OT: VW accused of evading emission tests

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Submitted by no_such_reality on September 18, 2015 - 12:54pm

VW could face $18-billion fine for evading smog rules, cheating pollution tests

Wow, from 2009 to 2015, VW is accused of writing engine control software to detect and change the engine programming during emission tests in order to pass and other wise allow up to 40X regulated levels.

Quote:
The German automaker – which has admitted manipulating the cars – will eventually have to recall all of the vehicles and change the emissions systems at its own expense, regulators said. Additionally it could face a fine of about $18 billion, or $37,500 per car, federal environmental officials said.

The software trick allows the cars to emit up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution, environmental officials said.

Double wow.

I don't foresee jail time which is unfortunate, but $18 Billion for this kind for premeditated fraud seems light, barely equal to the revenue from the selling of the modified vehicles. The penalty needs to be much steeper to make any other company pause.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on September 18, 2015 - 2:47pm.

Quote:
Additionally it could face a fine of about $18 billion, or $37,500 per car, federal environmental officials said.

If they in fact end up with a fine of $37,500 per car it is enough to make any manufacturer think more than twice about doing something like this. Of course after litigation, they could end up with fines much less.

What I wonder is how did regulators find out about this? A whistle blower? If the whistle blower gets say 20-30% of the fine, that would be a pretty big paycheck for turning in your bosses.

Submitted by svelte on September 18, 2015 - 3:00pm.

XBoxBoy wrote:

What I wonder is how did regulators find out about this? A whistle blower? If the whistle blower gets say 20-30% of the fine, that would be a pretty big paycheck for turning in your bosses

Caught by university and govt testers. This article explains it:
https://www.yahoo.com/autos/volkswagen-c...

no_such_reality wrote:
I don't foresee jail time which is unfortunate, but $18 Billion for this kind for premeditated fraud seems light, barely equal to the revenue from the selling of the modified vehicles. The penalty needs to be much steeper to make any other company pause.

If the fine ends up being that amount, it would essentially mean they gave those cars to customers for free. That is a significant penalty. Whether it is enough is debatable.

Submitted by Coronita on September 18, 2015 - 8:06pm.

So much for VW clean diesel...

Submitted by Coronita on September 21, 2015 - 6:11am.

VW's market cap just took a $17billion haircut this morning. That's really too bad. Because for the longest time, I had high hopes for clean diesel.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/vw-sees-bi...

Submitted by spdrun on September 21, 2015 - 7:01am.

Maybe we need more reasonable smog standards. For what time period are the levels 40x the allowable amount emitted?

Submitted by svelte on September 21, 2015 - 11:14am.

I have to say i was always suspicious of their clean deisel claim. Even new ones seem stinkier than gas tho much better thsn old deisels.

Submitted by njtosd on September 21, 2015 - 9:23pm.

spdrun wrote:
Maybe we need more reasonable smog standards. For what time period are the levels 40x the allowable amount emitted?

If I understand the cited article correctly, the curbs on emissions only are in place when the car is getting smog checked ("dyno mode"). In "road mode" there are no emissions controls in effect. Here is a quote:

"That [software] switch had two modes, which VW calls “road calibration” and “dyno calibration.” Only in “dyno” mode, which monitored for the precise conditions EPA and other agencies would use to test emissions, do the engine’s full emission controls go into effect. At all other times, the diesels’ software uses the “road” mode."

Amazing in terms of the brashness of VW. And very disappointing.

Submitted by Coronita on September 22, 2015 - 7:09am.

I think this may be the defining moment that VW/Audi are going to be setback for decades. It's not a matter of how much pollution was really being emitted. It's all about consumer trust...It's really too bad, because for the longest time VAG was making pretty good progress coming back.

Porsche probably won't be hit, since well, there's enough loyalists to it, and plus there probably is at most one tiny percentage of the vehicles affected by this (Cayenne diesel)

Ironic that Audi's marketing line is "truth in engineering"...lol

Submitted by ltsddd on September 22, 2015 - 7:17am.

