GM's Dieselgate: mechanics privately admit update removes crimeware from Opel cars

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The next step would be to find how the update affects the car’s performance.

I assume the change must be significant or the cheating would not have been done. But how much do drivers notice or care?


If the change is significant, I can see people flashing one firmware for the paperwork check, and then flashing the other one for actual driving.


the future: bricked brick trucks


It can’t be that difficult when even car mechanics can do it.


I wouldn’t assume that. It might just be GM doesn’t want their cars sucking down a ton of DEF, of course it really should be proportionate to every other car when adjusted for power and fuel economy.

Granted it’s easy if you have access to a GM Tech Tool…


It’s a Vauxhall Zafira. It doesn’t have any.


“even” car mechanics? Our local main dealer is currently advertising for electronics technicians, and the person who sold me my last car told me he was hoping to get a place on the in-house technician training scheme because the opportunities were so good.


Is it a GM defeat device like in the VWs or is it the lax European testing regime? Do the GM cars perform differently in the test scenario than they do in everyday driving?

Drivers perhaps not so much, but car reviewers are obsessed with statistics, and a lot of people take their buying decisions from the statements of the neighbourhood car nut, who probably has spreadsheets.

In the UK, a remarkable number of cars seem to have fuel consumption just below the maximum for the annual tax band. I mean here how the limit is, say, 121g C/km and the official test figure is 119 or 120. It’s reasonable to guess that the power/emissions are being tweaked to get that test result. One of my cars has a slight flat spot between 50 and 60 which mysteriously disappears if S mode is selected - the test is run in E(co) mode.


Testing is the achilles heel of any emissions controls. Cap and trade is surely motivating defeat devices on a much bigger scale for industrial smokestacks.


Bye bye, humanity on Planet Earth. Good job on fucking it up and better get started digging that concrete bunker.


Late Stage Capitalism


Smokestacks are a lot harder to cheat on because they are presumably tested during normal operation - you can’t have code that detects testing and modifies behaviour autonomously.

The real Achilles heel of any regulation is that governments are too deep in the pockets of large companies and give too much deference to them. Compliance with any kind of regulation is mostly voluntary. Part of the solution is coming down very hard on people who are found to be cheating, part is actually protecting (and even rewarding) whistleblowers, and part is governments actually acting on their duty to people over corporations (in all areas) so that corporations don’t think they’ll get a free pass.

But also a big part of it is not allowing companies to shield technology from inspectors on the basis that it is proprietary. Sure, you can keep your trade secrets from your competitors, but not from the people doing the testing.


You pretty much covered the boingboing activism canon there!

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If laser sensors are used for remote readout, there’s a theoretical chance of detecting scattered laser light and activate some sort of countermeasures…

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I’m sure I missed something. I mean, the real solution is to be a culture where people care about the environment enough to modify their behaviour to help it. I can’t even imagine how to get from here to there.


Given the importance of VW, Daimler and BMW (not to mention Ford and GM) to the German economy, it isn’t surprising.

This. You’d need a fucking JATO to improve a Zafira’s performance. Not that anyone who owns a Zafira would countenance approaching the upper boundaries of the speed limit anyway. Doing 45mph in the passing lane on the motorway? Yes. All day, every day. Doing 70? Noooooo.


But caring about the state of the planet that enables your existence is lame hippie nonsense!

I’m a cool savvy capitalist, what can I do?

Invest in enabling technologies for the green revolution and wait to become extremely rich.

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