How they can deceive manufacturers with approved consumption? The Volkswagen case in the United States and Device Defeat

This weekend we sobresaltábamos with a story draft. Volkswagen was accused of falsifying the approval of its diesel in the United States. And although the situation has yet to be clarified, and the investigation is still ongoing, the apologies of Dr. Martin Winterkorn (see communiqué), and discontinuation of sales of 2.0 TDI in the United States, we They lead directly to think that there has been malpractice in effect. To make matters worse, the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States (the EPA ) ensures that Volkswagen has admitted his guilt. The technique used Volkswagen would be that of defeat device . But what is actually a defeat device and how you can manipulate the results of a test of approval?

Volkswagen have used a device that detects that your car is in full evidence of approval, and act accordingly to modify their performance and offer more favorable figures on greenhouse gas emissions. Something that will not happen in real life.

The defeat device is a device, simplifying a lot, is able to detect that the car is going through an approval process and adapts the engine performance to achieve very favorable emissions figures gas pollutants, or consumption . That means that their numbers in real conditions will be very different. According to EPA , in their research they would have discovered that the NOx emitted by four-cylinder diesel marketed in the US by Volkswagen would be 40 times higher than those analyzed in their approval tests.

According to EPA (see his statement), diesel Volkswagen would use a very specific algorithm that is responsible for adapting the performance of their engines to detect a series of standardized processes that drive interpreted as evidence of approval .


The use of defeat device may not have been never discovered if our software was fully armored cars, as claimed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Say is a very handy trick, but also a flagrant violation of regulatory approval. While hard to believe, let that Volkswagen has used a trick like this, on the other hand can be detected using different techniques, and can have very serious consequences for the brand across the Atlantic. Those in charge of uncovering the matter would have been researchers at West Virginia University. And as you pointed out my partner Sergio yesterday, you may never have been discovered to have moved forward some of the proposals that aim to protect access to the software of our cars by copyright.

How to detect EPA that a manufacturer has used a defeat device ? The EPA has planned a series of provisions ( see protocol banning defeat devices ), as the detection of abnormal temperatures in cold start, they can invite the manufacturer to inquire about a possible use of an illegal, or even accuse them and punish them for this device without further provisions. Why in the cold start? Precisely because it is a critical time when emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO, rise greatly. If an engine can detect which is being tested on a test cycle, you can adjust your performance at that moment, cold, emissions are attenuated significantly.

The case of Volkswagen would not have been discovered using this technique, but given the suspicions of researchers at West Virginia University, who decided to go further and uncovered the existence of such an algorithm.

volkswagen-golf-variant-gtd-alltrack-280415-001 Currently, in Europe we need not worry. Nothing to invite us to think they have used similar techniques in our continent . Beyond punishable tricks like this, manufacturers use techniques savings and emissions reductions that are not always (say they rarely respond to) the reality of driving their customers. For example, tread lightly on the scale of developments in their gearboxes to adapt to NEDC can significantly reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Although I am convinced that none of our readers moves daily nailing 15 km / h, 35 km / h, 50 km / h, 70 km / h in fifth, and 50 km / h in fourth, in which are analyzed consumption of a car. In this case, do not talk about criticism, or punishable techniques, but we must ask, once again, a cycle of more just and approval – especially -. Realistic

The case of Volkswagen in America is worrisome . They could have been falsified approvals brand diesel 482,000 sold since 2008, including Jetta, Beetle, Golf, Passat and Audi A3 models. The EPA ensures that Volkswagen has acknowledged his guilt and the presence of this device. Dr. Martin Winterkorn apologizes and announces that they have sought external to initiate a thorough investigation into the matter. And although still have to wait to see what conclusions presented, with this series of statements we find it hard to presume his innocence.

In motor:

The US EPA accuses Volkswagen of anti-pollution falsify the test half a million cars

Demystifying European approval cycle (NEDC)

See the complete gallery motor

Leave a Comment