$18B is probably just the beginning. There will be lawsuits from individuals, class-action and probably even from states themselves. I am curious how California is going to react to this, especially with its strict emission controls policy.

Submitted by outtamojo on September 22, 2015 - 7:25am.

What if they employed similar software on their gasoline engines...nah they wouldn't would they?

Submitted by spdrun on September 22, 2015 - 7:35am.

I'm not sure if the VW diesels were ever California certified anyway.

Submitted by Coronita on September 22, 2015 - 7:35am.

outtamojo wrote:
What if they employed similar software on their gasoline engines...nah they wouldn't would they?

Unlikely... Tuners have been tuning VW gasoline engines for some time. I would suspect some tuner would have already discovered that a long time ago.

Submitted by outtamojo on September 22, 2015 - 12:50pm.

Apparently VW is not the first to cheat on emissions
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/volkswa...

ADRs anyone? (not yet though)

Submitted by joec on September 22, 2015 - 6:08pm.

I assume VW would do a recall for all diesels and fix/make compliant, but if putting it in the correct compliant mode makes the car run worst (read=performance), do you think owners would be given the option to "put" the car back to VW since you were cheated in the type of performance you should have gotten?

Submitted by moneymaker on September 22, 2015 - 8:25pm.

Will Mercedes be found to be complicit too? Their Sprinters are diesel and get an amazing 26 mpg,which is amazing for a van. Don't know if they claim zero emissions or not. Just remember if so called zero emissions is .0001% then 40 times that would still only be .004%,(numbers made up). When I bought my 2002 VW Jetta TDI the sticker said it polluted as much as 3 cars and the smog guys have yet to measure anything out of the exhaust pipe yet.

Submitted by no_such_reality on September 23, 2015 - 7:18am.

Quote:
In California — which has the nation's toughest emissions standards and where about 15% of Volkswagen's affected diesel vehicles were sold — the Air Resources Board and the Department of Motor Vehicles will require owners to prove they made the fix before renewing their state registration.

With 15% of the cars sold in California, I suspect there will be many unhappy people since CARB is forcing the fix before renewal.

VW has lost a 1/3rd of its market cap already due to this, half when you take its prior losses due to slowing China growth but I suspect the real stock hammering happens when the reports start hitting about perceptions of performance impacts from the Dino mode.

Submitted by spdrun on September 23, 2015 - 7:30am.

Should have bought VW ADR's yesterday. It was down 20% -- it's now up 10% over yesterday's bottom. And buying a company that has given the big FUCK YOU to US government standards makes my heart go pitty-pat.

Submitted by ocrenter on September 23, 2015 - 12:57pm.

spdrun wrote:
Should have bought VW ADR's yesterday. It was down 20% -- it's now up 10% over yesterday's bottom. And buying a company that has given the big FUCK YOU to US government standards makes my heart go pitty-pat.

Hooray to the big corporation who misled consumers?

should we be buying up Philip Morris and Coka Cola stocks too?

Submitted by Coronita on September 23, 2015 - 7:42pm.

Looks like VW might have company soon...

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/23/germa...

More German automakers may be afoul of US emission standards
BMW, Mercedes-Benz Deny That Scandal Applies To Them

Submitted by ltsddd on September 23, 2015 - 8:41pm.

Now we all know the secrets to the vaunted German engineering.

Submitted by Coronita on September 23, 2015 - 8:58pm.

ltsdd wrote:
Now we all know the secrets to the vaunted German engineering.

Well, at least the cars stop when they are suppose to, unlike Toyotas...And don't stop unexpectedly because of a cheap ignition switches, unlike some older GM cars....:)

Submitted by Hatfield on September 23, 2015 - 10:50pm.

spdrun wrote:
And buying a company that has given the big FUCK YOU to US government standards makes my heart go pitty-pat.

Seriously? Having grown up in Orange County in the 70s, I remember very well the eye-blistering smog. So thank God for the CARB, the EPA, and the Clean Air Act.

And by the way, it wasn't just US standards. They also violated European standards.

Submitted by Escoguy on September 23, 2015 - 11:46pm.

