea) LNT solution was too heavily invested in to back out from. Getting LNT technology to meet the targets has always seemed a bit of a stretch in the published stuff I've seen, even during dyno testing. Too immature in my view. So the management team could have accepted a calculated gamble: Cheat until we can get the LNT tech to perform, and if we can't in a given timescale, bite the bullet and switch that engine over to SCR.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Given that such cars have only about a 15 year lifespan (some are already six years old, and retrofits will take years more), perhaps the greater good could be accomplished by redirecting the same mountain of VW's money (fines, budget for fixes) towards unrelated green projects that would have vastly greater environmental benefits.

It's not often that so many billions ($ & €) suddenly appears on the table. Seems like a shame to waste any of it on retrofitting this fleet for such a relatively small benefit.

There must be other vast NOx sources where the same money could be put to much more effective use. Heavy diesel buses running back and forth all day? Coal fired power stations? Bunker fueled ships?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

VE1BLL - That would be a very logical approach so you know it'd never happen.

I could buy into the story that it was initially done as a stop-gap measure until more R&D time was spent improving the tech, but just barely. It more likely they were invested in the tech, it wasn't working and they wanted to get the engine to market so they cheated possibly expecting to replace the engine with a new generation of controls in 5 or so years.

I can't buy that upper management didn't know or understand what was done.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I think Lionel's speculation must be close to correct. But, it's hard to accept that they would have expected at the outset to get away with this for as long as 5 years. However, once they started down this road they were completely reliant on finding a technical solution that would allow them to do a recall, make whatever mods and make the cheat software disappear. Failing that they would be faced with doing the right thing, replace power trains or BUY BACK at least the 1/2 million vehicles in the US and possibly some or all of the worldwide fleet, or wait to be caught. Somebody must have convinced management that a technical solution would be forthcoming in a reasonable time. It didn't come.

Remember when Intel had to replace Pentium chips? They tried to get out of it.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Hey 140, we don't know what else they're getting away with. Maybe more than enough to lend credibility to the test thing.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

As the Green Car Congress link shows, the 2015 cars at least were SCR; not LNT.

It seems to me that the most likely strategy that VW used in the non-cert test calibration was simply advancing the injection timing along with perhaps cutting back on the urea dosing rate on the SCR cars, and the rich transitions (additional fuel dosing) on the LNT cars. This will have had the effect of improving the performance and the fuel efficiency, minimizing the CO2 and the Pm, so reducing the fuel (if used) for DPF regenerations, and increasing the NOx. Thus, all those aggrieved holier-than-thou owners who want VW to buy their cars back, or at least get a pay-out from some class action law suit need to recognize that they have already had a payout from VW in lower fuel purchases plus they can feel good that they have been "spewing" [don't you love that word!] less CO2 into the atmosphere than would be the case with the legal calibration, and so doing their bit to mitigate climate change.

Perhaps the fuel companies will sue VW for lost fuel sales? But I don't think so.

Why did VW do this? The engineering oriented "interim bodge" advanced earlier is a remote possibility, but whatever it was, it may have been aided & abetted by the Marketing Department who felt the traditional position of diesel as "fuel economy champion" under threat from the improving SI cars and more particularly the HEV cars. If they didn't have fuel economy to crow about, what could they fall back on? I know - let's put some pressure on our engineers to make sure we keep the crown!

PJGD

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

So here's a question for anyone that feels these VW cars producing NOx emissions in excess of EPA standards is a horrible crime against humanity deserving a penalty of tens-of-billions of dollars. Why does the US EPA classify electric cars as "zero emissions" when it is obvious that the generation of the electricity used to recharge their batteries typically produces significant amounts of NOx, CO2, CO, SO2, etc? And why are these powerplant emissions resulting from generation of electricity used to operate an EV any less of a hazard to public health than the exact same emissions coming out the tailpipe of a VW diesel automobile?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Note that there are no longer any coal-fired electrical generating plants left in California. We are now 100% coal-free.

Also note that over 20% of the electricity consumed in the state is now coming from renewable sources and by 2020, that number could reach 1/3.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Do people really think that smog wasn't an issue in LA? Or that it magically pretty much stopped all by itself? Bizarre.

Despite the moaning, forcing the auto industry to go to EFI has been an excellent move in retrospect, for almost everyone. Mind you I had one of the last carburetted Toyotas, air pump and all, ooh that was a nasty looking (and not in a good way) engine.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"We are now 100% coal-free."

That's because we've outsourced all of that. Given that 20% consumed is from renewable, that leaves 80% as not renewable, of which, 54% involve burning something. Note that 1/4 of the renewable sources also involve burning something. Net is that 60% of the DWP's power comes from burning stuff.

TTFN
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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"We are now 100% coal-free."

