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

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On 9/19/2015 12:42 AM, Ewald Böhm wrote:

I'm likely mistaken, but my gut sense is that lower emissions means lower performance, and lower mileage. My guess is that the "fix" will be a downgrade of some kind.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Sat, 19 Sep 2015 08:25:23 -0400, Stormin Mormon

Then how do you explain the FACT that todays engines - 1)produce higher spedific output than engines in the past 2) Consume fewer gallons of gas per unit distance travelled AND 3) produce lower exhaut emissions
-than the engines of only a few years back - muchless the "uncontrolled" engines of the 50s and 60s, and the early emission engines of the 70s and 80s?
VW will just have to step up to the plate and spend in retrofits what they should have spent in initial design and production - plus.

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This is almost entirely the result of fuel injection combined with accurate feedback control. Feedback control makes a huge improvement in the efficiency of the engine and that means both lower emissions and more power.
And, it's true that it took the emission control regulations to force the car manufacturers to start thinking out of the box at new ideas to try and improve efficiency back in the seventies. Had it not been for the emission control regulations, we might never have got the engine improvements that make engines so much more efficiency today.
BUT, it's true that many of the other tricks used to get emissions numbers down have been at the expense of performance, and many of them have been just plain attempts to game the system.
There is a very longstanding tradition of gaming the system, dating back to air pumps back in the seventies which did in fact improve the efficiency of early catalytic converters, but mostly just diluted the exhaust so that the concentration of emissions was reduced. The actual amount of emission was the same, but the numbers recorded at the smog station were lower.
This current attempt on VW's part is not something new in isolation, this is part of a tradition going back forty years now. It shouldn't surprise anyone, and it's certainly not anything specific to VW.

Odds are that instead they will take the route of just leaving the controller in "low emissions" mode all the time, which probably will affect performance. Part of how that will work out will depend on what they were actually doing to bring the numbers down, and we don't know that without actually measuring it or looking at the controller source. --scott
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On 19 Sep 2015 14:29:47 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

The improvement in emissions was at least an order of magnitude more than the "dilution" would have produced. This was in the days before "storage" catalysts that can store oxygen (part of the reason mixtures MUST oscillate around stoich - go rich, then lean, then rich) Air needed to be added in order for the oxidizing catalist to function effectively.

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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca posted for all of us...

Wise business decision... Why do they do this? It would be a great subject of an independent analysis. Weren't they owned by Chrysler at the start of this?
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wrote:

VW
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca posted for all of us...

I am glad you challenged me! I was thinking of the VW/Chrysler plant in PA. I was mistaken in ownership. Thank you.
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wrote:

the Omni-Horizon originally used a VAG supplied engine (Audi fox?) a bit bigger than the rabbit engine at the time - and I believe AMC used basically the same engine in the early 4 cyl Spirit.
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On 9/19/15 15:25, Stormin Mormon wrote:

The proper fix would be to buy the cars back from the (willing) owners at bluebook and sell them to the (3rd world) countries that do not participate in the smear campaign against VAG and could not care less about the emissions. An even more proper fix would be for VAG to withdraw from the american market altogether. There are lots of other markets where you do not have to make emissions claims at all and that would appreciate the 4 banger [turbo]diesels from VAG
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On Sat, 19 Sep 2015 04:42:00 +0000, Ewald Böhm wrote:

Possibly the insurance companies might deny liability for any claims if the car has not been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations? They're well known for trying any get-outs they can and the courts generally find in favour of them due to the doctrine of 'utmost good faith' which applies to insurance contracts.
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On Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 9:19:46 AM UTC-4, Cursitor Doom wrote:

Another loon. When has an emission issue ever had anything to do with an auto insurer paying a claim? Emissions compliance doesn't cause accidents.
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trader_4 posted for all of us...

+1 Huh?
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On 9/19/2015 9:17 AM, Cursitor Doom wrote:

Do you know of any claims denied because the owner did not get an oil change? Dirty air filter?
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insurance company HAS to pay up - but they can make it EXTREMELY difficult to afford insurance in the future - - - - - - - - - - -
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On Sat, 19 Sep 2015 10:45:01 -0400, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Sorry, I should have mentioned that the position I set out is that under English law and other jurisdictions will no doubt differ.
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On Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 7:23:35 AM UTC-4, Cursitor Doom wrote:

Show us some case examples. IF true, must be one screwed up legal system, where if you don't change your oil or filter on schedule, it has bearing on who's at fault in an accident.
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On 9/19/2015 12:42 AM, Ewald Böhm wrote:

You can feel good that the spotted owl is not choking on your fumes. The only way to force you to get the fix is if the car will no longer pass unless it was done. I don't know if the eqipment doing th testing will be able to tell.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Sure will. You have to enter the VIN into the system to start the inspection. IF the EPA requires a recall to reflash the ECM to remove that software and "correct" the problem, that would have to be done at a dealer. They will track completed vehicles by VIN. The state can just flag ALL those vehicles. You pull in, they plug in the tester, and your VIN doesn't show on the "recall complete" list. You don't get inspected.
That has happened before for other recalls. I'm betting the fix will be to re-flash the ECM software to remove the "switch". Then run each one through the full EPA test regardless of registration state. That because this if a federal law that was broken.
What will be fun will be watching all the johnny racer types who modified the cars by removing emissions gear and "tuning" the ECM. VW could actually show them to the EPA and say "THEY removed the systems so they should pay a fine as well".
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Steve W.

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On 9/19/2015 11:12 AM, Steve W. wrote:

When has the EPA ever gone after individual passenger car vehicle owners?
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. wrote:

Happens a lot more than you might think. States get into the act under the umbrella of the EPA laws.
VW intentionally wrote software for their vehicles with the express intent of violating the EPA laws. They admitted to that already so it will be interesting to see what happens. The EPA could recall the cars, judge them as "unrepairable gross polluters" and have them crushed. I doubt they will go that far but they have done it before under the "cars for cash" BS.
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