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Monday, September 28, 2015

Merkel knew about VW cheating

From Zerohedge:
 German Greens Claim Merkel Government Knew Emissions Tests Were Rigged

    The German Green party has claimed that the German Government, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, knew about the software car manufacturers used to rig emissions tests in the US. The Green party has said it asked the German Transport Ministry in July about the devices used to deceive regulators and received a written response as follows, the FT reports: “The federal government is aware of [defeat devices], which have the goal of [test] cycle detection.”

    The Transport Ministry denied knowing that the software was being used in new vehicles, however. The timing of the questions has raised concerns over whether the German government knew about the activities at Volkswagen stretching back to 2009. “The federal government admitted in July, to an inquiry from the Greens, that the [emissions] measurement practice had shortcomings. Nothing happened,” said Oliver Krischer, a German Green party lawmaker.


That written response the Financial Times reports on either exists or it does not. Let’s see it. Simple. If it does exist, Merkel’s in trouble. Then again, the EU knew about the defeat device at least two years ago. It’s starting to look as if everyone was involved. And you can’t fire everyone.

EU Warned On Devices At Centre Of VW Scandal Two Years Ago

    EU officials had warned of the dangers of defeat devices two years before the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke, highlighting Europe’s failure to police the car industry. A 2013 report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre drew attention to the challenges posed by the devices, which are able to skew the results of exhaust readings. But regulators then failed to pursue the issue — despite the fact the technology had been illegal in Europe since 2007. EU officials said they had never specifically looked for such a device themselves and were not aware of any national authority that located one.
At this rate, Angela Merkel is going to be on trial for treason by this time next year.

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62 Comments:

Blogger Alexander September 28, 2015 11:11 AM  

At this rate, the Germans aren't going to bother with something so quaint as a trial.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if we discover that there is some law from 1600 that states all German lampposts must be engineered to such specifications that, should the need arise, they can each indefinitely hold a body, human, not to exceed a height of six Fuß...

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 September 28, 2015 11:11 AM  

At this rate, Angela Merkel is going to be on trial for treason by this time next year.

You'd think that, but because she did that photo-shoot with a lesbian, she'll be protected. Because homophobia or something.

At this point, I'd argue that the entire system of Western governments should be allowed to burn down. SJWs from top to bottom.

Blogger rycamor September 28, 2015 11:12 AM  

I understand that it just points to more European bureaucratic corruption, but the actual scandal is ridiculous. What VW is "guilty" of deals in such small percentages of emissions that it could never have a measurable effect on the atmosphere. We've done so much major cleanup on car emissions starting in the 80s that we are left with ridiculously thin margins for the enviro-activists and their bureaucrats to agitate about.

Blogger Nate September 28, 2015 11:13 AM  

"The German Green party has claimed that the German Government, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, knew about the software car manufacturers used to rig emissions tests in the US."

hold on. This makes it sound like it was only used in the US.

Is that the case?

If so... why should a german politician care? In fact... shouldn't they be defending VW?

Blogger Alexander September 28, 2015 11:15 AM  

@3

Rule number 12: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

These tyrants have no qualms whatsoever with punishing decent volk who don't completely comply with their bullshit. Don't let them get away with that they would ruin others for.

It's not hard.

Blogger J Melcher September 28, 2015 11:16 AM  

So there is a software patch that over rides the default programming in an engine computer to boost performance, at the expense of impeding emission control. Cars with this software go faster, violating the law.

I'm thinking the market for radar and laser detection systems, bought by drivers who want to go faster and violate speed limit laws, would overlap highly a market for such emission / performance boosting software. Design a dongle like a USB stick for the ODB2 port, plug in, and treat the interstate like the autobahn.

TL;DR version, why is VW's tech more illegal than Cobra's
https://www.cobra.com/products/detection-systems ?

(As I understand things, possession of a radar detector in Germany is legal, but using one (turning it on) is illegal. Stupid Law Tricks. )


Blogger Alexander September 28, 2015 11:16 AM  

If so... why should a german politician care? In fact... shouldn't they be defending VW?

There's no evidence thus far the Merkel has any intention of defending the German people.

