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2006 Volkswagen Presentation Showed How to Fool Emission Tests

Volkswagen has been saying time and time again that it was only a small group of employees that knew about the illegal software installed on a number of their diesel models around the world. But a 2006 presentation is putting doubt into that claim.
Posted: April 27, 2016 - 9:02AM
Author: Will Maley

The New York Times reports that a top technology executive at Volkswagen did a PowerPoint presentation back in 2006 detailing how the EPA did emission testing and how they could be cheated. Two sources who have seen the presentation say it was only a few pages long and explained the process of how the EPA would replicate various road conditions in a laboratory. The presentation went on to say the pattern of the various road conditions was predictable and could be cheated by implementing a piece of code into the engine's computer to turn on emission equipment to reduce levels in the lab. The equipment would turn off when the EPA did their on-road testing.

Why would this presentation exist in the first place?

Around this same time, engineers at Volkswagen's r&d complex had a problem. The emission equipment for their new diesel engine would wear out faster if it was calibrated to meet the strict emission standards in the U.S. The presentation provided a fix, albeit one that was illegal.

Do we know if any Volkswagen executives saw this?

The New York Times says it is unknown how widely this presentation was sent out.

Anything else?

Yes. Two more sources tell the New York Times that former chief executive Martin Winterkorn rejected proposals for upgrading emission controls by lower-ranking employees. The reasoning for this was the upgrade would make Volkswagen vehicles more expensive by hundreds of dollars. In the U.S., this would make it more difficult for the German automaker to compete with the likes of Honda and Toyota.

Pic Credit: Volkswagen