Emissions, Engineering and Ethics

In September 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars being sold in America had a ‘defeat device’ or software in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, which changed the performance to improve results. The VW has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US. Consequently VW shares have fallen by 30%, and the CEO has resigned.

There are concerns that other car manufacturers could be cheating these tests as well, and the knock on effects this could have on industry. Possible inaccurate testing of petrol engines is also a concern.

The existing New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – introduced in the 1970s and last updated in 1997 – has been in the spotlight following the scandal, and it has been found that it’s test results are far below those of Real Driving Emissions (RDE) tests, such as PEMS. They have been up to 40% less than those tested on a normal drive cycle! Industry experts have been saying that the test was unfit for purpose for many years. There is a call for the more accurate World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedures (WLTP) and variant WLTC to be implemented as soon as possible – probably 2017.

It is a shame VW used engineering expertise to break the rules, to the government’s and the general public’s detriment, and ultimately their own.

All the best, Mike


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
― Bil Keane 

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
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