Blogger rycamor September 28, 2015 11:19 AM  

@5. Alexander September 28, 2015 11:15 AM

@3

Rule number 12: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

These tyrants have no qualms whatsoever with punishing decent volk who don't completely comply with their bullshit. Don't let them get away with that they would ruin others for.

It's not hard.


Yes, it's not hard. But VW isn't the enemy here. VW was the black knight in our favor. Unfortunately, it backfired and also unfortunately, the made the mistake of apologizing.

Blogger Alexander September 28, 2015 11:21 AM  

@8

Ok, communication cross-over. I read it as you were defending Merkel, when you were defending VW.

Carry on!

Blogger Nate September 28, 2015 11:21 AM  

"There's no evidence thus far the Merkel has any intention of defending the German people."

sure. and that's a good reason to try her. But not attacking a german company that didn't do anything wrong in germany doesn't seem like a good reason to try her for treason.

though again... I'm not saying they didn't do anything illegal in europe. The quote I posted certainly makes it sound that way though.

Blogger rycamor September 28, 2015 11:27 AM  

One of the ironies about the VW scandal that just highlights the whole SJW-against-reality scenario: once your VW is "fixed" to run according to EPA standards, it will use more fuel for daily driving. That's right... more.

Blogger Nate September 28, 2015 11:29 AM  

yep. the unspoken part of all of these idiotic EPA requirments is that they all choke down both power and gas milage.

Remember back in 1988 when everyone had a ford escort that got 40mpg?

Not anymore buddy.

Blogger Salt September 28, 2015 11:30 AM  

At this rate, Angela Merkel is going to be on trial for treason by this time next year.

Ten on Merkel to trial before Hillary.

Blogger Geoff September 28, 2015 11:30 AM  

Not much need for a radar detector anymore thanks to phone apps like Waze.

Blogger Nate September 28, 2015 11:36 AM  

"Not much need for a radar detector anymore thanks to phone apps like Waze."

better off running both. Waze is great on busy interstates. sucks on less populated roads.

OpenID basementhomebrewer September 28, 2015 11:41 AM  

Not defending Merkel but the article seems to be conflating two things. It says that German government was aware of "defeat devices" (hardware) and they are then confusing it with the current VW allegations which according to all current data is a software solution that uses various sensors that have other primary purposes.

Blogger rycamor September 28, 2015 11:41 AM  

It all reminds me of the enviro-activist politician who complained about the factory that was "getting away" with its waste runoff being only adjusted to a pH of 7, who vowed he would not stop until it was a pH of 0.

Blogger Geoff September 28, 2015 11:42 AM  

True, Nate.

Blogger YIH September 28, 2015 11:44 AM  

@4 Nate:
hold on. This makes it sound like it was only used in the US.
US and EU. Apparently with the 'cheat' running the VW (This just in: Audis too) TDI engine could meet CA emissions. With the 'cheat' off, it couldn't meet CA, rest of US or even EU emissions regs.
Eventually it's going to mean recalls, that if nothing else existing cars will have to have the fix done in order to renew registration. IOW, No fix, no new tags.
And of course, there's going to be fines for VW (the number I've heard is $18 bil.) and that's not counting the inevitable lawsuits.
DEEEP doo-doo.

Blogger rycamor September 28, 2015 11:47 AM  

Yeah, the the lawyers are dancing in the streets right now.

OpenID Jack Amok September 28, 2015 11:52 AM  

But not attacking a german company that didn't do anything wrong in germany doesn't seem like a good reason to try her for treason.


But this is the German Green party upset with her. It isn't treason against Germany to them, it's treason against the Goddess Gaia.

Plus, Germans. Ze Rules must be followed, sensible or not.

Blogger Geoff September 28, 2015 11:56 AM  

it's treason against the Goddess Gaia

It's blasphemy.

Blogger Noah B #120 September 28, 2015 11:56 AM  

It isn't clear to me that VW violated any regulations or laws in the US. Were 'defeat devices' actually illegal?

Blogger rycamor September 28, 2015 11:58 AM  

@21 Jack, I've found in real life that Germans (especially engineers and businessmen) are considerably more interested in doing what makes sense than in mindlessly following rules. Like the USA, the problem is the noisy few who have managed to become the focus of political power.