There hasn't been a coal-fired power plant in California for quite a long time. But the state now imports power from coal-fired plants in other states, which makes everything OK.

And of course California lost over 2GW of carbon-free generating capacity when SONGS was shut down.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
"crime against humanity"?

I'm not aware of any global issues of NOx and CO production. They are very bad locally, for the people that live near the sources (e.g. urban areas and areas with heavy through-traffic). But I'm not convinced that Mother Earth suffers.

Our wonderful media have got themselves confused by using one word "emissions" for all the gases that come from a prime mover. No regard for which gases are responsible for which effects: some local, some global, some transient, some long-lived.

Water is a big emission from every contemporary fuel other than coal. Maybe if water becomes another "emission", we will see low-water fuels making a comeback?

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

That's why VW's fine + costs money should be redirected to most effective use, which almost certainly means ignoring these cars and using VW's billions elsewhere. Should be aimed at NOx or similar air pollution in the same regions. It's likely fairly easy to be about a couple orders of magnitude more effective by using the money wisely.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (Dgallup)

I've seen several reports that VW was saving about $400 per car by not having urea injection & the proper catalysts and that other automobile manufactures could not figure out how they could both pass emissions and get great performance & fuel economy with the hardware they were using.

I'm not in the automotive industry so I'm not sure how it normally works, but, based on what you are saying, what surprises me is none of the other auto manufacturers caught on to the issue earlier.

I had always assumed you guys would be purchasing each others products and doing tear downs/performance tests etc. If someone had a car getting inexplicably superior X/Y/Z with lower cost, wouldn't that trigger the competitors to investigate?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"I'm not in the automotive industry so I'm not sure how it normally works, but, based on what you are saying, what surprises me is none of the other auto manufacturers caught on to the issue earlier."

I suspect some of them may have known. In fact, how did the EPA find out? Ratted out?
They would have seen the good test data and also the road performance that didn't fit the EPA test modes and might not have known how it was being done. Finding a software cheat is not necessarily easy. VW could have hidden it very well. It might have taken an insider to expose. That could be the reason the EPA took so long to make the accusations.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (I had always assumed you guys would be purchasing each others products and doing tear downs/performance tests etc.)


We do, absolutely. But (a) we'd only do the California tests on emissions rolls, so would have agreed with their pass and (probably more important) (b) we'd only look at them seriously if we were thinking of going into the same market - we don't have the time or money to waste investigating blue sky stuff unless it is for a reason. Diesels in California? why bother.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Ratted them out?

Too bad testing labs don't have the equivalent of the "Don't Snitch" policy.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

We own one of these cars. My husband is livid. He bought his car with promises of a certain combination of fuel economy, emissions, and power. Now that one of these will suffer, he no longer wants the car (or anything to do with VW).

SectionIX, why would you not have them share the information? As a consumer, we were sold a car that isn't what we were told. As an engineer, this offends me deeply. There's a code of ethics for a reason.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Incidentally, although I was wrong about urea for all the cars, the Passat that uses that engine does get urea, so it should have raised flags as I described. At least where I work fluid usage is monitored on the development fleet, not least to catch the occasional wise guy with a siphon at home.

There's a lot of interest about a 2007 Robert Bosch letter telling (reminding?) them the emissions bypass software was for testing purposes only.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Seems to me that there's a rather huge difference between a simple ON/OFF switch for bypassing emission controls vs. additional software that specifically detects the EPA smog test regimen, and gets shipped that way. If the simple switch were left in the bypass condition and shipped that way, I could believe there's no malfeasance, but that's the sort of thing that a company would own up to rather quickly, particularly since the car would have failed the smog test. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to take it to the level that VW took it to.

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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
The axe is starting to fall deeper into the VW group and hit engineering staff. According to the (London) Times yesterday, two R&D bosses, Hackenberg & Hatz were "relieved of their duties on Friday. Both deny commissioning the controversial software or knowing about it."

The Times is unfortunately hidden behind The Dirty Digger's paywall, but one of the auto rags also ran with the story: autocar


Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I must confess I can't really see what you'd really use the bypass switch for when testing, unless it was to depress yourself about all the lost performance. I'd have thought any performance calibration car would have a laptop in it and be able to switch strategies or set a flag.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
Maybe the bypass switch/test detect software was there to stop the vehicles from breaking down when driving to and from tests? winky smile

I used to have a boss who insisted on excluding our license manager from in-house software builds, since it wasn't needed and was just overhead. Similar basic argument.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

SLTA,

That was deep sarcasm; I found it incredulous that the term 'ratted them out' was used to describe the situation. Unbelievable that the situation was reversed to make the Lab look like the bad guys...

