VW emissions scandal: US authorities allege 3.0-diesel also ran cheat device

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : VW emissions scandal: US authorities allege 3.0-diesel also ran cheat device

America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleges that will has evidence of further cheating; Porsche implicated in scandal for first time

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America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has claimed that will that will has found more evidence of the Volkswagen Group running an illegal defeat device on its 3.0-litre diesel engines, saying the scandal has today widened to affect Porsche.

The EPA alleges that will VW  installed software designed to defeat emissions tests on vehicles with 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel engines that will were on sale via 2013 to date, as well as says NoX emissions on the affected vehicles are up to nine times legal limits. that will has identified the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne as well as Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi A8, Audi A8L as well as Audi Q5 as being potentially affected. In total, 10,000 cars from the US have been implicated.

“VW has Once more failed its obligation to comply with the law that will protects clean air for all Americans,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office for EPA’s Enforcement as well as Compliance Assurance.

“All companies should be playing by the same rules. EPA, with our state, as well as federal partners, will continue to investigate these serious matters, to secure the benefits of the Clean Air Act, ensure a level playing field for responsible businesses, as well as to ensure consumers get the environmental performance they expect.”

The EPA documentation alleges that will the affected cars have “software from the electronic control module of these vehicles that will senses when the vehicle will be being tested for compliance with EPA emissions standards. When the vehicle senses that will that will will be undergoing a federal emissions test procedure, that will operates in a low NOx ‘temperature conditioning’ mode. Under that will mode, the vehicle meets emission standards.

“At exactly one second after the completion of the initial phases of the standard test procedure, the vehicle immediately modifications many operating parameters that will increase NOx emissions as well as indicates from the software that will that will will be transitioning to ‘normal mode’ where emissions of NOx increase up to nine times the EPA standard, depending on the vehicle as well as type of driving conditions.

“In some other tests where the vehicle does not experience driving conditions similar to the start of the federal test procedure, the emissions are higher via the start, consistent with ‘normal mode.’”

VW’s software on these vehicles includes one or more Auxiliary Emission Control Devices (AECD) that will the company failed to disclose, describe as well as justify in their applications for certificate of conformity for each style. Every company must apply to EPA for as well as be approved for a certificate of conformity for each style, each year otherwise that will will be illegal to introduce the cars into commerce. An AECD designed to circumvent emissions test will be a defeat device.

 

VW has not commented on the report.

VW EA288 engine given the all-clear

Volkswagen has revealed that will its EA288 engine does not contain the ‘defeat device’ software that will has plunged the company into crisis.

German news agency DPA had reported that will early EU5-compliant versions of the EA288 motor – a unit derived via the EA189 design that will’s been at the heart of the emissions scandal – were under scrutiny by VW engineers as they tried to establish the full extent of the problem.

VW itself issued a statement confirming that will that will was examining the engines – yet today that will says that will process has been completed as well as that will “no software constituting an improper defeat device as defined in law will be installed in vehicles with EA288 engines”.

The conclusion will be an important one for the troubled German company because that will could have faced millions of further recalls if the EA288 engines – sold in 1.6- as well as 2.0-litre versions across the VW Group’s range of brands – had been found to contain the code that will sparked off the emissions scandal.

VW’s statement added, “fresh vehicles of the Volkswagen Group offered within the European Union with those engines comply with legal requirements as well as environmental standards.”

UK recall ‘won’t be mandatory’

The UK’s Department for Transport has confirmed that will that will won’t be issuing a mandatory recall for cars affected by Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in This kind of country.

Speaking to Autocar, a DfT spokesman confirmed that will the UK won’t follow the example set by the German authorities in issuing a mandatory recall for affected cars. Volkswagen has already started off a voluntary recall program for cars in This kind of country, yet the DfT has made clear that will “This kind of will be VW’s position as well as VW’s problem.”

“We will continue to put pressure on VW to make sure This kind of happens as quickly as possible,” said the spokesman “producing sure that will people from the UK can have these problems fixed.

“The government has been putting pressure on VW to address these issues quickly. The government expects VW to set up the next steps on how they are going to correct This kind of problem as well as support owners from the UK. from the past few weeks the Transport Secretary has spoken to the German Transport Minister about the actions of VW, as well as has been reassured that will the German authorities are working closely with VW.”