Blogger ScuzzaMan September 28, 2015 11:58 AM  

@YIH

Not to forget that with the full emissions controls suite permanently on, the milage will plummet. Legally the purchasers then have a monster class action lawsuit for fraud handed to them on a silver platter by the fedgovs US and EU.

OpenID corvinus333 September 28, 2015 12:08 PM  

So Merkel has managed to piss off not only all the nationalist-inclined Germans, but the Green freaks as well.

Heckuva job, Angie.

Blogger Ron September 28, 2015 12:12 PM  

Wife had a 92 Civic hatchback that got 50mpg.

It drives me insane that the greenies can't understand that emissions works against gas mileage. I've always wondered if the numbers are emissions per mile traveled or simply at X speed over Y time.

I'll take power and MPG first then EPM (emissions/mile).

Blogger ScuzzaMan September 28, 2015 12:17 PM  

Noah B;

It's difficult to write any sensible rule that wouldn't immediately render ALL electronic engine management systems illegal.

But sense and law only overlap on an ad hoc and unpredictable basis so the legal conflicts will inevitably devolve into arguments over criminal intent, which would be hard to prove had the now-former CEO not already admitted it to the whole world.

The lesson is clear: NEVER APOLOGIZE!!!

Blogger Danby September 28, 2015 12:18 PM  

The problem is that the requirements are mutually contradictory. The specific pollutant that the VWs were designed to fake was NOx (nitrous oxides), which the US mandates be below a ridiculous level (.2 ppm, I think). Nitrous oxide is formed from the air itself when it is exposed to high temps. The only way to reduce the NOx is to reduce the temperature of the combustion in the cylinders. Which necessarily reduces efficiency, power and performance.

Low NOx, low hydrocarbons, good efficiency, power. Pick one. Maybe try to balance 2.
Balancing 4 at the required limits is impossible on any vehicle larger than a Vespa.

(muttering) Lousy laws of physics.

Blogger YIH September 28, 2015 12:20 PM  

@25 ScuzzaMan:
Absolutely, as has been pointed out not only will mileage drop, so will power.
It'll probably make the car (like diesel cars typically have been) quite sluggish.
One of the selling points of diesels was the fact that engine size being equal diesels get 10-15% better mileage. Which in the US barely compensates for the fact that diesel fuel prices are the same or higher than premium gas (taxed heavier).

Blogger michael savell September 28, 2015 12:21 PM  

Yes,Rycamor,I agree with you,margins are thin .I don't see anything to cause us to riot but the fact is that VW competed unfairly.
No doubt once the bigger picture comes into view all will be forgotten and forgiven.

OpenID b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 September 28, 2015 12:24 PM  

At first I thought the possible $18 billion fine was ludicrous, but given this development, I am okay with it.

Incidentally, if this happened with the knowledge of the German government it is most likely a WTO violation.

Blogger BunE22 September 28, 2015 12:41 PM  

From the article Zerohedge linked to:

Governments and manufacturers are both aware that diesel vehicles emit up to five times the amount of poisonous nitrogen dioxide that they are limited to under law, but this is the first time a manufacturer has admitted to deceiving the authorities.

How can authorities be deceived if they were aware the emissions are too high? This isn't about authorities being deceived, it's about the authorities getting caught deceiving the public.

Blogger finndistan September 28, 2015 12:44 PM  

Another proof that apology does not work. (even if guilty)
How does this sound:
"Mrs. Merkel, now please sign this, or we will tell the world what we overheard you speak with the CEO of VW..."
?

Blogger ScuzzaMan September 28, 2015 12:45 PM  

YIH;
Through the magic of corporate rental deals I recently smacked a new BMW 318 diesel down the autobahn. I was amazed at the fuel economy and simultaneously impressive power and torque. I strongly suspect VW are not alone. The biggest clues are (1) the fact that they all buy from Bosch, and (2) their almost total silence to date. If they were clean themselves the others would be shouting condemnation from the rooftops, I think.

Blogger BunE22 September 28, 2015 12:53 PM  

This article shows Audi, BMW, Citroen, Opel, VW, and Mercedes.

