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Diesel emissions scandal goes on...

Discussion in 'Mopar News and Rumors' started by Dave Z, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave Staff Member Supporter

    Emissions scandal gets legs

    Of note:

    SM is denying that the company had a cheat device; so is the EPA. That's not the issue.

    States and other agencies are now involved, so the proposed deletion of the EPA won’t make a difference (one bill at committee removes the agency entirely while the last budget plan I heard cuts its budget by 24%).

    Before anyone gets any ideas, my personal belief is they were rushed and cut corners and made bad decisions — no nefarious intent. However, I suspect SM also tried stretching out negotiations on the assumption that Trump would step in and solve the problem, and the EPA caught wise. Or maybe SM was not thinking that but the EPA guys assumed he would.

    Anyway, here it is.
    Robert Johnson and valiant67 like this.
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather Level III Supporter

  3. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru! Supporter

    Great article Dave. I am sure Sergio and President Trump talked about this issue a couple weeks ago. However, I am sure pressure from companies like VW getting penalized doesn't help with FCA getting away with it would help. Thus explains the DOJ look at the case. Also the programmer behind the VW software who intentionally did the program to cheat has been in a lot of trouble as well as an executive who is in jail in Detroit being held on 11 felony accounts. See for yourself..

    Judge refuses to release jailed Volkswagen executive (at )

    VW engineer from California pleads guilty to conspiracy in emissions scandal (at )
    Dave Z likes this.
  4. Robert Johnson

    Robert Johnson Member

    Nefarious? I dont think so either, but I think that after they found out about it, the issue was desperately tried to be covered up. And like almost everything, the cover up is a bigger scandal than the actual issue.
  5. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave Staff Member Supporter

    I think it wasn't as much a cover-up as self-denial. Notice how vigorous SM was when denying culpability. Remember when I first posted the story, how many virulent posts there were about it being the EPA “out of control” and going after an innocent company? Now think about what it must have been like inside FCA. (I deleted around 30 profanity laden posts suggesting everyone in the EPA be jailed/killed.)

    That’s why I don’t call it nefarious, on either side. Both sides are justified in feeling affronted.

    As far as I can tell, FCA tried to either deny any blame/culpability and/or Wait for Trump to Save Everyone. I think it’s safe to say the case would have been dropped, so that strategy was sort of right, except that there are these other things called “States” and “Canada” which operate independently. Of course they can be pressured, but FCA doesn’t have quite the pull of, say, ExxonMobil or, for that matter, Ford. For one thing, they’re kind of a foreign company, sorta, maybe, sometimes. FCA is affronted because they feel the EPA went public for no reason. The EPA went public, I suspect, because FCA stopped trying to negotiate. I can’t know this, and maybe the EPA was being totally unreasonable in their demands.

    In Europe, the case is completely different. It now appears that Italy did not fully test the 500X and possibly other cars for emissions, and the entire European Union strategy of having individual nations test their own companies, with those tests being blindly accepted, is, um, hopelessly optimistic and has never actually worked. Germany of course let VW slide — as they did Mercedes with air conditioner refrigerant, (I wonder if BMW even tried to cheat, and what else VW and Mercedes are getting away with?). The result now is that France is planning to prosecute FCA itself and the EU may either break up or face reality — the same reality the United States has faced now and then since the late 19th century, which is that local states are too small to control modern conglomerates.

    I realize I am going counterculture here, but I’m a traditional law-and-order guy for the most part. I support my local police (though not, really, my local sheriff — if you lived here you’d understand) and pay my taxes in full. If we’re going to have laws, they should apply to everyone, and if you break them, there should be some sort of consequences. If it were up to me, FCA would get a relatively minimal penalty, but reduce the emissions impact of its end-run around the control systems (which presumably can be done in firmware).
  6. CherokeeVision

    CherokeeVision Active Member

    There is a slight resemblance between Sergio and Doctor Nefario.
    M.O.D. and GasAxe like this.
  7. somber

    somber 370,000 miles Level 2 Supporter

    Is this about emissions reduction? I thought the emissions systems pass the tests, and that the upset was that FCA failed to report all of the conditions/mechanisms that caused bypass of emissions systems. Wouldn't everything have been okay had FCA just reported these things properly? Maybe I've missed something here.
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather Level III Supporter

    As I understand it, if FCA had properly reported all the bypasses, the system may have been accepted as is. Or the EPA could have said the bypass was used too often which would probably be just software updates since the hardware (EGR and urea are there).
    somber likes this.
  9. Muther

    Muther Active Member

    Yes, if FCA had reported everything, it would all have been OK. At that point, maybe the FCA woulda signed off in all everything, maybe not, and maybe FCA woulda gone back, made changes, and re-tested/submitted.

