Last week Volkswagen admitted to the Environmental Protection Agency that serious issues exist with their emissions control system found onboard many of its TDI diesels, and the source of the issue is not that of the simple calibration variety. No, it appears that if everything we are reading about the investigation is true that Volkswagen error is of the intentional deceit or lying variety. The EPA discovered complex software algorithms that were factory installed designed to deliberately deceive emissions testing. Serious enough in fact that the EPA may fine Volkswagen, and could also require the automaker to recall some 480,000 vehicles, both VW and Audi models from 2008-2015. Additionally, until a fix is approved by the EPA, Volkswagen will not be able to sell any 2016 diesel models in the US. What started all of this you ask? Simply independent testing to support VW’s claim about “clean diesels”. Doubts began to mount when the independent testers began sampling daily driving tailpipe results which showed failing scores while testing at vehicle emissions stations in California produced passing results. This discrepancy lead both those engineers and the EPA to ask VW questions about the differences. And when VW’s answers didn’t satisfy the pro-diesel investigators VW basically admitted to installing “defeat devices” on the TDI diesels to help defeat emission control inspections when the software detected any emissions testing apparatus connected to the car. California is weighing its options about how to deal with VW over the emission violations, and the Justice Department may open a criminal investigation into the matter. For its part Volkswagen stated that they will cooperate fully, and have instructed dealerships to halt the sale of some 2015 diesel equipped models. Maybe a case of too little too late as Volkswagen shares took a 20% hit on the seemingly endless amount bad PR as it unfolds in the US and Germany. Some analysts have downgraded VW from “Buy” to “Hold”. Jalopnik did a piece on what it might mean to the driving community that you can read HERE. Now, my own struggles with VW. This wasn’t my initial issue concerning the TDI JSW, but isn’t it interesting that VW performed a software “upgrade” on my diesel when it was in the Ohio VW dealership back in July. Wonder if that was related to the “defeat device”. Come to find out it was, or at least to make the cheating TDI run a little cleaner.
Volkswagen may have “a case of the Mondays” in the US for the foreseeable future with everything related to TDI coming up bad for them. Volkswagen TDI clean diesel kann in den USA sterben? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing for certain it’s too soon to say what the long term consequences will be. One thing we do know, it’s not looking good for VW or anyone out there who wanted to love “clean diesels”. Thanks Volkswagen for taking that from me!