A powerpoint presentation made in 2006 detailing how Volkswagen could cheat on U.S. diesel emissions tests has been discovered in an internal investigation.
The New York Times reports that the presentation was put together by a top technology executive at the company, suggesting that the deception was known by at least some of the VW brass. It is not known how widely the presentation was spread throughout the company.
Volkswagen still contends that top management did not now about the cheat device, which allowed diesel vehicles to recognize when emissions testing was taking place and automatically adjust emissions outputs to pass tests.
The presentation outlines how VW’s diesel engine would wear out too quickly if it were made to meet U.S. emissions standards, which are more stringent than the tests found in Europe. In one paragraph of the document, which is only a few pages long, VW explains that recognizing when a car is undergoing an emissions test could be done because the tests are predictable, which means that code could be written to identify when a car was being tested.
In labs the car were passing tests, but on public roads, these VW diesels were emitting up to 40 times the legal NOx limit.
According to unnamed sources close to VW, top executives repeatedly rejected the idea of improving emissions equipment on the affected vehicles. Documents obtained by the NYT also claim that Volkswagen believed that it could deal with the issue, if it ever arose, quietly and cost effectively. Volkswagen has now set aside $18 billion to cover the cost of the its diesel emissions scandal, while the brand reported heavy financial losses for 2015.
These documents also claim that Volkswagen wasn’t all that worried about getting caught. “The seemingly small danger of discovery may have been a factor in tempting the VW engineers to make the impermissible software alteration,” said Volkswagen’s lawyers.
Volkswagen has now agreed to either buyback or fix all of the cheating diesels in the U.S., while monetary compensation will also be provided to owners.
[Source: The New York Times]
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