Let's just make the portfolio alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Government profits from these via taxes.

Let's search out the companies which make precursor chemicals for meth, cocaine. Oh I forgot marijuana is legal now. Not to worry, it's just a gateway drug.

Let's buy medical devices used in abortions. Oh, I forgot the government condones this.

So is it really about what the Government does or doesn't do? Or is it just who can make money which matches my beliefs rather than what is really right?

It's not about liberty, some stuff is just bad and we need to work to limit the impact and those who suffer from it.

Submitted by Coronita on September 24, 2015 - 3:58am.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bmw-shares...

Shares of German auto maker BMW (XETRA: BMW-DE) dropped sharply in mid-morning trade Thursday as a German newspaper claimed its diesel engines were "significantly" exceeding regulatory limits.

Auto Bild - a publication owned by Axel Springer - said Thursday in an exclusive report that BMW engines were emitting nitrogen oxide levels that were 11 times more than the current limit set by the European Union.

Citing road tests by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), it said that a model of the BMW X3 was emitting more poisonous gases than the Volkswagen car that is currently at the center of the emissions scandal.

"All measured data suggest that this is not a VW-specific issue," Peter Mock, the Europe Managing Director at the ICCT, told the publication.

BMW shares were 5 percent lower by a round 10:30 a.m. London time after the report was published. This came as other European auto makers were enjoying a bout of buying after several sessions of declines. Volkswagen shares were trading higher by 5.4 percent on Thursday morning.

A BMW spokesman told CNBC that there were "no specific activities or technical provisions which influence the emissions recorded during the test mode. Our exhaust treatment systems are active whether on the test bench or on the road."

Submitted by ocrenter on September 24, 2015 - 6:20am.

Hatfield wrote:
spdrun wrote:
And buying a company that has given the big FUCK YOU to US government standards makes my heart go pitty-pat.

Seriously? Having grown up in Orange County in the 70s, I remember very well the eye-blistering smog. So thank God for the CARB, the EPA, and the Clean Air Act.

And by the way, it wasn't just US standards. They also violated European standards.

Clearly they did not violate Chinese standards. No need to say FXCK YOU to Chinese government standards, which makes a lot of people's lungs go pitty-pat for a totally different reason.

Submitted by ocrenter on September 24, 2015 - 6:48am.

no worries about emissions:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/ne...

Submitted by ltsddd on September 24, 2015 - 7:31am.

ocrenter wrote:
Hatfield wrote:
spdrun wrote:
And buying a company that has given the big FUCK YOU to US government standards makes my heart go pitty-pat.

Seriously? Having grown up in Orange County in the 70s, I remember very well the eye-blistering smog. So thank God for the CARB, the EPA, and the Clean Air Act.

And by the way, it wasn't just US standards. They also violated European standards.

Clearly they did not violate Chinese standards. No need to say FXCK YOU to Chinese government standards, which makes a lot of people's lungs go pitty-pat for a totally different reason.

Years from now, when historians study this period of "growth" in China they'll realize that it's more or less a Great Leap BACKWARD part 2. Seems like they have learned nothing from that disastrous great leap forward in the '50s that essentially set the country back to the confucius era.

Submitted by spdrun on September 24, 2015 - 8:03am.

Well clearly, VW diesels emit less CO2 and cause more smog. They prevent anthropogenic global warming by making less CO2 and by getting rid of some of the anthropo... that cause global warming. Win-win :) Clearly.

Environmentalists should be all for this!

As far as other stocks, wouldn't buy tobacco or firearms, but I don't have a moral problem with alcohol or marijuana. Alcohol is just another form of beverage, doesn't have to be abused. Marijuana, if ingested, is extremely safe.

Submitted by Coronita on September 24, 2015 - 8:58am.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/volkswagen...

Good. Maybe with the Porsche CEO at the helm of VAG, we can get some better cars out of VAG now outside of the Porsche division

Submitted by bobby on September 24, 2015 - 1:02pm.

but right now US gov is telling VW to bend over (and hold the lube)...

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