IN THE NEWS: VW Cheats on the EPA Test – Cool or No?
So if you haven’t already read it on Jalopnik, VW just got busted by the Environmental Protection Agency today for programming software in the ECM of nearly half a million TDI diesel models from 2009 to 2015 specifically to cheat emissions testing when on a dyno! Specifically, VW designed a “switch” in the vehicle computer to sense whether the car was on the EPA’s dyno using inputs including steering wheel position, vehicle speed, duration of engine operation and barometric pressure—inputs that the EPA controls when they do their certification testing. The result is a passing grade while off the dyno emitting NOx (generic term for nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) levels 10 to 40 times higher than the allowable limit by the EPA depending on the driving condition. VW’s got some serious clankers pulling a move like that! And they would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids at West Virginia University who first noticed the anomaly.
Of course it’s totally bad for the Germans to be killing us all with poisonous gas, but at the same time I’m kinda impressed they gave EPA the finger like that. Why’d they do it? Perhaps to avoid having to put urea injection on those TDI’s? Urea injection is used on many modern diesels solely to reduce NOx levels in vehicle emissions. Injecting urea into hot exhaust gas releases ammonia which dance together in the catalytic converter, make science and come out the other end as friendly nitrogen and water. Early speculation estimates this could cost the company 18 BILLION DOLLARS to fix! Dividing that money by the nearly 500,000 vehicles affected pencils out to about $36,000 per car! Are they suggesting VW may have to buy back all those cars? Will they mail us a new Golf to replace Project Golf TDI?