Blogger Anonymous Robot September 28, 2015 12:56 PM  

I imagine that the last few administrations have kept the EPA away from German car companies in some soft of sweetheart deal, but then someone farted in the elevator and now the EPA is gunning for them.

Blogger James Dixon September 28, 2015 12:59 PM  

Interestingly, I saw an article that said this scandal could have more of an impact on the EU economy than the Greek crisis.

Blogger Libertarian Geek September 28, 2015 1:01 PM  

@29 NOx is pretty nasty stuff. Combined with water (usually vapor), it will produce nitric acid causing acid rain and breathing issues as it eats at the lining of your lungs. It is produced naturally by lightning, but usually much further up in the atmosphere unlike vehicle emissions.

Pretty much every Diesel engine produces too much NOx. The difference is that most use an emissions treatment system (SCR) where they add aqueous urea to the exhaust which will react to the NOx and convert it to inert water vapor and nitrogen. The downside to the SCRs is that they require periodic addition of urea ("diesel exhaust fluid") and add to the expense of the car. VW decided to avoid adding it by cheating the tests and emitting the full amount of NOx.

Recalls will involve either installing a software patch which will remove the cheat code and decrease performance and fuel mileage significantly (possibly to the point it's barely driveable) which is cheap but pretty much destroys the value of the cars. The other solution is to remove the cheat code and install an SCR to get the NOx down. This preserves performance and fuel mileage, but is very expensive to install (estimates are $1000+ per car) and takes up some trunk space for the urea tank.

Blogger Joseph Maroney September 28, 2015 1:06 PM  

I guess the bribes stateside didn't reach the right hands.

Blogger Noah B #120 September 28, 2015 1:26 PM  

The combination of emissions, mileage, safety requirements, and other cheating manufacturers forces others to 'cheat' to stay competitive. GM complied with CAFE standards by selling lots of their crappy Volts to the government and stating an absurdly high fuel economy for each one. When they eventually are forced to book net losses they will ask for another bailout. Sweet deal if you can get it.

Blogger YIH September 28, 2015 1:27 PM  

@39 Libertarian Geek:
Another bad thing about NOx is it's contribution to visible smog. That's what got the whole 'emissions control' ball rolling in the late 60's/early 70's.
I'd be willing to bet that's why the Chinese haven't been able to break into the car markets of Europe or the US, they can't (or don't want to) comply with emissions regs.
Because most people prefer air that is not visible.

Blogger Positive Dennis September 28, 2015 1:37 PM  

How many how non-German companies kept the law? As big as this story sounds, it might even be bigger.

Blogger Danby September 28, 2015 1:47 PM  

I'd be willing to bet that's why the Chinese haven't been able to break into the car markets of Europe

Actually, it's because Chinese cars cannot pass crash testing. Crash resistance requires more metal and better engineering, which costs both money and fuel, and the Chinese market won't pay for it.
Faced with redesigning their cars to gain entry into an already saturated market, versus doing what they're already doing, making incredibly cheap cars to sell into a huge, underserved domestic market, well, we're too small for them to bother with. like if Mexico decided to only allow cars with 6 wheels. Mercedes is not going to re-engineer their cars to try to gain entry into that market, unless they're stuck there like the domestic manufacturers.

Blogger Anonymous Robot September 28, 2015 3:02 PM  

Interestingly, I saw an article that said this scandal could have more of an impact on the EU economy than the Greek crisis.

This might be the second big shock needed, after the immigration crisis, to pull the whole house of cards down.

Blogger vashine September 28, 2015 3:11 PM  

She is a hateful, disgusting, evil woman. She hates Germany, white Germans, German culture, history, and Europe. She must be stopped. Justice would see her taken off to the guillotine. She is arrogant, full of pride and scorn towards whites Europeans and Christians, and wants to see it all destroyed with dark-skinned Musloids. She is insane.

http://shoebat.com/2015/09/26/germans-are-arrogant-germany-doesnt-belong-to-the-germans-germans-dont-deserve-germany-foreigners-fresh-off-a-train-do-and-just-shut-up-if-you-disagree-dont-y/

Blogger Bradly H September 28, 2015 3:12 PM  

@12
Nate, that brings up a major point no one is noticing yet. Since the EPA imposed the NOx limits, the domestic manufacturers abandoned the diesel powered cars we used to make. Then the foreign manufacturers came in to fill in that gap in the market by cheating. My family had 2 of those Ford Tempest sedans with 4 cylinder diesel engines that got 40+mpg. But those model cars were abandoned and you couldn't get spare parts eventually. In the end one car was used as a spare parts store for the other.

