While much of the focus of the investigations into Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has been focused on the German automaker, attention is now turning to one of their key suppliers.
Reuters has learned from sources that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into what involvement did German auto supplier Bosch GmbH have in the scandal. Bosch built a number of key components that Volkswagen and its subsidiary brands would use on diesel engines. Now the sources are quick to point out that Bosch isn't charged with anything at the moment.
A key part Bosch provided Volkswagen and a number of other German automakers is the engine control module (known as EDC17), and basic software. This module regulates how a vehicle cleans burned-up diesel fuel before it is expelled as exhaust. Each automaker has their own version of the module and software. Now Volkswagen modified the software to cheat emission tests and Bosch insisting that it had nothing to do with it or knew anything.
But a source tells Car and Driver that the supplier had to know something was going on.
“I’ve had many arguments with Bosch, and they certainly own the dataset software and let their customers tune the curves. Before each dataset is released it goes back to Bosch for its own validation. Bosch is involved in all the development we ever do. They insist on being present at all our physical tests and they log all their own data, so someone somewhere at Bosch will have known what was going on. All software routines have to go through the software verification of Bosch, and they have hundreds of milestones of verification, that’s the structure. The car company is never entitled by Bosch to do something on their own,” said the source.