Pick up a history book sometime and see what a "goof" it is. Government
has always been a criminal enterprise whose primary activities have been
theft, extortion, murder, and slavery.
Volkswagen lied, but they lied to a motley collection of liars, thieves,
thugs and other miscreants. (As a practical matter, the total emissions
are still very low with no actual effect on air quality vs. the arbitrary
EPA "standard." The environmentalist crowd has never really grokked the
concept of "diminishing returns" or the fact that causing a vehicle to use
more fuel just shifts emissions elswhere to provide the extra fuel.)
Screw the EPA and the horse they rode in on (the federal beast). The
best comment I saw on the VW situation was this on a political site:
Translation: Slaves rebel; caught trying to escape from The Plantation.
Massa plans to whip their asses.
Roger Blake (Change "invalid" to "com" for email. Google Groups killfiled.)
No. The software is a black box both to vehicle owners and the EPA. Not
only that, but under the DMCA it would be illegal for vehicle owners OR
the EPA to attempt reverse-engineering it from the object load.
Gaming the system is a longstanding tradition among car manufacturers and
I am _sure_ that if the source code were made public that all manner of
interesting games would be found.
THAT is the best question of all, yes. But that is a question that
needs to be asked by stockholders, and I have a suspicion that the next
annual meeting at Volkswagen will be interesting.
Arrests will do nothing. What has to happen is that vehicle control code
needs to be documented and available to the vehicle owner and to the
government inspectors. Yes, I know this makes it easier for technology to
be stolen in places where patent and trademark law is unenforced (such as
China, where the car industry is growing by leaps and bounds and trying to
learn as much as possible from Western and Japanese manufacturers by any
means possible). But, it's necessary.
If you want to see something REALLY evil, take a look at John Deere's take
on their proprietary control systems. THERE are some people who could use
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
On Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 10:07:40 AM UTC-4, Scott Dorsey wrote:
IDK for a fact what EPA would or would not have access to
but I would doubt that the EPA would have the source could
algorithms, etc. EPAs job is to set standards and enforce
them, not get involved in how a particular company's computer
and systems meets those standards. Do we really need another
whole section of the EPA looking at source code?
As M pointed out, the real damage is likely already done to their
loyal hippie customer base segment.
I would think it would not only serve the interests of justice,
but it would also help deter some future execs from doing
the same thing. If you don't put them in jail, then the stockholders
take most of the hit. Without a criminal investigation, you
wouldn't even find all the exec that were involved, knew about
Ridiculous. Like a vehicle owner needs the source code.
Why? One instance in 40 years of emissions standards and all of
a sudden companies are going to have to put out their proprietary
software for all competitors to benefit from? What's next, Intel
Boeing, Apple and Microsoft should put out all their stuff too?
On 22 Sep 2015 10:07:28 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
I don't see the logic of this. The purpose of the code is to produce
a specific level of emissions. As the EPA found, and I doubt it was
hard, the on the road emissions didn't match what was produced during
dynamometer testing. How would anyone realistically look at the code
and be able to figure out that it "worked" as far as controlling
emissions? You can't, you can only tell if it "works" by measuring
what comes out the tailpipe. Sure, a good code reader, if they had the
time to look thru god knows how many lines of code, *might* spot a
weird program execution loop but that it highly doubtful and certainly
not a sure thing. And even if they did, it would not prove that the
emissions out the tailpipe FAILED, it would only show that someone put
some weird stuff in the code. You would still need to measure actual
emissions to see if the car met the emissions requirements.
It's true that the proof is in the pudding and actual emissions measurements
tell the real story, but you cannot realistically measure emissions under
every possible driving circumstance, so at some point the test will need
to be simplified, and every test that is simplified will have a loophole.
However, seeing source code allows you to figure out what that loophole is
when the measurements don't make sense, and of course it also allows you to
determine intent. Booleans with name like EPA_ENFORCEMENT and SMOG_MODE
might be a giveaway too...
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
On Tue, 22 Sep 2015 18:20:29 -0400, Scott Dorsey wrote:
I once looked that up, and it's the truth is in the /taste/ of the pudding!
You'll notice they drove the three test cars from San Diego to Seattle.
Do you know why they did that?
Because the trucking engine manufacturers were caught cheating years ago,
where, after hundreds of miles of driving, the emissions would slowly
creep up as the cheat codes slowly lowered the emissions constraints.
The only way to tell if the VW cheat code did the same thing as Caterpillar
and Volvo did in the past, was to drive for a thousand miles or so. It turned
out that the cheat code was not the same as the ones previously used by
the trucking engine manufacturers, but, as you noted, the only way to
tell was to drive very long distances.
This is true.
The problem here isn't that VW cheated; it's that we TRUSTED them not to
cheat, and then they still cheated. It's like trusting a house guest not
to steal from you. Or like trusting the pool boy not to steal chemicals
from you. Or trusting the electrician not to steal wires from you. Or
trusting the dentist not to steal gold fillings from you.
It's a trust issue (in addition to one big legal issue).
In the official documents, even VW called the cheat setting of the switch
the dynamometer setting!
On Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 5:22:33 PM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:
The purpose of the whole emission systems is to keep emissions under
the EPA limits. The purpose of this code was to first determine if
the car was currently being emissions tested, and if so, then to run
the car with the full emissions control protocol to meet the test.
Otherwise it ran the car with emissions that according to the news
last night was 10 - 40x above the limits.
They didn't look at the code, EPA went after VW to explain the huge
differences between dyno testing emissions and emission on the road.
