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A tale of emissions, omissions, and betrayal

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Sep 20, 2015

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn

On September 18, 2015, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, together with the California Air Resources Board, accused Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen America of using software that circumvents emissions requirements on four-cylinder diesel cars sold from 2009-2015. The software is said to detect when the car is hooked up to emissions testing equipment, changing the management system to specifically pass the test, but allows the car to pollute up to 40 times the permissible limit during normal operation. Volkswagen has acknowledged that it has breached of trust of the government regulators and the public. Editor Doug Stokes comments. Single-handedly, Volkswagen-Audi has betrayed, embarrassed, and set back the cause of truly clean diesel power by, what?, 40 times? Yeah, if the EPA is right on their numbers, some half a million diesel-powered late model Volkswagens and Audis, sold here and heavily-advertised as “clean”, are (because of tricks knowingly, purposely built into the electronic engine control systems) emitting as much as 40 times the amount of pollution that they were certified as putting out. FORTY TIMES. So “Truth in Engineering” is now obsolete. All of the progress made in all compression ignition engines over the last couple of decades is now suspect. All the work with clean diesel done by all the other automotive companies (who did not jigger the works like Volkswagen-Audi) will be suspect with 500,000 witnesses after the fact. “The slogan that the Audi-side of the mega company trumpeted with their world-conquering racing sports cars now seems like a come-on at best and, at worst, a bald-faced lie. Cheating, and lying to consumers by enlisting the software in their cars to lie and cheat for them. FRANKFURT/HAMBURG (Reuters) - September 20, 2015: Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation after U.S. regulators found software the carmaker designed for diesel cars gave false emissions data, its CEO said on Sunday, adding he was "deeply sorry" for the violation of U.S. rules. "I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public," Martin Winterkorn said in a statement published by the carmaker on Sunday. "Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday the software deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions, adding Volkswagen could face fines of up to $18 billion as a result. "We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law," Winterkorn said, adding the company was fully cooperating with the relevant agencies. “Deeply sorry?” If I may be allowed Herr Winterkorn: You damn well should be! Shame (hopefully you understand the word) on you, sir! Of course, the fines will be staggering, the recall numbers huge, and the class action suits sensational. My guess is that a number of very environmentally-committed owners have already today parked their diesel-powered VWs and Audis on the front driveway of their local dealers, and dropped their car keys through the mail slot with instructions as to where to put them. The damage to the cause of clean diesel is huge, and collaterally, Volkswagen-Audi’s total creditability as an honest, reliable, and believable automotive company has taken a terrible body blow. Sure, they’ll recover, but the real question, in this tech-electronic-savvy world, is “What (the hell) were they thinking?” We’ve given favorable reviews to diesel-powered Volkswagen and Audi products in the recent past. We must now make it very clear that the performance and emission information that was published with those reviews is suspect and subject to new EPA verification. - Doug Stokes, Editor Statement by the Environmental Protection Agency Statement by Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn Got something to say? Add your Facebook comment regarding this article here.

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