EPA caught VW cheating - how does the car know it's being tested?

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On Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 9:50:42 PM UTC-4, Winston_Smith wrote:

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One likely way would be that they also did it via a dyno test. It's certainly easier and more practical, consistent, than driving on roads.
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On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 05:56:16 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

Why would it be difficult to run these test on the road? Sure the equipment might cost several thousand but that's chickenfeed for this kind of study.
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On Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 2:43:01 PM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:

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I didn't say it was difficult, just that it's easier to run a test on the dyno. And it's a controlled repeatable environment. Driving on the highway 500 miles today could be under different conditions than tomorrow, that you have no control over, ie traffic backed up, slower speeds, more accelerating, de-accelerating, etc.
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On Sat, 26 Sep 2015 12:00:06 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

Which is exactly the situation you WANT to find out about... How does the system, which seems to be working in the "lab" actually work in the real world. Sure there's more variability, so what. The point of emissions controls isn't to keep the soot off the walls of the "lab" it's to keep the soot out of the atmosphere out in the real world.
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On Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 9:06:42 PM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:

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I think we're getting off track here. The post I replied to, I believe it was about VW having sent the cars to some outside lab to be tested and they passed. Someone questioned how that could be. I simply said probably because that outside lab tested it the same way, on the dyno. Since presumably VW didn't want to "find out about it", it would seem highly likely that they made sure they understood how that lab was going to do the test.
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I would have to disagree. The point of the emissions test is to pass whatever the standards are, the test methods, as defined by EPA. If the EPA says running it on the dyno it has to put out no more than X, Y, Z, then that's what counts. They shouldn't be cheating on the test, but designing it to meet the EPA reqts and the EPA required testes is what counts.
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On 9/26/2015 3:00 PM, trader_4 wrote:

The scam was discovered by actual road tests. It is also possible the test units were rigged when sent for testing. If it was dyno, it would have passed. I'm sure there will be a lot of road testing done to verify what others are doing.
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mti9lu$jb$ snipped-for-privacy@news.mixmin.net

Was the software really all that "sophisticated"?
The NY Times said it was "sophisticated". http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/25/business/international/problems-at-volkswagen-start-in-the-boardroom.html
I think it was just brazen.
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On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 01:56:01 +0000, JJ wrote:

Apparently cheating is rather common.
Volkswagen Test Rigging Follows a Long Auto Industry Pattern By DANNY HAKIM and HIROKO TABUCHISEPT. 23, 2015 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/business/international/volkswagen-test-rigging-follows-a-long-auto-industry-pattern.html
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According to NBC, the emission controls were altered when only the front wheels were turning, as on a dynometer.
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On 10/4/2015 2:39 PM, Klaatu wrote:

I don't know about diesels, but newer gasoline powered cars in California don't use the dyno anymore. The levels are all read from the sensors via the OBD-II port, at least in California.
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On 05/10/15 13:33, sms wrote:

It's trivial to detect that the car is not being driven. No steering wheel motion, no compass variation, no accelerometer (if fitted), no... you name it, I'm sure there's a long list of candidates.
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On 10/4/2015 9:04 PM, Clifford Heath wrote:

YOu're overthinking it. It's about driveability If the rear wheels ain't turning, you should turn on the emission controls. When the car is stopped in traffic, might as well make it clean. Performance isn't an issue when stopped. I'd have taken it a step further and made it clean whenever driveability isn't compromised...like when not accelerating at a rate faster than you could do with the emission controls functioning. Probably would never have been detected.
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On Monday, October 5, 2015 at 3:06:21 AM UTC-4, mike wrote:

Actually, we're not sure what the real issues were. There is speculation that it's MPG and performance, which if true would make what you say true. It's also possible that some emission components are adversely effected, don't last as long, will fail if used continuously, etc. The last thing I saw, VW is saying that it was done because they could not meet both emissions and cost constraints. Which might play into the scenario that if the emissions controls are on continuously, or used enough, something bad happens.
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On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 10:33:33 PM UTC-4, sms wrote:

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I'm not sure they even read levels. They do check to make sure the emission ready monitors have been set, which indicates that if the computer has been cleared, then the car has been driven long enough to reset them. Other than that, they are probably relying on the computer not having any emissions failure codes set. The cars don't have the instrumentation to measure all or maybe even any of the actual emission components directly. Whatever they measure, it's obviously even easier to cheat when only the OBD is used. The computer just says everything is OK all the time.
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