VW couldn't explain it and finally admitted what they had done.
On Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:40:39 -0700, trader_4 wrote:
Notice that they had from 5 to 45 times the LIMIT (which is a lot!).
The lower/higher numbers were due to city/highway mode, I think.
(I assume the city numbers are the higher ones?)
The variation in the low and high figures themselves was due to the
different vehicles tested.
I think, as someone mentioned, and as the news noted, the code is
actually covered by the DCMA (it would be nice to find a cite).
It wasn't so much that VW /couldn't/ explain, but that they wouldn't
explain it. They only admitted guilt when both CARB and EPA said they
would not certify 2016 diesels because they couldn't be certain of the
manufacturer's own certification process.
Only then, when VW knew their stock price would take the hit, did VW
finally confess. And even then, they didn't confess to the fact that
it's not half a million vehicles, but more than twenty times that
On Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:40:39 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
We are talking about two different codes. The code I'm talking about
is the "real code" that doesn't have any special switches in it. The
code you are talking about is code someone slipped into the "real
code" to turn off the emissions controls.
was to first determine if
That is my point exactly. They looked at what came out the tailpipe.
Looking at "the code" isn't going to tell them anything, it's not like
it's just a 1980 15 line BASIC language do loop to count how many
times the wheels go around in a minute where you could look and see
they were inserting an extra 10% every 120 seconds with two extra
lines of code. It's undoubtedly got thousands and thousands of lines
of code, much of it interrelated, much of it doing periodic "turn this
off and see if sensor X reacts" to verify sensor X is still working.
If sensor X is not working turn the CEL on and depending on the fault
code it might make it flash. No one is going to be able to look thru
that and find some hidden loop aimed at fooling the system unless the
author of the illicit code wanted to be caught and put in "ILLEGAL
CODE - NEXT 12 lines!!!" And even if this presumed code looker found
something suspicious, so what? If the car passes both the emissions
test and ALL on road verifications what do you think EPA should do?
Fine them for writing code that's looks funny to EPA but still meets
On Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 9:05:57 PM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:
AFAIK, there is only one set of code under discussion here, that's
the code that is in the actual VW cars that were cheating.
If competent investigators choose to actually do the
investigation, to find out what was happening, to look at
the code, they could show that the code was written to detect
when the car was being tested and to then do a different
emissions control algorithm. It's right there, in the code.
It would be much easier to decipher if it was documented and
labeled "cheat code", but it can still be done.
It's undoubtedly got thousands and thousands of lines
Of course it can be found and determined. It's not trivial, but it
certainly can be done without the code being documented.
If the car actually met the EPA standards, then I agree that
having the cheat code there might not violate the law. But the
fact is that the cars don't meet the limits by 10 to 40x. If you're
point is that it's not worth it for the EPA to be routinely demanding
source code, analyzing it all, deciphering it, etc, for all cars,
I agree with that.
On Wed, 23 Sep 2015 04:29:39 -0700, trader_4 wrote:
Um, someone was comparing the punishment meted out to other auto
manufacturers who were punished under a different legal code than
the legal code which will be used to punish VW.
That's all I was saying to keep in mind.
What I don't understand is that the code, apparently, allowed *more*
fuel to the engine (to cool the combustion chamber) which lowered NOx
So, fixing the problem should result in *less* fuel to the engine, if
that's the case.
When they reflash the ecu, wouldn't that lowering of fuel *increase* gas
mileage *and* bring NOx emissions back down to where they said they were?
On Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 10:55:53 PM UTC-4, Vincent Cheng Hoi Chuen wrote:
You have it backwards and contradict yourself in your own statement.
If it's true that more fuel to the engine lowers emissions, then
that would be what they would have to do all the time, not just
when it's being tested and that would give lower MPG.
Less fuel = hotter burn in the combustion chamber = higher NOx numbers
It shows up as vehicles that get better EPA mileage numbers than the
sticker says because they are burning less fuel.
To correct the issue they need to increase the fuel to the engine to
cool the combustion temperatures.
The end result will be that the EPA MPG numbers will be closer to
reality because the engine is now using the fuel to keep the NOx numbers
down. The only "bad" side effect will be that the particulate trap and
the NOx catalyst will need to burn more often to regenerate.
OR VW could come up with a DEF retrofit to drop the NOx numbers.
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 02:55:49 +0000 (UTC), Vincent Cheng Hoi Chuen
Have you actually seen any factual data that they were providing more
fuel? From the little bit of decent info I've seen it looked more
like they were trying to extend the life of some "filter" by turning
the filter "off" and just letting the stuff fly out the tailpipe.
some info here..
On Tue, 22 Sep 2015 14:22:22 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:
I think this makes sense.
The VW cheat code does NOT appear to do anything clever.
In the official EPA pdf letter to VW, they called it a "switch".
Basically, the cheat code determined that the car was not moving but
that it was running as if it was moving, so, under that circumstance
(i.e., under what the EPA called the "dynamometer" settings) VW
engineers simply reduced the fuel to the engine, which lowered the
Under all other circumstances, which the EPA called the "road" settings,
VW engineers let the car have as much fuel as it wanted, NOx emissions
There was nothing sophisticated at all about it. It's like me stealing
money from my own relatives. It's easy to do because they leave their
wallet out on the kitchen table without checking.
The audacious part isn't how clever it was (it wasn't at all clever).
The audacious part is that we trusted them, just as you trust a house
guest, and they violated that trust, just as it would be as if a house
guest stole money out of your wallet.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.