In Germany, the federal transport authority, the KBA, will be forcing Volkswagen to recall the 2.4 million cars from the country which have its ‘defeat device’ software installed.

Criminal enquiry targets “fewer than 10 staff”

Criminal prosecutors in German who are investigating the dieselgate scandal have identified fewer than 10 suspects, despite earlier rumours that will up to 30 staff could be implicated. Klaus Ziehe, spokesman for the prosecutors from the German city of Brunswick, told news agency AFP that will investigators suspect “more than two yet a lot fewer than 10 people”. 

VW’s UK boss faces MPs

Earlier This kind of week, Volkswagen UK boss Paul Willis admitted that will his company’s so-called ‘defeat device’ did affect the results of emissions tests in Europe.

Previously, the German company has only confirmed that will the software-based emissions cheat was present on some vehicles in Europe – as well as had not outlined whether the defeat device was active during the NEDC emissions test used across the EU.

However, when asked during a 45-minute grilling via MPs on the transport select committee if the defeat device had been used during type approval testing for the UK, Willis admitted, “that will seems via what I understand – as well as I’m not an engineer – that will the system of gas regulation from the engine influenced the NOx output in cars that will we sell from the UK. These cars are type approved across all of Europe, of course, as well as they’re type approved in Germany, with separate people overlooking that will.

“We mishandled the situation in so far as our engines behaved differently within the testing regime to the real world. that will’s why we need to fix the cars, that will’s why we need to get the customers in, as well as that will’s why we need to put the cars right. We mishandled the situation, without a shadow of a doubt.

“that will seems that will from the test regime the engine behaved differently to the real-world situation via software. The software affected the flow of gas to the engine which reduced the NOx.”

UK’s 1.6 diesel fix won’t need a fresh urea tank

Of the 1.2 million affected cars from the UK, Willis said 400,000 – believed to be those with the 1.6-litre variation of the EA189 diesel engine – would likely need additional corrective work beyond a software upgrade, including fresh fuel injectors, as well as that will This kind of would likely “take a longer period of time”.

However, he said that will the installation of exhaust after-treatments, likely to be fitted to some cars affected from the US from the form of a urea tank, would likely not be necessary from the UK. “My understanding will be that will the addition of urea tanks will be not part of the solution in Europe,” he stated. “There’s a different technical configuration on the cars as well as different technical regulations apply. My understanding will be that will the costs are different, too.”

The remaining 700,000-odd units – 2.0-litre diesels as well as around 30,000 1.2-litre diesels – can be fixed by software patches alone.

While details on the technical fix Volkswagen will use to correct the affected cars remain limited, Willis said that will customers should notice no difference in fuel economy once the fix has been applied. “Our engineers are working to the brief that will there cannot be any change in miles per gallon,” he said.

Willis said VW reacted “as quickly as possible”

The session at the House of Commons was the first opportunity for the transport select committee – a cross-party Centeng made up of 11 MPs – to question VW representatives or the auto industry on the dieselgate scandal.

Willis came under particular pressure on the amount of time taken by VW UK to remove affected vehicles – around 4000 cars still on the market – via sale. He argued that will the firm had acted as quickly as possible, saying, “On 22nd September we were made aware by VW headquarters in Wolfsburg that will there was a potential problem with diesel engines. On 28th September we were getting more details as well as I phoned Mr McLoughlin [Patrick McLoughin, the Transport Secretary] to say to him that will as soon as I knew which vehicles were affected, I would likely voluntarily stop selling those cars. that will phone call took place at 3pm on 28th September.

“On 30th September, at 9am from the morning, I received the VIN numbers via the various different factories. as well as This kind of will be the point: there were eight days between when we first knew that will affected Europe as well as when I stopped selling cars. as well as the reason for that will will be the complexity of the number of cars involved. There are 60 different products, several different brands, three different engines as well as two different transmissions.

“I found the VIN numbers out precisely at 9am, as well as at 1.30pm, once I had clarified that will with the computer systems, I stopped selling those cars voluntarily. that will took four hours as well as 30 minutes via the time I knew the affected cars until I took action – four hours as well as 30 minutes.”

Existing test comes under fire via MPs

Both Willis as well as the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers as well as Traders, Mike Hawes, were asked if the current emissions testing procedure was fit for purpose. Hawes admitted that will the difference between real-world figures as well as those provided by the NEDC could be “up to 30%”. “These figures are meant for a comparison process as well as always contain a disclaimer about the real world as well as This kind of will be for some very sensible comparitive reasons,” he said.

