Bank fraud and Dieselgate: how do we design regulations that are harder to cheat?

Tim Harford points out that Dieselgate -- when VW designed cars that tried to guess when they were undergoing emissions test and dial back their pollution -- wasn't the first time an industry designed its products to cheat when regulators were looking; the big banks did the same thing to beat the "stress tests" that finance regulators used to check whether they would collapse during economic downturns (the banks "made very specific, narrow bets designed to pay off gloriously in specific stress-test scenarios" so that they looked like they'd do better than they actually would). Read the rest

Indicted Dieselgate VW execs advised not to leave Germany, lest they be extradited to the USA

The five Volkswagen executives who were criminally charged in the USA for their role in the Dieselgate scandal have been advised not to travel to the USA because they are liable to arrest there: they've also been told that leaving Germany is risky because they might be arrested and extradited to the USA. Read the rest

DoJ indicts six VW executives in total for Dieselgate fraud

It's not just regulatory compliance exec Oliver Schmidt -- arrested last week -- who faces personal criminal repercussions for his role in the Dieselgate scandal: five more VW execs have been indicted and face criminal charges, including the former head of VW R&D, the head of engine development, an engine development supervisor, and another regulatory compliance liason. Read the rest

Chrysler's Dieselgate: 100,000 Chrysler trucks said to have emissions "defeat devices"

The EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) say that since 2014, Chrysler shipped 104,000 trucks with "defeat devices" designed to cheat emissions tests -- like VW's cheating, this software was designed to produce low NOx ratings when the trucks were undergoing emissions tests, but to ramp up NOx emissions during normal road use, trading emissions for fuel-efficiency. Read the rest

FBI arrest the VW executive who stonewalled on the first Dieselgate reports for defrauding the US Government

Oliver Schmidt led Volkswagen regulatory compliance office from 2014 to Mar 2015, and it was he who issued statements dismissing the initial West Virginia University reports of cheating in the emissions control systems of the company's cars, lying to US regulators and insisting that the systems were merely buggy, and not deliberately designed to get around emissions testing; after the company admitted to the fraud, he appeared before the British Parliament and insisted that the fraud didn't violate EU law. Read the rest

London Mayor sends VW a £2.5m bill for Dieselgate cheaters' Congestion Charges

Drivers in London have to pay a daily "congestion charge" intended to encourage the use of public transit and bicycles, but low-emission vehicles are exempt, and so for years, drivers of VW diesels got free rides thanks to the company's fraudulent claims about their cars' pollution. Read the rest

How Audi cheated emissions tests: if (steering) then (pollute)

A report in BILD am Sonntag claims that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has uncovered the secret test that Audis were programmed to perform to determine whether to pollute like crazy or to pretend that they were low-polluting, legally compliant vehicles. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

Dieselgate for GPUs: review-units ship at higher clockspeeds than retail ones

Techpowerup caught hardware giants MSI and Asus shipping them graphics cards that were preset for a software-based overlock mode, meaning that the cards performed better out of the box for reviewers than they would for customers. Read the rest

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

An internal Volkswagen corporate PowerPoint presentation from 2006 outlined how to trick emissions tests -- and the result of that plan to cheat environmental protections, governments, and the people who bought and drove those cars is now known as “Dieselgate.”

Read the rest

Mitsubishi's dieselgate: cheating since 1991

Mitsubishi has admitted that it cheated on emissions standards tests for a quarter of a century, and it admits that this affected 600,000 cars, but the company says that the cheating cars were only sold to Japanese people. Read the rest

VW offers to buy back 500K demon-haunted diesels

Reuters reports that VW is about to tell the federal judge in San Francisco in charge of its case that it will offer to buy back nearly half a million of its diesel vehicles from owners who were deceived about the cars' emission standards and performance when the company engineered its cars so that they would act daemonically, performing differently based on whether they were being tested or not. Read the rest

Volkswagen's internal Dieselgate probe stuck because the company used code-words for its cheat software

The internal Volkswagen investigators who are trying to figure out who knew what, when, about the company's illegal, lethal practice of programming its cars to cheat on emissions tests say they've been slowed down because the company assigned dozens of secret code-names to the software, such as "acoustic software." Read the rest

Leaked memos suggest Volkswagen's CEO knew about diesel cheating in 2014

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag received leaked internal Volkswagen memos and emails that suggest that then-CEO Martin Winterkorn and his executive team were informed in 2014 of the lethal Dieselgate scam the company had perpetrated, and decided to stall and obfuscate to avoid penalties for emitting titanic amounts of the toxic NOX. Read the rest

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

Luc Pauwels from Belgium's VRT News took his Vauxhall (GM) Opel Astra in for service, and a mechanic there disclosed that Vauxhall had asked him to flash the firmware of any diesel Opel Zafira to remove a defeat-device that caused it to emit 500% of the legal NOx limit -- an order that came down right after the Dieselgate scandal broke.

Read the rest

Dieselgate: an analysis of VW's cheating firmware

Daniel Lange and Felix "tmbinc" Domke bought some of Volkswagen's cheating Engine Control Units on Ebay and extracted and decompiled the software in them to learn exactly how the cheating took place. Read the rest

It's not just NOₓ. Now Volkswagen says 800K of its cars have false CO2 levels, too

Germany's Volkswagen is already in a whole heap of global trouble after the car maker was caught cheating on U.S. tests for nitrogen oxide emissions. Then, we learned “Dieselgate” also involved VW subsidiary brands Audi and Porsche.

Now it gets worse. Today VW announced that an internal investigation has revealed "unexplained inconsistencies" in the carbon dioxide emissions from some 800,000 vehicles.

Volkswagen logo is seen at a power plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

From AP:

The company warned Tuesday it estimated the possible "economic risks at approximately 2 billion euros" due to the new problem.

It did not identify which vehicles were affected, but said the flaw in no way compromised the safety of any of the vehicles.

The statement says the company will "will endeavor to clarify the further course of action as quickly as possible and ensure the correct CO2 classification for the vehicles affected" with the responsible authorities.

"VW's top management will immediately start a dialogue with responsible authorities regarding the consequences of these findings," a VW spokesperson said. Read the rest

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