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Reading that VW switched the pollution technologies and was still cheating makes me think it started as a patch to make the failed LNT technology work and then VW basically decided "hey we got away with it for 6 or 7 years so let's keep doing it" when they switched to SCR technology. Wanting to keep the bragging rights seems to have trumped selling a properly working system.

I'm doubting that the code would simply be re-used without anyone realizing the bypass was in place when they switch technologies with the new engine development. I'd think that would involve a major re-work of the PCM and/or the code to the point that the bypass must have been intentionally written into the code again. But, I suppose there is a small possible they were using portable code segments and the bypass was accidentally copied into the new car.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

There just isn't, in my mind, any plausible reason to create anything beyond a simple ON/OFF switch for the bypass, except for the express intent to subvert the EPA test. The possibility that the code was that portable speaks well of the software development process, but the original code has no plausible reason for being.

TTFN
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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Sorry, SectionIX. That didn't come through to me.

VW says they're coming out with a "fix" soon... it will be interesting to see what that is.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"That was deep sarcasm; I found it incredulous that the term 'ratted them out' was used to describe the situation. Unbelievable that the situation was reversed to make the Lab look like the bad guys..."

SLTA, I think I was first to use "...ratted out...". It may sound derogatory (in fact I thought it would have been a competitor where motives could be questioned), but I think "ratting out" crime and fraud is a duty of the law abiding. So, I'm happy someone finally ratted them out.

I suspect some competitors knew about what VW was doing, but probably didn't know how. The EPA may have known too, but again maybe not the how. It is the how that makes it a crime and not just a technical failure. I think that once the EPA received an official report from a reputable lab they were compelled to investigate further.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Warning, off topic..

Regarding the claim of no coal power plants in California, I have reason to doubt the veracity of that claim given the 2 plants about half an hour drive from where I live out in the desert that I still see coal trains heading toward.

May be an issue of semantics as at least those 2 are 'co-generation' plants.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

As an aside, with the systems that do use urea, what's to stop the operators from simply not filling up with the Adblue / equivalent?

Is there an emissions test as part of registration renewal, or some sort of periodic inspection? It varies state by state, but in Queensland, Australia, there's no periodic inspections, and in Northern Territory where there is, I don't believe it includes emissions testing either.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

2
Typically what happens is that when a new engine is to be developed [as for the EA288] and/or an existing engine gets an ECU upgrade with new electronic architecture [as for the EA189 with common rail], the fuel injection system supplier [Bosch in this case, but could just as easily be Delphi, Denso or Continental] will supply the new ECU with generic software that has active maps to operate the essentials, i.e. their injection system plus the EGR, VGT and intake throttle [to drive the EGR], and with this the OEM calibration team can begin to develop the base engine in terms of mechanical efficiency, NVH, turbo specification, torque curve, and mechanical robustness etc. Once this has been demonstrated with the development calibration, then work can begin on evolving an emissions compliant calibration that utilizes the full complement of sensors and actuators that are necessary to get any engine and complex aftertreatment to meet the current EPA regulations, including OBD. Getting to this point takes huge resource in manpower and equipment.

Once a robust and durable calibration has been achieved and at a system cost that the vehicle price-point can live with, the emissions map which only covers that portion of the speed/load map the test cycle roams over, is overlaid on the earlier development map and then the outer boundary between the emissions map and the speed/load torque map becomes the off-cycle zone where it is not strictly required to meet emissions - and typically one does not in the interests of conserving urea. This applies to gasoline cars too which often go rich near full load. This off-cycle band is greatly reduced in the US with the EPA '06 cycle, but is still relatively large in Europe. Thus if you are horrified at the thought of "spewing" emissions above and beyond the certified levels, make sure that you never stray into the off-cycle emissions zone.

At this point, the emissions map overlay should be baked into the overall calibration so there is just the one cal, but it rather sounds as if VW did not wipe the underlying performance development map and arranged for it to be switched in again for normal everyday running, but if so then that would be blatant wrongdoing. Nevertheless many in the media are too ready to focus on the "40 X" over the legal limit, but I am confident those are spikes and not steady state values. Also for all we know those values may have been recorded in the off-cycle zone. As I mentioned before, with diesel combustion it is something of a zero sum game since there is a trade off between NOx on one hand and Pm and CO2 on the other. Yes, NOx has gone up some, but fuel consumption and CO2 have come down relative to the legal levels. Ideally we want them all to come down for everyone's benefit.

PJGD

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Freddy. When the Adblue runs out, it is detected by the system and the engine management drops into a "limp" mode with reduced performance (and presumably acceptable emissions).

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

PJGD- the VW cars fail consistently and spectacularly, not just spikes.

Figure 4.31 in the UWV report shows cumulative distribution of NOx emissions for vehicle B (Passat with SCR), split by test route. The 50th percentile emissions for each route varies from about 3 to about 20 times the EPA limit, there's only one test route (out of 5) where the NOx emissions even briefly meets the standard.

