• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    As the Diesel Emits: Volkswagen's Emission Cheating May Not Be 'Illegal' In Europe


    • Volkswagen's Cheating Software Might Not Be Illegal In Europe Due To A Loophole

    After Volkswagen admitted that it used software to vary the amount of emissions being produced in their diesel vehicles, Volkswagen is using a legal loophole to provide a defense in Europe.

     

    In a letter sent last week to European regulators, Volkswagen Group Managing Director Paul Willis said that the company's cheat software might not be illegal under current European Union regulations. Crazy as might sound, there is a loophole that allows this.

     

    The New York Times reports that the European regulations have a massive loophole that could put Volkswagen in the clear. In fact, regulators knew about this loophole back in 2011.

     

    We'll let the New York Times explain the loophole.

     

    "The loophole lets carmakers change the performance settings of their engines before a pollution test. “A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned, according to minutes of a 2011 meeting in Geneva of officials across the region."

     

    Willis points this out in his letter, stating the automaker is considering "whether the software in question officially constituted a defeat device."

     

    Now this is only a small part of a number of problems with how Europe regulates how vehicles. Automakers can submit to testing in any of the 28 member states of EU and have those results recognized across the EU. Also, automakers can submit pre-production models and do various tweaks such as removing seats and taping up gaps for emission tests.

     

    "What we have developed is a phony system of testing where the member states [of the European Union] are in competition with each other for who can make it the most easy for the car manufacturers to pass the test," said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the European Parliament.

     

    Now the EU has the final say as to whether or not Volkswagen's cheating software is actually illegal or not. Lucia Caudet, a spokeswoman for the European Commission tells the Times that the governing body has "no formal view on whether” the software in question counts as "a 'defeat device' in the EU legal sense or not."

     

    We'll keep you updated on this.

     

    Source: New York Times

     

    Wills' letter is below.

     

    0


      Report Article
    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    It's Paul Willis, not Wills. As a case in fact, EU6 regulations do mention the possibility of on-road testing, so VW's assertions that the law only requires meeting emissision limits in the lab test is incorrect ("The Commission shall adopt measures for the implementation of this Article including measures in relation to the following: (a) tailpipe emissions, including test cycles, the use of portable emissions measurement systems for verifying the actual inuse emissions, verifying and limiting off-cycle emissions …"). EU member states can conduct on-road testing for testing emissions, right now. It's already in the regulation. Further, defeat strategies ("‘defeat strategy’ means an emission control strategy that reduces the effectiveness of the emission controls under ambient or engine operating conditions encountered either during normal vehicle operation or outside the type-approval test procedures;") such as that fitted to the EA189 are expliciity prohibited in the EU regulation ("The use of defeat strategies that reduce the effectiveness of emission control equipment shall be prohibited."). No "performance" loopholes. As for taping up gaps or removing seats, what would be the point? It's a stationary test, the car is not moving, it is not accelerating, so dynometer mass and resistance affects "acceleration", not vehicle mass. Further, type approval certification requires that vehicles be made and sold, as per the type approval. Change the tires or wheels, new test and type approval required. Change the mass, new type approval required. EU manufactures don't just certify a model with every engine and transmision combo — every tire and wheel combo offered with that engine and transmission requires separate CO2/fuel economy and emissions testing for type approval. Get into the tech specs in the more detailed product literature, and the details emerge — this is the fuel economy with 16" wheels, this is the different fuel economy for 17" whees etc. Now, of course these are pre-production models. They don't have type approval yet, so what else could they be? Once they have type approval, automakers have to build to that specification. Any variation requires a new type approval. This is why the 800,000 with CO2 irregularities had less visible "tweaks" to things such as lubricating oil the approved Technical Services would not notice (the kind of tricks dodgy second-hand car dealers are notorious for).

     

    P.S. A new international emission and fuel economy test has already been developed, based on global driving data. It comes into effect in Europe in 2017. The only thing still being worked out is a correlation factor between the old and new tests for assessing EU-mandated manufacturer fleet-CO2 reductions (the EU equivalent of progressively increasing CAFE requirements — the US just keeps using the old test for calculating CAFE, not the new test on your window sticker, but EU authorities don't want to double their test burden).

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    Loading...