Blogger Quadko September 28, 2015 3:21 PM  

@4 & @7: I'm with the "Why would it be German Politician's problem to meet US (& maybe EU) standards at the cost of a German company's bottom line?" camp. Especially since such emissions standards are way over the top and a form of cheating themselves.

Just more Dragon Poker: If you didn't know the rule, you can't complain how the hand went after the fact.

Blogger ScuzzaMan September 28, 2015 3:35 PM  

Can we do the "Volkswagen Fiddles while Europe Burns" gag, now?

Blogger Anonymous Robot September 28, 2015 3:42 PM  

On noes. Trump has screwed the pooch. He has released a tax plan that puts more money into the hands of wealthy people and businesses.

Shrillary has got him now!

Blogger Alexander September 28, 2015 3:56 PM  

Merkel: Circle the Wagen, Abandon the Volks.

Blogger James Dixon September 28, 2015 4:19 PM  

> He has released a tax plan that puts more money into the hands of wealthy people and businesses.

Since it supposedly removes almost all deductions for family incomes over $300K, that's highly debatable. And while it lowers the corporate tax rate to 15%, it also removes the deferral for corporate income from outside the US. I'd say it's a winning proposition.

Of course, I realize you were probably being slightly sarcastic in your analysis. :)

Blogger James Dixon September 28, 2015 4:21 PM  

And again, just like his slogan, Trumps tax plan is straight out of the Reagan playbook. Why can't any of the other candidates do something like this?

Blogger Anonymous Robot September 28, 2015 5:53 PM  

Merkel: Circle the Wagen, Abandon the Volks.

I guess that's what is called a Merkel Jerk.

Blogger Unknown September 28, 2015 6:01 PM  

I just completed a 600 mile road trip in my 2014 Passat TDI. Averaged 42 MPG with plenty of power uphill. I'm gonna miss that. And be a little pissed.

Blogger Unknown September 28, 2015 6:01 PM  

Oh, and Diesel is $2.14 a gallon.

OpenID Steve September 28, 2015 6:57 PM  

It was not a govt employee that caught this. VW is being fined 20x the amount that GM did for killing people.-BGS

"What’s happening to VW could have come right out of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s cumbersome but nonetheless predictive novel of 50 years ago. VW cast as the real-life version of Rearden Steel." http://ericpetersautos.com/2015/09/23/crucified-by-uncle/

"If this was not the case, and there was a real “carbon threat”, the 300 mpg Volkswagen XL1 would be the only type of car on the road, perfectly viable transit at an official 261 mpg but well known by owners to be over 300. If emission controls on cars were not all a fuel wasting scam, fuel economy could be increased by 10x overall with ease." Jim Stone.com

Blogger Were-Puppy September 28, 2015 7:04 PM  

@50 Anonymous Robot
On noes. Trump has screwed the pooch. He has released a tax plan that puts more money into the hands of wealthy people and businesses.

Shrillary has got him now!
---

You gave me two ideas out of this.

Sad Puppies 4: Don't Screw This Pooch

Hitlery + Shrillary = Shitlery

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams September 28, 2015 10:33 PM  

I was looking forward to a new TDI beetle. Guess I'll stick with my '99. 42 mpg and still runs great.

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams September 28, 2015 10:36 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

OpenID Jack Amok September 29, 2015 12:59 AM  

Too bad a Black Knight can't figure out how to sue the EPA for creating regulations that violate CAFE standards, and simultaneously sue CAFE for violating EPA standards. Unlikely it could work, but it would be, as the kids say, legendary.

Blogger Doom September 29, 2015 4:50 AM  

Merkel knew? Actually, who didn't? Zero probably didn't, but more because his cocaine or heroine naps don't leave a lot of time to actually ask around. But our government knew. Most likely there was some sort of agreement until either someone found out and was about to bust the story or the agreement timed out. The EPA knew.

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