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Vw's Emissions Cheating Found By Curious Clean-Air Group

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-19/volkswagen-emissions-cheating-found-by-curious-clean-air-group

It didn’t add up.

The Volkswagens were spewing harmful exhaust when testers drove them on the road. In the lab, they were fine.

Discrepancies in the European tests on the diesel models of the VW Passat, the VW Jetta and the BMW X5 last year gave Peter Mock an idea.

Mock, European managing director of a little-known clean-air group, suggested replicating the tests in the U.S. The U.S. has higher emissions standards than the rest of the world and a history of enforcing them, so Mock and his American counterpart, John German, were sure the U.S. versions of the vehicles would pass the emissions tests, German said. That way, they reasoned, they could show Europeans it was possible for diesel cars to run clean.

..

Certify Sales

At the same time, regulators were considering whether to certify VW’s 2016 models for sale -- a routine process for most automakers. Regulators said they wouldn’t approve the cars unless the company resolved the questions about real-world tailpipe pollution. VW engineers continued to suggest technical reasons for the test results. None of the explanations satisfied regulators, who indicated the models wouldn’t be certified.

“Only then did VW admit it had designed and installed a defeat device in these vehicles in the form of a sophisticated software algorithm that detected when a vehicle was undergoing emissions testing,” the EPA said in its letter to VW Friday.

The VW investigation covers seven years’ production of diesel cars, including the VW Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Passat and the Audi A3.

This is just staggering, they've used software to get around emissions tests! It makes you wonder how robust other similar testing is for other areas.

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Hmm. Is this a case of US having better regulation (somewhat plausible), better enforcement (very plausible), or just being a better environment to take on a big European company (thoroughly plausible)?

My guess would be strong enforcement against a non-US corporation.

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