As such, yes, the values of 25 and 40 are rare, but virtually all the time the car is running at a substantial multiple of the EPA limits.

In comparison the X5 runs within 3 times of limit all the time, except for one type of test, and for several of the test routes stays well below EPA limit for 75-90% of the time.








Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I was speaking for the entire state.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

it's misleading in that at least the DWP is getting a sizable portion of its power from outside of the state, and DWP boasts of getting power from:

"The Intermountain Power Plant, near Delta, Utah, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the nation, and the largest single source of electricity for DWP, at the moment. CLUI photo"

Very likely, other California utilities are doing something similar in getting power from plants that would not be necessarily operable in the state.

TTFN
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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I got a chuckle from that 2013 LADWP brochure. As IRstuff noted, the 42% coal figure in the LADWP brochure is "purchased power" from out of state. There is only one small (50MW) electrical power plant using coal still operating in California, and it only supplies electricity to SCE (and not LADWP) during brief periods of high demand. What was even funnier in the LADWP brochure was that 98% of their "green power" supply came from burning biomass and waste.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

You want to hear something funnier yet? Jeb Bush just released a 'policy paper' on how he would address the nation's energy needs if he were elected president, and the word 'renewable' does NOT appear once in the entire document.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

JRB, don't believe everything you hear from NPR. Here's part of the energy policy text posted on Jeb's official website: "In addition, we must create a level playing field for all energy sources including, but not limited to, nuclear, renewables, coal, natural gas, oil and alternative fuels. We unnecessarily drive up energy costs on Americans when we play favorites and suppress the dynamism of free markets."

Nothing funny there. He is wisely considering domestic energy policy as part of the much larger economic situation. He wants free market economics to determine the mix of energy sources our nation uses. That would even include advanced diesel auto engines.

BTW, I don't plan on voting for Jeb Bush.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

3
Meanwhile, back on topic, there is this bit of incriminating evidence: Have a read of this large helping of hubris from the 2008 Vienna Symposium in which several people crow about how wonderful the 2.0L TDI engine is and how impressive the exhaust aftertreatment system is in meeting the Tier-2 Bin-5/LEV-2 regulations so that it is truly a Clean Diesel. One assumes that these authoring engineers are prime candidates for interrogation over this uber debacle.

In particular, read the section on the aftertreatment development and the final summary/wrap-up:

"The traditional strengths of the TDI, such as driving pleasure and economy are very
much to the fore in the cleanest diesel engine in the world.
We are therefore very certain that this new engine design will be a successful chapter
in the history of diesel vehicles in the American market.
With the "Clean Diesel" engine, VOLKSWAGEN has created a new milestone in
diesel technology on the American market".

You can say that again!

PJGD

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

It was pointed out on another forum that there is a legit reason for the existence of "dyno mode" - the underlying logic that determines if the vehicle is being operated on the road, or on a chassis dyno: ABS/ESP/TC systems (which the affected cars all have). Operating a two-wheel-drive car on a dyno would cause unwanted ABS/ESP/TC intervention. If the car can detect that it is operating on a dyno then the traction-control "nanny" can be switched off automatically and allow the powertrain to operate without intervention.

Of course, using that to enable emission controls in dyno mode but disable them otherwise, would be a problem.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

PJGD- Thanks for the link to that paper, it was worth reading.

The 2008 paper describes a MY2009 2L passenger vehicle diesel engine capable of meeting US EPA Tier 2/Bin 5 emissions which uses an LNT device for treatment of NOx in the exhaust gas. The full emissions control system used on the engine is quite complex. The paper describes just how difficult it is to coordinate operation of all the emissions equipment over all the varying driving conditions required. The paper notes that at least 10 different modes of operation are required just for the emissions equipment (DPF, LNT, etc.). When you include the very high pressure/frequency digital CRI system, what VW achieved with that particular engine was indeed very impressive.

Consider that the EPA tier 2/bin 10 NOx limits for diesel passenger vehicles existing prior to 2008 were ~12X higher than tier 2/bin 5 NOx limits. Also remember that the VW vehicle models in question demonstrated during certification testing that they were capable of meeting emissions requirements. The NOV issued by the EPA claims VW violated US law by importing and selling vehicles that were not covered by a valid COC (Certificate of Conformity). The EPA claims the COCs issued to VW for the vehicle models in question were invalid due to the fact VW did not provide a full disclosure of the information required for the COC. The US DOJ will pursue a case against VW based on importing and selling vehicles without a valid COC, and also for not providing full disclosure in the COC applications.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"Consider that the EPA tier 2/bin 10 NOx limits for diesel passenger vehicles existing prior to 2008 were ~12X higher than tier 2/bin 5 NOx limits."