    To me, it honestly sounds like cost control measures gone a bit too far, as in the feet dragging on recalls and replacement parts.
    jerseyjoe, freshforged and somber like this.
  10. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather Level III Supporter

    Yes, it sounds like negligence, not an intent to cheat. But in the end they broke the rules.
  11. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave Staff Member Supporter

    Yes in both cases, I think.

    The issue is that some bypasses are OK, but too many and you're basically cheating. It comes down to “I know it when I see it” and it’s the alternative to 1,600 pages of regulations.

    What would probably be the best, but most expensive, thing would be to have a use-based test regimen that put a vehicle through its paces in hot, cold, city, highway, etc usage — sitting in traffic, towing up the Rockies. It would only cost a hundred times as much to test!

    The discussions for remediation, I suspect, centered around just how much to bypass the systems. It is probably software only, still.

    It could just be reporting, but I agree with Muther and valiant67. Maybe if everything had been reported, it would have been accepted “as is,” but now we’ve had all these VW scandals... and definitely, if everything had been reported, there wouldn’t have been all these expensive subpoenas and requests for information and negotiations and such.

    Which has always been my point of view, too.

    And I would agree on that — or it’s tired people trying to do too much in too little time, which I think was Larry V’s take on quality.
    somber likes this.
  12. MJAB

    MJAB Active Member

    The part in bold is not true, the inexact allegation by some media (usually journalist report what is said to them). The fact is some italian politics some months ago made public the partial provisional study commissioned by italian transport ministry (mid 2016).
    Some cars were already tested, some others were being tested.

    It seems also that for some vehicles, not asked by ministry, some of the research centers made additional tests on the vehicles for their research activity purposes.

    What, for example, I don't see in the media is that italian justice took seven of VW cars being tested and is making tests on that vehicles after being updated with new approved software (the one approved by german authority KBA).

    Here is the text of minister audition (in italian).

    Audizione del Ministro Delrio su emissioni inquinanti | mit (at )
    There is also a reply to the "KBA says that there is a timer that disactive EGR after 22 minutes".

    "... Inoltre, la strategia di controllo delle emissioni adottata da FCA non prevede lo “spegnimento” del sistema EGR decorsi 22 minuti di funzionamento del motore, come asserito dal KBA, bensì la sua modulazione necessaria ai fini di protezione del motore contro i rischi di danneggiamento, ciò in piena compatibilità con l’art. 5.2 del regolamento 715/2007/CE. Ciò è stato dimostrato poiché provando il veicolo con EGR spento, si registra un eccesso di emissioni di NOx pari a 13 volte il limite ammesso, valore mai raggiunto provando il veicolo nelle normali condizioni. ..."

    Was made a test with EGR disabled by technitian and emissions were 13 times higher, than retested with the EGR normally connected and software working and the results were never 13 times higher.

    A note about some WV group vehicles.
    The test showed that emissions in laboratory homologation tests were different from the same test made on road.
    What is interesting is that were not only the german authorities that didn't found the cheat device used by VW group, but also UK and Spain (Skoda Yeti homologation was made in UK and the one for Seat Ibiza in Spain).
    somber likes this.
  13. GasAxe

    GasAxe Active Member

    That explains the problems with the Dart...
  14. FGA cheerleader

    FGA cheerleader Member

    No. That's not true.I hope that we all know how are tests run in EU. What France is trying is proving that FCA diesels are violating tests outside of that. But we do not have such regulation which could forbid that and that will be regulated in the future. But France is not only against FCA but also against Renault and possibly PSA.
  15. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave Staff Member Supporter

    So it was mis-reported, as MJAB wrote?

    If the problem is the rules, blaming Fiat/Italy for that, seems to be a way to try to promote French automakers... like Germany making a fuss seems like a way to divert attention from VW.