• 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


    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

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. gmcbob
      gmcbob
      (42 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      American criminal lawyers are in demand at Volkswagen. Bloomberg has learned from sources that various executives at the company are hiring lawyers as the Department of Justice begins sending out officials to Germany for meetings to gather evidence for possible criminal charges.
      Volkswagen has already agreed to a $16 billion settlement over the diesel emission scandal. But the Department of Justice is continuing their investigation into whether various Volkswagen executives knew about the cheating software installed on over 10 million diesel vehicles around the world. As we reported back in September, a Volkswagen engineer has pled guilty for being involved in the scandal. 
      Volkswagen has long maintained that none of its executives knew about the software and that it was a rogue group of engineers that went forward with this decision. But as we have been reporting for the past year, various documents and emails that have been leaked out put serious doubts into this claim.
      It is unknown if this investigation involves former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn who stepped down shortly after the scandal broke. 
      If the Department of Justice was to bring Volkswagen executives to court, they could be facing some roadblocks. Germany's constitution doesn’t allow citizens to be extradited outside the European Union. A source tells Bloomberg the Department of Justice is looking into possible ways to bring them to the U.S.
      Source: Bloomberg

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      American criminal lawyers are in demand at Volkswagen. Bloomberg has learned from sources that various executives at the company are hiring lawyers as the Department of Justice begins sending out officials to Germany for meetings to gather evidence for possible criminal charges.
      Volkswagen has already agreed to a $16 billion settlement over the diesel emission scandal. But the Department of Justice is continuing their investigation into whether various Volkswagen executives knew about the cheating software installed on over 10 million diesel vehicles around the world. As we reported back in September, a Volkswagen engineer has pled guilty for being involved in the scandal. 
      Volkswagen has long maintained that none of its executives knew about the software and that it was a rogue group of engineers that went forward with this decision. But as we have been reporting for the past year, various documents and emails that have been leaked out put serious doubts into this claim.
      It is unknown if this investigation involves former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn who stepped down shortly after the scandal broke. 
      If the Department of Justice was to bring Volkswagen executives to court, they could be facing some roadblocks. Germany's constitution doesn’t allow citizens to be extradited outside the European Union. A source tells Bloomberg the Department of Justice is looking into possible ways to bring them to the U.S.
      Source: Bloomberg
    • By William Maley
      The first person has been charged in the U.S.' Volkswagen diesel emission probe. Today at the U.S. Federal Court in Detroit, James Robert Liang, leader of diesel competence for Volkswagen from 2008 until June of this year entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, commit wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act. 
      According to grand jury indictment filed back in June and unsealed today,  “Liang and his co-conspirators, including current and former employees, and others, agreed to defraud the U.S. and VW customers, and violate the Clean Air Act, by misleading the U.S. and VW customers about whether VW diesel motors complied with U.S. emissions standards,” prosecutors wrote.
      Documents showed Liang was on the team that developed the diesel engine at the center of this scandal, the EA 189 2.0L four-cylinder back in 2006. The team realized that the engine wouldn't meet the strict U.S. standards on nitrogen oxide emissions while also attracting “sufficient customer demand.” Thus the decision was made to develop and install the 'defeat device' software on the EA 189 to pass emission tests. This engine would be installed on various Volkswagen vehicles starting in 2009.
      In 2014, Liang's team would update the software to help cut down on warranty claims. Engineers believed the reason for the increase in claims was due to the vehicle operating with the defeat device on for too long. Around this time, U.S. regulators would begin asking Volkswagen questions about the discrepancies between the amount of emissions being emitted during lab tests and in real-world driving. Various Volkswagen employees either lied when talking with regulators. 
      “I know VW did not disclose the defeat device to U.S. regulators in order to sell the cars in the U.S. That’s what makes me guilty,” said Liang to the court.
      Liang faces up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. In a plea agreement signed on August 31st, prosecutors say in exchange for his agreement to cooperate with the probe, the U.S. government agrees not to use any new information about Liang’s own criminal conduct during the sentencing hearing expected to take place on January 11th. Liang's cooperation could help out in the investigation and shine a light on more people involved.
      When asked for comment, Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan declined.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, The Detroit News

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)