So the "10x to 40x NOx" is roughly similar to the previous generation of emission standards.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
That's my take on it too (10x - 40x is a bit like previous (or two back) generation requirements).

However...

Euro 3 (in EU, before 2005) could be achieved without aftertreatment. So I'm assuming that those untreated engines were compromising power, economy, driveability to squeeze through those limits. But once new limits are tight enough to force you to need NOx treatment, you might as well turn the engine back up. I wouldn't be surprised if contemporary VW diesels have higher engine-out NOx than the euro 3 compliant ones.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quite so. Analagous to the situation with natural gas engines; in switching from lean-burn to stoich + cooled EGR, in order to take advantage of 3-way catalysis, engine-out NOx and CO skyrocket, but the catalyst efficiency takes care of that.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

VW announces their solution:



RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Gosh, the car produced/ at the wheels/ more than the manufacturers claimed output at the flywheel? So you'd typically add 15% for driveline losses.

Also, does merely running in 2wd tell the ECU to flip into emissions mode? How would that work on a 2wd?

I call case very unproven.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The ECU is car-specific. Knowing what to look for to detect emissions testing would be car-specific.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I agree with Greg, not enough detail about the test procedure, design of experiments (statistical validity), and measurement systems analysis. Regarding the reported power and torque, I assume correction factors were applied to go from chassis to flywheel results. Not to say that the correction factors are necessarily accurate.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Not convinced. The original story mentioned steering inputs and driving characteristics of the EPA cycle as triggers for the defeat SW.

If the video conclusions are to be believed, a reduction in output at low rpm (fuel reduction and/or retard and/or boost reduction?) is sufficient to eliminate a 30x over-emission of NOx.

Can anyone confirm that low-rpm, full-load is the region of greatest concern regarding NOx emissions?

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

That's when peak combustion temperatures would be highest, due to lack of air for dilution.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
Not convinced at all by the supposed with/without test. An attempted scoop, before any post-fix cars are available to re-test. Besides, a quasi-steady full-load power curve is no more representative of real driving conditions than a federal test.

I'm hoping that most of the auto rags are conducting some transient testing of pre-fix cars, with good objective measures (e.g. 30-50, 50-70 times in various gears). The first load of pre/post economy comparisons will be as reliable as those you read about from the fuel-line magnet believers.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

IRStuff- sorry I meant this test doesn't do much to prove anything, it may be indicative but mainly it just looks like messing about on a dyno. I don't see how you can run a full throttle test and convince the car it is doing an emissions test, and on the road, I really don't see how you can convince the software it is doing an emissions test and so see what emissions it would run if they simply deleted the 'switch'.

So as far as I can tell without some software or sensor humbuggery the actual back to back tests that people are interested in are not going to be possible with the current software. It would (I think) be trivial for VW to supply such software, perhaps they do not think it would help to do that (and I probably agree-from this point on their agenda is driven by credibility and survival, not appeasing ex-fanbois on the interwebz).

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

From everything I've read, the car knew it was on the dyno because the front wheels didn't move... seems like a simple enough check of the wheel sensors before shifting into "test" mode. Make the front wheels move with the rear, and you're on "road" mode. Nothing more complicated than that need be done...

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Actually, the Jetta they tested is a front wheel drive car. They ran the test on 2 sets of rollers, on one case the rear wheels turned along with the fronts (the "defeat device" condition) and in the other the rear wheels were stationary. There seems to be a lot of conflicting claims as to what inputs the ECU used to determine when it was running an emissions test. Some have said lack of stealing input, others speed/load cycle but the lack of rear wheels turning would be a pretty clear indication the car is not being driven on the street.

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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

To be "robust", from a cheating point of view, the algorithm would have to be very capable of detecting an actual emission test, under any foreseeable circumstances.
I wonder if VW did a DFMEA on that... now wouldn't that be incriminating, i.e. on the authors?
Anyway, robustness suggests an OR-ing of all non-real world circumstances.
I.e. IF drive wheels are driving AND
non-drive wheels are stationary OR
steering input is absent OR
ambient temperature is 25C +/- OR
[various systems are disabled or overridden to enable chassis test] OR
...

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Why is there still doubt that they did something that numerous of their executives have already admitted?

Detecting a dyno test isn't that hard, particularly if the car is in Drive, at a set RPM, and there's no forward speed. There are a number of sensors on the car that can easily show that.

TTFN
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I think a lack of driver's hands actually steering the car is a dead give-away that the car is not being driven down the road regardless of all other inputs. There is no period longer than a few seconds that the wheel is not turned.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
Sounds like a VW brainstorming meeting.