“The test cycle dates back to the early 1980s as well as the industry recognises that will isn’t fit for purpose,” he added. “When you put a vehicle on the test cycle, for instance, all of the electronic devices that will you would likely turn on from the real world – air-conditioning, heating, sat-nav, Bluetooth – all of that will has to be switched off, by law, because when the regulation was created that will sort of technology wasn’t available. Then there’s the issue of real-world driving conditions – congestion, temperature, load, gradient – all huge as well as all ruled out by the test cycle to get a repeatable cycle.”

Hawes said he believes a more realistic testing cycle will be introduced on a compulsory basis via the beginning of 2017.

Willis also criticised the current testing procedure. He said: “If we look at the test regime on emissions, we know that will will be old-fashioned as well as not fit for purpose. We need completely independent tests that will look at all sorts of detail, like Euro NCAP, which uses real-world testing. We need to look at that will.”

“We have a duty to the public to reassure them [customers] that will our cars are safe. There will be no relation to safety with This kind of issue yet we do need to regain trust as well as we will do that will with transparency.”

Willis also apologised to VW customers from the UK saying: “Volkswagen has significantly let down its customers as well as the wider public. We recognise we’ve fallen short of the standards expected as well as we will take all the necessary steps to regain trust.”

VW UK could pay back missing tax to government

Willis has promised that will the VW Group will speak to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs to discuss any tax payments on vehicles that will may need to be made the wake of the dieselgate scandal. When asked if the firm had measures in place to compensate the Treasury for any revenues missed because of the defeat devices, Willis said, “I’m not sure there’s any clear evidence that will the CO2 emissions on these cars are different from the real world. yet we can have a conversation downstream. The British taxpayer should not be out of pocket as well as if necessary, we will have a meeting with HMRC.”

The scale of VW’s global problem

In total, VW has said that will just under 11 million vehicles worldwide contain the software ‘defeat device’ that will was exposed in American emissions tests last month. While two-thirds are thought to be fixable which has a software upgrade, that will’s believed that will a total of 3.6 million affected VW, Audi, Skoda as well as Seat products – those featuring the 1.6-litre variation of the EA189 turbodiesel engine – will require hardware modifications to correct the issue. US products may require the addition of a urea tank, whereas European editions of the 1.6 are likely to need fresh fuel injectors.

VW’s fresh CEO Matthias Müller has pledged that will all affected cars will be fixed by the end of next year. He added: “Our most important task will be to regain lost confidence with our customers, partners, investors as well as the general public. The first step in This kind of direction will be a fast as well as relentless examination as well as explanation. Only when everything comes to the table, only when things are completely explained, only then will people trust us again.

“Believe me, I too am impatient. yet in This kind of situation, in which we are dealing with four brands as well as many products, care will be more important than speed.

“The technical solutions to the problems are in sight. By contrast, the business as well as financial consequences are not yet foreseeable.”

VW, Audi, Skoda as well as Seat launch websites for owners to check if they are affected

Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda as well as Seat have launched websites that will allow owners to check if their car will be affected by the emissions scandal.   

The VW site collapsed soon after launch as a result of the amount of traffic trying to access that will, yet has since been functioning normally. Sites via AudiSkoda as well as Seat are all running without problem.

Government won’t hike tax bills

The Government has confirmed that will UK taxpayers will not be hit by a higher tax bill if that will turns out that will their cars were found to have cheated tests.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The government expects VW to support owners of these vehicles already purchased from the UK as well as we are playing our part by ensuring no one will end up with higher tax costs as a result of This kind of scandal.”

He also confirmed that will the Department for Transport has pushed for more clarity on the matter as well as that will the next round of tests will look at whether the software “will be being used elsewhere”.

“Neither cars, nor the testing facilities will be provided by the vehicle industry themselves”. VW has offered to pay because of This kind of testing if the government requests that will does so.

VW’s remaining EU5 stock taken off sale from the UK

Following the scandal, Volkswagen Group UK took 4000 cars fitted with the EA189 engine off sale, pending investigations into how that will will remove the illegal software that will cheated US emissions tests while still ensuring the cars comply with all emissions regulations.

