Return of Dieselgate: 3 more hidden programs found in VW Audi/Porsche firmware

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag says that US investigators have discovered three more hidden cheat apps in a Volkswagen product line: these ones were discovered in 3-liter Audi diesels.

Volkswagen has already agreed to pay a $15B fine, the largest in US history, to settle claims relating to the cheat software on its 2L vehicles that allowed them to trick regulators into thinking that they were much lower-emission than they would be under road conditions.

There are 85,000 3.0L VW Audis on America's roads, and there's a hearing about them scheduled for tomorrow. The Bild story suggests that US regulators are going to drop a bombshell on VW -- the revelation that the company had cheated even worse with the bigger engines in its luxury cars, and that they had not come clean about it.

VW still faces criminal charges in many territories.

U.S. authorities have found three unapproved software programs in 3.0 liter diesel engines made by Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) Audi (NSUG.DE) unit, German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported, without saying where it had obtained the information.

The software allowed the turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engines used in Audi's Q7, Porsche's Cayenne and VW's Touareg models to shut down emissions control systems after about 22 minutes, the paper said. Official methods to measure emissions usually last about 20 minutes, it added.

U.S. finds unapproved emissions software in VW Audi engines: Bild am Sonntag [Christoph Steitz, Till Weber and David Shepardson/Reuters]

(via /.)

(Image: 2008-2010 Porsche Cayenne S, public domain)

Notable Replies

  1. Gonna be a car company for sale cheap soon.

  2. You have to admit VW's commitment. They put some work in to cheating. You don't see American companies putting that kind of engineering labor in to avoiding that kind of engineering labor. No wonder we can't beat them!

  3. Hear hear. It's an epidemic that I like to call the "scandal-gate-pocalypse"!

  4. Don't start. The scandal-gate-pocalypse-mageddon will be on your head.

  5. I've never understood why anyone expects computerized devices to not be full of cheats, backdoors, general sloppiness, and rank incompetence when it's considered normal for the code (the engineering product) to be a trade secret.

    I'm a software engineer, and I've never even heard of a place where the secrecy behind the software wasn't used as a way to hide incompetence, sloppy testing, and security problems by management. And that's without people actively trying to be evil.

    None of this is going to get better unless open source software, including the tests and verifiable engineering assets, becomes a requirement. Note that this has no affect on copyrights or other ip issues, just trade secrets.

    But obviously, that's never going to happen, so uh... Good luck with self driving cars?

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