Unfortunately they decided against having a cal indicator light, so we can only speculate what they chose to implement. We'll need to wait for a fired engineer to go public. But only a real nerd would want to know the secret of how to make their car drive like a dog.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"Why is there still doubt that they did something that numerous of their executives have already admitted?"

I don't think anyone is questioning that IRsttuff. What myself (and probably others) are doubting, is that the video test above gives any useful information about the likely performance loss when the cars are run in "low NOx" mode.

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
An article here: BloombergBusiness is saying that VW will actually need to retrofit SCR systems into some of the European vehicles. That's a non-trivial recall!

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I don't think SCR retrofit was specifically mentioned, only "hardware". Apparently the 1.6 litre engine (most common one in Europe) may require new injectors. The cars that VW sold claiming Euro 6 compliance already have SCR.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

If I intended to implement such a "cheat" I would have the default mode as full pollution control every time the car starts.
I would detect when the car is NOT on a dyno before turning the pollution control off.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I don't think anyone outside of VW, probably Bosch, and now EPA/CARB, are privy to the exact logic that was used. It's quite possible that the engine did start and idle and run in that mode until such time as it saw something that wouldn't happen on a dyno and then switched to the other mode. Doesn't make it any more legal, though!

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I think VW and its execs are in such deep doodoo they will disclose everything that can be known about the particulars of the cheat.. unless, this actually was the doings of just a few people. Then it becomes for them to decide what's in their best interest to admit to.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

The media is failing to do their research, as usual. EA288 is the current engine, 2015-on. It already has SCR and it should be fixable by software - which will likely increase AdBlue consumption from their current abnormally-low rate of about 1% of the fuel consumption, to the industry norm of about 3% of fuel consumption, the only side effect being requiring more frequent refills. The EA189, 2009 - 2014 except Passat, is the one with the lean NOx trap (LNT), which is the one that will be a big problem to fix. (The Passat is an EA189, but it has SCR.)

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

You mean "introduced in 2012" vice 2015?

Was there a Euro 5 version introduced in 2012, and a Euro 6 version from 2015 on? Some German language sources are mentioning 2012. Conflicting info.

E.g. "The engine with the type designation 288 was built in 2012 en masse at Volkswagen..." HERE

edit: actually HERE for the quote, or the Google Translated version.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

EA288 came earlier to the European market than to North America and so did the Mk7 Golf and I'm pretty sure they both came to the German market together in the same vehicle (Mk7 Golf). It's possible that some early versions in Europe had a LNT, but I do know that the EA288 is designed to be completely modular and was designed from the outset to have whatever emission control configuration installed that the local market required - which means IF they have to retrofit SCR, it should be a bolt-on. And the Mk7 VW Golf was designed from the outset to include SCR, so even if some early models were built without (which is possible), it should be possible to retrofit. Probably still a rather involved project with lots of stuff to disassemble and then put back together differently - but nothing like installing SCR into an engine never designed to include it in a vehicle that was never designed to have it.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (GregLocock)

Won't there also be negative effects on real world performance and mpg on the SCR engines, once they have the correct calibrations running on the road?
That wouldn't surprise me. As you know, optimizing for efficiency and performance versus optimizing for emissions tend to push in different directions.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (GregLocock (Automotive)23 Oct 15 21:15
Won't there also be negative effects on real world performance and mpg on the SCR engines, once they have the correct calibrations running on the road?)


I would not anticipate a significant negative impact in terms of performance or fuel efficiency for the older LNT engine once upgraded with SCR. To make LNT work, the control system is very complex and typically it compromises the calibration of the engine resulting in drivability and less than ideal fuel consumption. SCR on the other hand can be made to be a stand-alone NOx reduction system that allows the engine calibration to be optimized for performance and SFC but at the expense of high engine-out NOx which the SCR then cleans up once the catalyst gets over ~180°C. This may then result in high urea consumption, say 3% or greater relative to fuel use. Urea is typically cheaper than diesel fuel. There is a balance to be found then between high performance + high EO NOx + high urea consumption + possibly a larger SCR catalyst vs lower performance + lower EO NOx + lower urea consumption + perhaps a lower cost catalyst. What does the customer want and how much will they pay (although in this case, VW will be paying, but can't give less performance than the original car otherwise the class action lawyers will have a feeding frenzy).

PJGD

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

CEO Matthias Mueller said the investigation so far had revealed that "information was not shared, it stayed within a small circle of people who were engineers."

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RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Rotten bunch those engineers.

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

"information was not shared, it stayed within a small circle of people who were engineers."

You mean the engineers filed all the data away and the managers didn't.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
New VW chief executive Matthias Müller:

“We don’t need yes-men, but managers and engineers who make good arguments in support of their convictions and projects, who think and act like entrepreneurs”

“I am calling for people who are curious, independent, and pioneering. People who follow their instincts and are not merely guided by the possible consequences of impending failure.”

