Since the Volkswagen scandal first broke more than a week ago, we know a lot more about how Dieselgate started to unravel. What remains mysterious, though, is why the German carmaker thought it would be OK to hack its own car to rig the system (and put consumer trust in jeopardy); worse, how on earth those involved in the fraud at the company had assumed that they could get away with it.
Leading up to the appointment of Volkswagen’s new CEO, Matthias Mueller, announced last Friday, we’ve learned how one of the biggest frauds in automotive history was uncovered by a group of researchers at West Virginia University working on a $50,000 grant from the International Council on Clean Transportation. And the researchers’ data wasn’t just made available now, but more than a year and a half ago.
Perhaps more important, Volkswagen, confronted with discrepancies in data — between tests results generated in labs and those on the road — insisted to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, for as long as a year, that Volkswagen wasn’t to blame. The company said testing methodologies or inexperienced testing personnel should be questioned.
It wasn’t until much later — when the EPA denied approval for Volkswagen’s 2016 “clean diesel” cars in the United States — that VW admitted purposely cheating the system.
Volkswagen designed a subroutine — or parallel set of instructions — secretly sent by ECU to the emission controls to activate emission controls during tests. The result was that during normal use, those cars release up to 40 times the permitted amount of nitrogen oxides, according to the EPA.
EE Times has made a list of five issues related to Volkswagen or the auto industry at large that the recent scandal has exposed. Browse the next five pages to see what issues need to be addressed.