  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. swgforthefence
      swgforthefence
      (58 years old)
    2. trevormac98
      trevormac98
      (33 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      It has been a mixed few days at Audi. Last Friday, sources told Reuters that no evidence was found that Audi CEO Rupert Stadler knew about the illegal cheating software. Stadler was questioned earlier in the week by U.S. law firm Jones Day - the group brought in by Volkswagen to conduct an internal investigation. Stadler's questioning came around the same time as media reports saying that Audi was more entangled in the diesel emission scandal than previously thought.
      "Nothing burdensome against Stadler was found," said a source.
      Then on Monday, Audi's r&d head Stefan Knirsch stepped down from his post and left the company. As we reported last week , Knirsch reportedly knew about the illegal software and lied about under oath during an internal investigation. At the time, Knirsch was going to be suspended. In a statement, Audi said Knirsch would be leaving immediately. The company did not say the reason for his departure or who would take his place.
      Source: Reuters, 2

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It has been a mixed few days at Audi. Last Friday, sources told Reuters that no evidence was found that Audi CEO Rupert Stadler knew about the illegal cheating software. Stadler was questioned earlier in the week by U.S. law firm Jones Day - the group brought in by Volkswagen to conduct an internal investigation. Stadler's questioning came around the same time as media reports saying that Audi was more entangled in the diesel emission scandal than previously thought.
      "Nothing burdensome against Stadler was found," said a source.
      Then on Monday, Audi's r&d head Stefan Knirsch stepped down from his post and left the company. As we reported last week , Knirsch reportedly knew about the illegal software and lied about under oath during an internal investigation. At the time, Knirsch was going to be suspended. In a statement, Audi said Knirsch would be leaving immediately. The company did not say the reason for his departure or who would take his place.
      Source: Reuters, 2
    • By William Maley
      If there is one bright spot in Volkswagen, it has to be their commercial division. Through August, the division has seen sales increase 8.2 percent to 308,500 models. With their success, it should come as no surprise they are considering moving into other markets such as the U.S.
      Eckhard Scholz, Volkswagen's commercial vehicles division CEO tells Reuters that the United States "are still a highly interesting market." A lot of this comes from many commercial vehicle manufacturers operating in the U.S. are taking ideas from their European counterparts. But when asked about possibly selling vehicles in the U.S., Scholz said,
      "A lot of things come to mind but at the moment I have nothing concrete to say."
      Volkswagen's commercial division handles the Caddy, Transporter, and Crafter vans, along with the Amarok pickup. 
      This isn't the first time that Volkswagen has considered bringing over some of their commercial vehicles. Last year, then CEO of Volkswagen of America, Michael Horn said the automaker was looking at possibly bringing over one of their vans into the U.S.
      But there is a big elephant in the room; the diesel emission scandal. A fair number of commercial vehicle buyers like diesel engines for fuel economy and the ability to handle heavy loads. But Volkswagen may have a very difficult time trying to get diesel engines certified in the U.S. They might have to go with gas engines for the time being which could limit their appeal. 
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      If there is one bright spot in Volkswagen, it has to be their commercial division. Through August, the division has seen sales increase 8.2 percent to 308,500 models. With their success, it should come as no surprise they are considering moving into other markets such as the U.S.
      Eckhard Scholz, Volkswagen's commercial vehicles division CEO tells Reuters that the United States "are still a highly interesting market." A lot of this comes from many commercial vehicle manufacturers operating in the U.S. are taking ideas from their European counterparts. But when asked about possibly selling vehicles in the U.S., Scholz said,
      "A lot of things come to mind but at the moment I have nothing concrete to say."
      Volkswagen's commercial division handles the Caddy, Transporter, and Crafter vans, along with the Amarok pickup. 
      This isn't the first time that Volkswagen has considered bringing over some of their commercial vehicles. Last year, then CEO of Volkswagen of America, Michael Horn said the automaker was looking at possibly bringing over one of their vans into the U.S.
      But there is a big elephant in the room; the diesel emission scandal. A fair number of commercial vehicle buyers like diesel engines for fuel economy and the ability to handle heavy loads. But Volkswagen may have a very difficult time trying to get diesel engines certified in the U.S. They might have to go with gas engines for the time being which could limit their appeal. 
      Source: Reuters
    • By William Maley
      There are changes afoot in the Volkswagen Golf family. We'll begin with the bad news, the two-door Golf GTI will be no more in the U.S. Car and Driver was able to confirm this news with Volkswagen. Why? 
      “The trend is clearly shifting toward four-door models,” said Volkswagen of America’s marketing chief, Hendrik Muth.
      Originally, Volkswagen was planning to offer the two-door GTI for 2017, but only in the base S trim. 
      Now for the possible good news, Volkswagen is considering adding all-wheel drive to the standard Golf. During the press launch of the Golf Alltrack, Volkswagen's vice president of product marketing and strategy Dr. Hendrik Muth explained that adding 4Motion to the Puebla, Mexico factory has brought forth new possibilities. The Truth About Cars asked if one of the possibilities was adding all-wheel drive to the standard Golf and Muth answered "Yes".
      Volkswagen wants to give Subaru a real challenge in the compact class. The Japanese automaker is the only one that offers all-wheel drive on their standard compact models - Impreza and XV Crosstrek. 
      Source: Car and Driver, The Truth About Cars
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)