Which sounds like "Don't get caught." to me.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

He also needs management that is capable of listening and acknowledging and acting appropriately when the engineers say "no".

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

But "Yes Men" are sooooo easy to promote.

Quote (BrianPatersen)

management that is capable of listening and acknowledging and acting appropriately when the engineers say "no"
but that would make them unpredictable in the eyes of those above them and cause a possible reduction in near term profit, so they are never going to go far.

The actual problem lies in the current nature of CEO's, this is one part of society where the trickle down effect works really strongly.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
I did like:

"some attorneys representing Volkswagen plaintiffs said they were concerned that the fund could undermine litigation already underway"

and:

"I’m suspicious and I’m concerned, but I’m open-minded," said plaintiffs’ lawyer Chris Seeger.

Nice to see the lawyers being cut out.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

What would be the basis for an owner of one of these VW diesels demanding financial compensation for the elevated levels of NOx emissions produced by the vehicle? They weren't made to pay fines for the NOx emissions. There is no evidence they suffered any ill health effects from the higher NOx emissions. And there is nothing preventing them from continuing to operate their vehicles. There would be basis for financial compensation if it is shown that these vehicles did not meet the published fuel mileage from VW. This has happened with other auto OEMs in the recent past. But the compensation was typically just a couple hundred dollars.

A US recall and repair is one likely option for the newer vehicles. A US buyback is more likely for the older, high-mileage vehicles that are not worth modifying. Another option would be for VW to buyback all of these US vehicles and auction them off to private parties that will export them for sale in countries where they meet auto NOx emissions requirements.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
I snagged this from one of those vulture sites:

Quote:


What types of damages are you seeking in the class action?

In our class actions, we seek for each class member the damages they incurred as a result of Volkswagen’s use and concealment of the use of a defeat device in the affected vehicles. Such damages may include:

>> the premium paid over the price of an equivalent vehicle with a gasoline engine;
>> the purchase price of the vehicle;
>> the cost of unused extended warranties;
>> the cost of excess fuel associated with a decrease in efficiency;
>> the cost of future repairs;
>> the loss in value of affected vehicles; and
>> the cost to remediate harm to the environment caused by the excess levels of pollutants released by affected vehicles.

Not sure how the last one is calculated, but the others are at least tangible, if speculative.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

If I had purchased an affected vehicle, I would feel that I got less than I paid for, in these circumstances.
Imagine a corporation investing in a fleet of these vehicles, for PR purposes. I guess they would feel entitled to damages, in these circumstances.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

EU Committee Rejects Real-Driving Emissions Test

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The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Its VW.. Its more likely that this stuff just broke unintentionally :p

"Formal education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." ~ Joseph Stalin

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Both Renault and GM appear to have been "updating" diesel ECU software in Europe on certain vehicles recently.

In the Renault case, apparently some portion of the emission controls was only active if the outside temperature was between 17 C and 35 C. It was always like this, regardless of whether the car was on the dyno or not, which means it wasn't really a "defeat device", but given that the city of Paris is within that ambient temperature range for only a portion of each day for a portion of the year, it kinda renders the real-world operation of the emission controls ineffective.

I suspected from the moment this scandal broke that there was a lot more where this came from, and now the "stealth recalls" are in the works before other manufacturers get officially busted.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Quote (BrianPeterson)

In the Renault case, apparently some portion of the emission controls was only active if the outside temperature was between 17 C and 35 C. It was always like this, regardless of whether the car was on the dyno or not, which means it wasn't really a "defeat device"...
I believe this would qualify an an "AECD" in EPA jargon, and require full justification as to why the activity was "windowed out" above and below the defined temperature range. I know Renault doesn't sell on this side of pond any more, but I wonder if the European regulations have an equivalent expectation.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

As I understand it, that GM system might not be an illegal use of AECD.
What details am I missing on their system?



RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Add FCA (i.e. Fiat in the European market) to the list of manufacturers who are "updating" their ECU software (i.e. conducting a stealth recall).

And, apparently, it has been found that Mercedes shuts down their NOx emission control systems when the ambient temperature is below 10 C. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bertelschmitt/2016/02/...

I cannot think of any reason why the EGR could not be allowed to continue to operate below 10 C.

I also cannot think of any reason why the SCR could not continue to operate below 10 C. AdBlue freezes at something like -13 C and the systems are supposed to be heated to keep them thawed out.

As predicted much earlier ... there's a lot more where this came from.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

That article from Forbes was pathetic. "...a C-Class Mercedes C220 TDi BlueTec was found emitting more than 40 times the amount of cancer-causing NOx than in the lab...."

