Dieselgate: A Volkswagen PowerPoint from 2006 outlined how to cheat U.S. emissions tests


#1

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#2

This ‘rogue engineer’ must have been one of VW’s most productive employees to fit more covert malfeasance into the workday than most people manage to fit actual work into their year. Someone of varied talents, as well.


#3

He even went as far as to conduct meetings with himself, complete with PP presentations and catering (I bet).


#4

And of course at best we’ll fine these car companies and put the money towards god knows what while the stock plummets – which will only hurt retirement funds and the employees who get laid off.

We definitely won’t throw the rich fucks in jail who green lit this within the companies.


#5

I at the point now that I won’t be surprised if these “rogue engineers” made up a special t-shirt about their cheat.


#6

See, this is what happens when hackers get in. They steal company secrets and then blab to the media. Where are all those people who wanted Snowden drawn and quartered?


#7

As an engineer, sometimes you have hardware problems, sometimes you have software problems… Sometimes you have problems that could be fixed either in hardware OR software. Software fixes are usually easier… :slight_smile:

If a flesh&blood human did something like this they’d be fined and put in prison for several years. In the good ol’ U. S. of A., since corporations are people, I’d like to see a change where we select from the corporate President/CEO and Board of Directors, as the legal representatives of the corporation, and mete out prison time directly to them. (As well as anyone else who is obviously involved). Make them earn their bloated salaries and stock dividends. Yeah, it could get messy, determining fault and such, but our legal system is already pretty messy, and this could make for some entertaining coverage.

A system like that might even put the fear of retribution into the corporate psyche, and we might see fewer shenannigans in the future…

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?


#8

Not to excuse VW’s malfeasance at all, but how come whoever designed such unrealistic testing conditions gets a pass? VWs didn’t literally detect that they were being tested and change their program in response, they responded in a particular way to a pattern that only a (poorly designed) test regimen would realistically follow. A human being improbably driving the same way a test does would get the same results.

If a server gets pwned because it allowed “root/swordfish” logins, that doesn’t excuse the hacker who takes advantage of it, but holding the hacker responsible doesn’t absolve the sysadmin of incompetence.


#9

Presumably the test was designed for fairness, not security? They definitely didn’t consider that cars’ computers might cheat this way. Now the question is whether they’ll change the testing procedures to be more representative of actual driving.


#10

This is beyond the pale. Not only did they deliberately set out to cheat these tests—they used PowerPoint!?


#11

I agree with the sentiment but how would you change the test to avoid algorithmic detection? The problem, as Vert, noted is the test has to be consistent and fair. You can’t randomize much. How can you manipulate the steering much while on a straight ‘rolling road’ test roller?

You could bypass some ECU functions, like having a piggyback ECU (e.g. Power Commander and the like), but every car can be different. We can’t expect testing stations to have ‘golden ECU’ mods for every car.

I think it is a practical impossibility to make a repeating emissions test for every car produced that could not be gamed. On the other hand, it would not be impossible to have an independent agency vet every new car model by taking a single (random) production example and running it through a test wringer that includes on-road testing and such. That would be a small hit to the total cost of producing a new model.


#12

Has anyone found a link to the actual presentation?


#13

Why not punish the whole company. If it’s, say, a five year prison term, they can’t sell anything in the US for five years.


#14

Does anyone know if VW has aired any commercials that acknowledge this scandal in any way whatsoever? Perhaps saying “We ----ed up. We’re sorry.”??


#15

you could calculate the restriction based on how much they exceeded the standard.

If a car emits 40 times the permissible standard-- then that car can’t be sold for 40 years.


#16


#17

As Zachstronaut alluded to, the rank and file workers had nothing to do with these decisions, and they’re the ones who would be punished in a move like that. They’d be out of jobs, stuck with mortgages, bills and such while the executives who actually made the decisions could probably survive lifetimes on the salaries and bonuses they’ve accrued over the years.

Sending the message to executives that your multi-million compensation package also comes with responsibilities and real consequences might change some attitudes. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not, but I’d rather see something like this than punishing the folks on the assembly lines for something that had no voice in.


#18

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