Volkswagen Software Rigs Emissions Test

Volkswagen Software Rigs Emissions Test

Sep 24

Volkswagen has a stellar reputation for offering some of the fastest, environmentally conscious, and fun cars to drive. Recently it was discovered that the reason behind the above-satisfactory gas mileage and power within the cars was due to the company deviously skirting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on nitrogen oxide emissions. The EPA discovered that Volkswagen had installed software that lowered the emission levels of their diesel passenger vehicles only during emissions testing. During normal use, the diesel vehicles would emit 10 to 40 times more emissions than legally regulated, according to The Driscoll Firm website.

While only about 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. are affected by this software, as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide carry the “defeat device.” On September 22, the company agreed to set aside about $7.27 billion, almost half a year’s earnings, in order to fund software installations to replace the corrupt software.

Software in vehicles often exceeds 20 million lines of code, more than some airplanes according the The Wall Street Journal. This code is what is capable of controlling emissions of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, both of which are emitted from burning diesel fuel. Nitrogen oxide contributes to smog and ground-level ozone which can cause a number of health problems in humans that breathe it in.

As the EPA further investigates the software features that signaled Volkswagen passenger vehicles to lower emission levels, software experts have reviewed the capabilities of current vehicle software to determine the how the software recognized when there was an emissions test. A car is capable of collecting data such as tire rotation, use of the accelerator, and other use of car functions to determine if the vehicle is being driven on a road or a testing bed. According to The Driscoll Firm, this is when the car would automatically its nitrogen oxide emissions to meet EPA regulations. Further investigation will reveal the full scope of Volkswagen’s customer deception.