While M-B may have pushed the limits of compliance with regulations concerning NOx emissions, Forbes' behavior is just as bad by using the term "cancer-causing NOx" in their article. All autos produce some amount of NOx emissions from their operation. But even "40 times the amount of NOx than in the lab" coming from the M-B diesel engine in question, under certain limited operating conditions, is still extremely low compared to NOx emissions from auto engines just a few years ago.

If the small amount of excess NOx emissions produced by these M-B diesel engines poses such a serious "cancer-causing" threat to the health of the general public, shouldn't we also implement an immediate global moratorium on any activity that generates NOx emissions? Should we shut down power plants that use coal or natural gas to generate two-thirds of US electrical power supply? Should we halt all commercial aircraft flights that burn jet fuel and spew huge amounts of "cancer-causing NOx" into the atmosphere every day? Should we immediately halt all freight trains, buses (including school buses), cargo ships, farm tractors/harvesters, or commercial trucks that use diesel fuel, and emit far more NOx emissions on a specific basis than the M-B diesel engine in question?

Why is NOx from one source so much worse of a hazard than NOx from other sources?

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

(OP)
...I thought NOx was only to blame for respiratory problems. Not cancer.

Steve

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

NOx attacks lung tissue. It is common for any chronic exposure to damaging agents to be associated with an increased cancer risk, but NOx shows a distinct correlation while, for example, SO2 does not. But, saying "cancer-causing NOx" is somewhat sensationalistic IMHO, especially when considering the points made by tbuelna.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

I believe Bosch actually wrote the program. VW just mis-used it.

"Formal education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." ~ Joseph Stalin

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Here's an hour-long video on this topic. Towards the end, one investigator reveals that he found a set of tables in his ECU code with distance over time limits that match the testing criteria, and there's logic to disable the AdBlue dosing if it's not staying within the limits. He backs up his findings with dyno testing.

Daniel Lange (DLange), Felix "tmbinc" Domke: The exhaust emissions scandal („Dieselgate“)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9HJw3AUvGk

(I've not watched the entire video yet. But I wanted to pass it along for those interested.)

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Well while we're discussing the theoretical adverse effects of NOx, I can contribute in that in cases of large quantities of exposure, one of the more immediate fatal consequences is known as "odema of the lungs" This occurs when the body recognises that the interior lining of the lungs has been damaged and the lungs start to produce large quantities of fluids in an attempt to repair the damage. The problem is, this is extremely similar to drowning..fluid in the lungs in both cases and you wake up dead. Twice in my underground career (35 years ago) I coughed up large quantities of blood due to excessive exposure to blasting fumes which contain, EXTREMELY large percentages of NOx. WE always know when its present because it gives the blast smoke a very characteristic red colour. I probably inhaled more NOx on those two occassions than 10,000 people in Los Angeles would inhale in their collective lifetimes. If I die tomorrow, its not likely to be due to NOx exposure. This issue REALLY is blown out of proportion by the tree huggers.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Yep, my Grandma smoked 2 packs a day and lived to 90. There's another issue blown out of proportion.

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Funny you should say that , that was another observation from my blasting days, the guys who smoked could re=enter the smoke a lot sooner than I could... I guess all the tar etc inside their lungs protected them from the NOx

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Here is the link to the pdf copy (about 30.5MB) of Daniel Lange's presentation. Related to the hour-long video link I provided a couple of posts back.

32C3_-_Dieselgate_FINAL_slides.pdf

The smoking gun is that the actual ECU code reportedly contains the 'distance over time' limits of the test cycle.

One thing I'm confused on is that I thought that the original VW Dieselgate was for cars that didn't have the SCR system with the AdBlue urea injection. The cheat found here relates to a car with the SCR system.

Is this ANOTHER cheat?


RE: EPA & Volkswagen

It's the same/similar. It originated with the vehicles that did not have SCR, but evidently they continued using it, presumably in the interest of reducing AdBlue consumption.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

So the later cars should be an easy fix?

je suis charlie

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

That remains to be seen!

It is entirely conceivable that the SCR catalyst, even on the newer models with SCR, was designed and sized to be just barely adequate for the light engine loads seen during the official test procedure, and that running the engine at the higher loads often seen in real world driving will not adequately react the NH3 and NOx. If that is the case then cranking up the AdBlue dosing rate is not going to fix them.

But, at least those cars HAVE an AdBlue storage and dosing system. If they have to change the SCR catalyst for a bigger one, so be it.

RE: EPA & Volkswagen

Image attached is the 'punch line' for those that don't have time to review the whole thing (slides or video, links already provided just above). The six straight lines were reportedly found in the form of tables in the ECU code; they’re piecewise Time & Distance descriptions of something. The wiggly line is the Time & Distance integration of the defined Test Conditions. BTW, Mr Lange traced the logic right through to the AdBlue dosing, and backed-up his findings with a dyno run.

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