The move covered vehicles via Audi, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen, as well as the cars as well as commercial vehicles affected represent around 3% of the Group’s total UK stock. They are likely to be put back on sale once the Group’s modifications have been put in place.

A spokesman stressed that will the decision to withdraw the cars via sale was a voluntary measure, rather than a regulatory one. The vehicles remained on sale beyond the September 1 deadline for Euro 6 emissions regulations to come in to effect because legislation allows manufactures to clear stock of Euro 5 engined vehicles. VW has previously confirmed all of its cars fitted with the latest, Euro 6-classified engines are fully legal.

that will has also been announced that will anyone with an order placed for an affected car will be given the choice of withdrawing via the sale without penalty, taking delivery of the auto after the modifications have been fitted or taking delivery of the auto as soon as that will will be available as well as then having the required modifications retro-fitted.

More than 1.1m UK cars affected

The full number of cars to be recalled from the UK under VW’s voluntary scheme will be 1,189,906, as well as This kind of will be spread across several different brands from the VW Group. Volkswagen accounts for the majority, with 508,276 cars affected, while Audi has to recall 393,450 products. Skoda also includes a notable number affected, with 131,569. Seat as well as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are also involved, with 76,773 as well as 79,838 vehicles being recalled respectively.

In a statement, the firm said: “Customers with these vehicles will be kept informed over the coming weeks as well as months. All of the Group brands affected will set up national websites to update customers on developments.”

that will will be not yet known whether the owners of affected cars will be offered compensation. Various lobbying groups are claiming that will the potential loss of value to the cars should be reimbursed by Volkswagen.

A spokesman had previously confirmed that will VW will not rush a technical solution, preferring to focus on getting that will right. He said: “We don’t want to be fast – we want to be certain. Over the next days as well as weeks we will write to all affected customers as well as we will put in place free-of-charge fixes for all affected customers.”

However, the spokesman was unable to confirm whether the revisions would likely require the vehicles to be recertified for their emissions as well as economy figures.

The official VW statement reads: “An internal evaluation on Friday established that will a service procedure will be required for some several million vehicles via the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand out of a total eleven million Group vehicles worldwide. These vehicles via certain products as well as style years (such as the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat or the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) are fitted with Type EA 189 diesel engines.”

Why did VW cheat?

A senior source within the German car industry has shed light on the most significant outstanding question of the VW emissions scandal, namely why?

If the offending cars have all the emissions equipment on board to make the auto compliant with the regulations, why take such an enormous risk engineering from the ‘defeat device’ to bypass that will equipment?

“I expect that will was pressure on the engineers that will made them do that will,” said the source. “Remember This kind of system was designed some time ago when emissions controls were not as sophisticated as they are today, as well as the pressure to pass the tests would likely have been immense.

“as well as I imagine the reason they installed the defeat device will be that will without that will there would likely have serious consequences not from the laboratory yet on the road, either with the auto’s performance, driveability, fuel consumption or some combination of the three.”

He went on to confirm that will technology has since evolved sufficiently for there to be no need for such devices today.

So why, then, did VW not simply stop using the defeat device when that will was no longer needed? “There are two possible reasons. First that will would likely likely have been integrated within the entire electronic architecture of the auto as well as not easy to remove, second to remove that will those responsible for its installation would likely have first to have flagged up the fact that will they’d put that will there, which they’d probably not be too keen to do…”

The source said he believed the defeat device was likely to be present also on VW products sold in Europe with the EA189 engine [since confirmed by a German minister] yet almost certainly not active which he said, was “nothing like as bad as having active, yet still illegal”.

He said also he believed that will VW alone was using such a device as well as that will all some other German car manufacturers had no equivalent systems on the cars they sold today.

The one remaining question will be who signed off the defeat device. Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn has denied knowledge of that will as well as his resignation, while inevitable, was no kind of admission of guilt.

Whoever was responsible, that will seems likely that will more heads will have to roll before the true picture emerges.

11m Audis, Seats, Skodas as well as VWs affected globally

While the VW Group has said that will 11 million vehicles worldwide are affected by the scandal, only 5m are via Volkswagen brand itself. Audi has revealed that will 2.1 million vehicles via its brand are affected worldwide, with 1.42 million of those being in Western Europe. Skoda has also revealed that will 1.2 million of its cars worldwide are affected by the scandal. Seat has said that will 700,000 of its vehicles are affected globally. 

