back to article More VW cheatware 'found'

US watchdogs have found three pieces of so-called emissions cheatware in Volkswagen's three-liter diesel engines, according to German Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag. The dodgy code, we're told, lifts limits on engine output after 22 minutes of operation – that's rather convenient because air pollution tests by regulators last …

  1. Sebastian A

    Time to pick up some cheap VW shares in the next few days?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Maybe not. People thought that last time, but now there's this new transgression. You'd be taking a bet that this is the last bit of dodgy design lurking in VW's portfolio...

  2. Frank N. Stein

    Too bad those Diesels aren't very popular here in the US. But then, I don't need a car that can't pass emissions...

    1. James O'Shea

      It will pass the test. That's the problem. It'll pass the test and two minutes later start polluting heavily.

    2. dan1980

      I think you'll find the problem is that the cars do pass emissions. Rather a lot of emissions, it seems . . .

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not expert on the US emissions test regime (it's different in different states I believe?)


    In the UK, it's a requirement that the engine be at 'operating temperature' so any emissions test cheat software that relied on a timer would be of little use as the engine should have been running long enough to take it from cold to thermostat open or an oil temperature of (I think) 80 degrees C.

    That of course is a variable amount of time.

    I would think it's unlikely that the US (where BAR90 was introduced and mandated the engine oil be tested) has lower requirements.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I read it as from "start-up" (i.e. key start). Most emissions tests I've been through in 4 states over the years have you turn off the engine until the test equipment is connected. Then again, State test only take a few minutes. Maybe this is the EPA test that's 20 minutes long?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ah, possibly, yes.

        Could just be written to pass government certification to allow it to be sold instead of regular emissions testing, I suspect I have grasped the wrong end of the stick and assumed it was for regular post sale testing.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      I think the software is a little more nifty than just relying on a timer... I'm pretty sure whoever wrote the software first took a good look at the regulations he wanted to cheat.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That of course is a variable amount of time"

      A car that knows the time, and the temperature wouldn't struggle with this. Once up to temperature, timer resets to 0:00.. then the 20 minutes start?

  4. Oengus Silver badge

    Tip of the iceberg

    I am sure that it was predicted that there would be more of this discovered. As the greenies get more control and continue to tighten emission standards the manufacturers will need to find new ways to "meet" them. The only way to do this and give the customers the performance they demand is to "use" the system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Give drivers a Blunt Machete experience to remember.

      'give Customer's the performance they demand'

      In the UK, we now a proliferation of new 24/7 Hadecs 3 'Safety' (Speed) Cameras - one camera covering all 4 lanes acting as a 'Blunt Machete' at all times, scalping the heads of the 'unaware driver' if they even decide to even do 5 miles an hour above the speed of the normal traffic on our Motorways, which sits around 75-76mph when its free flowing (which isn't often, so someone decided that if it ever is, would be a good way of making £100)

      Its seems the power's that be have decided that given we can't stop real blunt machetes been used by crazed people, or lorry drivers playing iPads at the wheel or driving over people.

      The next best thing to keep us 'safe' is to spend vast amounts of time and resources building a network of camera systems (paid for by £100 fines), to fuck off every high mileage driver in the UK by getting them to waste the few hours they do have free between work, doing shitty paperwork, attending a course listening to a monotone blurb on the dangers of this extra 5 mile per hour, that hasn't yet done me any harm in 25 years of driving, upto now.

      You have to listen to this blurb, thinking - if they actually want drivers to drive at 70mph past the Hadecs 3 camera, they could actually turn on the Gantry sign to show the 70mph National speed limit, or paint the Gantry Bright Yellow or the Camera yellow - but no, that too much fucking effort for the Highways Agency, better to use the Blunt Machete method, send a ticket for your lapse in judgement at this crucial 'Motorway Blackspot', your speed lapse been seen as an absolute danger every minute of the day.

      Add to the fact, they are to tiny (show box sized) and painted grey (even the few that are painted yellow, aren't exactly visible from a distance).

      Now if there wasn't the incentive to make a £100 a pop to pay for all this head scalping, they would (of course) still be doing this for my 'safety', because I need to aware of what it feels like to be attacked by a blunt machete, when I'm driving normal traffic speeds.

      1. energystar

        Re: Give drivers a Blunt Machete experience to remember.

        This is uncivilized behavior. At a near highway there is a luminary over each track saying: "You're X km over the speed limit". Is up to you to slow down. The penalty camera is hidden some hm|km beyond the luminary.

  5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge


    The EPA is the agency that created a massive mine spill in Colorado recently and only has just recently allowed some of their miscreants to even have a whiff of criminal charges.

  6. energystar

    If They don't say 'Ouch!' Then We don't say 'Sorry!'

    Wouldn't be the true masters, at this kind of games... </impersonation>

  7. David Roberts

    Seems about right for the UK

    Most journeys for these vehicles - yummy mummies carting their precious offspring around in these "Chelsea Tractors" to and from school - will be under 20 minutes of urban driving.

    Longer trips on out of town roads are inherently less polluting. The worst pollution comes from cars on short journeys with the engine not up to operating temperature.

    So it seems a pretty good strategy; just needs to detect stop/start driving and revert to eco mode and job done!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cars, IoT, Smart TV, Android spyware, Windows-10...

    Saving a lot of money right now by not buying any of the above sh1t....

    Not that that will change a single executive's mind at corporate HQ.

    Expect this to get far worse, beyond emissions and car hacking etc.

    Corporations no longer listen to consumers, just industry spin-heads!

  9. nijam

    There's not enough detail in this El Reg article to imply that this is actually a cheat. It's already well-understood that the engine management system needs to know when it's under test (at least the idiotic rolling road tests that government agencies use). It's definitely not obvious to me that VW are somehow less trustworthy than the EPA or any of their litigious associates.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If VW are needing a new Spin Doctor I think you just got the job.

      This is all about profit and fuck all about emissions. Re-develop a whole new Engine, or fudge the engine management software, we know the winner in that one, everytime.

      The idea though its only VW is the biggest con against the paying public here.

      You could pick apart a range of cars with deceptively low/similar CO2 levels, for the size of vehicle/performance charts, and I'd bet you'd find the same incriminating dirt. Its pretty obvious a deal has been done in secret with other motor manufacturers to get their house in order, and quickly.

      VW are just the headline Patsy in this scandal.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019