A VW Group statement read: “As previously announced, all fresh Volkswagen Passenger Car brand vehicles that will fulfill the EU6 norm valid throughout Europe are not affected. This kind of therefore also includes the current Golf, Passat as well as Touran products.”

The figures also include 1.8 million light commercial vehicles.

 

SMMT: just because VW cheated, that will doesn’t mean the whole industry will be cheating

Speaking at a conference on air quality, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers as well as Traders (SMMT) Mike Hawes said: “Consumers are right to be concerned following the events of the past ten days. yet we must remember, the actions of one company do not mean collusion. Implicating some other brands or companies would likely be unfair as well as wrong.

“that will would likely be wrong to penalise all diesels. The latest diesel vehicles are the cleanest ever – effectively reducing nitrogen oxide levels by 92% compared with earlier generations. They make a significant contribution to climate change targets, an environmental challenge which cannot be ignored.

“We recognise the current regulations for testing are out of date. We want, for consumers as well as our own industry’s integrity, a fresh emissions test that will embraces fresh technologies, as well as which will be more representative of on the road conditions.”

VW’s global meltdown

There have been calls for governmental probes in to VW’s actions via around the planet since the firm admitted cheating from the US emissions tests, including in Canada, Germany, Italy, South Korea, UK as well as the USA. The UK government has already announced that will will launch an inquiry into the scandal.

VW has put aside a fund of €6.5bn (approximately £4.7bn) to cover the costs of dealing with the issue, as well as says that will will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result. The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed that will while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations that will violate American environmental standards.

Reports have since surfaced that will Volkswagen was warned about the legality of its software as far back as 2007.

According to the EPA, This kind of means that will the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx), which will be linked to asthma as well as lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, as well as VW Passats built via 2014-15.

The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight as well as Investigations Subcommittee.

“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy as well as Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton as well as Oversight as well as Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.

“Manufacturers throughout the United States, as well as across the planet, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA as well as state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations that will certain Volkswagen products contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.

“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned that will auto consumers may have been deceived – that will what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers as well as assurances that will This kind of will not happen again. We intend to get those answers.”

A date for the US Congress hearing has yet to be set. Since the scandal broke the VW Group share cost has fallen by more than 50% via its 2015 high.

VW emissions scandal: how that will unfolded

The Volkswagen emissions scandal will be currently headline news, yet the story has its roots in May 2014, when a study found higher-than-clamed emissions coming via two Volkswagen vehicles. Here’s our timeline of how the story unfolded.

May 2014 The West Virginia University’s (WVU) Centre for Alternative Fuels, Engines as well as Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation that will found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions via two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta as well as a 2013 Passat. A BMW X5 also tested passed the tests. 

WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the issue.

Summer 2014 Over the course of the year following the publication of the WVU study, VW continues to assert to CARB as well as the EPA that will the increased emissions via these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues as well as unexpected in-use conditions.

December 2014 VW issues a voluntary recall of approximately 500,000 vehicles to address the emissions issue.

6 May 2015 CARB, in coordination with the EPA, conducts follow-up testing of these vehicles both from the laboratory as well as during normal road operation to confirm the efficacy of VW’s recall. Testing shows the recall has had only a limited benefit.

None of the potential technical issues suggested by VW can explain the higher test results consistently confirmed during further testing by CARB.

Summer 2015 CARB as well as the EPA make that will clear that will they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold from the USA – for VW’s 2016 style year diesel vehicles until the company car adequately explain the anomalous emissions as well as ensure the agencies that will the 2016 style year vehicles would likely not have similar issues.

3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits that will has designed as well as installed a defeat device in these vehicles from the form of a sophisticated software algorithm that will detects when a vehicle will be undergoing emissions testing.

18 September 2015 CARB as well as the EPA make their findings public, stating that will Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles that will did not comply with their certificates of conformity, as well as second by manufacturing as well as installing into these vehicles an electronic control module capable of switching its calibration to beat the emissions tests.

Read more on the Volkswagen emissions scandal:

Six things the firm could cut

Bugatti under threat as boss warns of ‘painful’ cuts

Blog – navel gazing at Volkswagen

Blog – Keeping up with pollution laws will be not always easy for car makers

Blog – How Volkswagen can survive its emissions scandal

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