VW Needs The Mann, Jones & Muller Scandal Action Team To Implement The “Mike’s Nature Trick” Defense Strategy

The news of VW seemingly being caught red-handed rigging emissions tests of its diesel-powered vehicles has hit like a bombshell. The Wolfsburg, Germany based automaker is reeling like never before.

The U.S. Department of Justice is launching a criminal probe, and potential penalties of up to $18 billion may be imposed. The criminal prosecution of VW top managers and engineers for fraud are likely looming.

According to reports, VW engineers tricked the emissions testing software so that it would hide the incline, and thus delivered the results that the company and regulators wanted to see.

Already many are accusing the company of defrauding the public and its customers, engaging in criminal activity, and even committing green high crimes. This is really serious trouble for VW. So what strategy should VW use to defend itself?

Perhaps they ought to take a page or two out of the Climategate Playbook, where thousands of leaked e-mails indicated climate scientists were manipulating data, dubiously splicing datasets, hiding code and even corrupting the peer review process. Following the strategy used in the wake of Climategate, VW should:

1. Claim that the accusers aren’t real automotive experts, and so they shouldn’t be taken seriously.

2. Claim it’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

3. Point out that the “emissions trick” is “just a clever mathematical trick to hide” the emissions incline.

4. Set up three “independent” high-ranking commissions – all made up of close VW partners, suppliers and “real experts”, with the task of investigating the allegations.

5. Put out a statement saying that the company is so depressed that it is even having thoughts of committing suicide.

6. Issue an official report from all three commissions exonerating VW, claiming that though the company’s methods were controversial, the vehicles are still all within the spirit of industry standards.

7. Insist that the engineering behind VW diesel engines “is robust” and that their vehicles are among the cleanest cars in the world.

8. Insist that they are the target of a vast conspiracy, all led by Ford, GM and the fossil fuels industry –  and that they are the ones who really need to be investigated.

9. Get 20 leading academics to write a letter demanding the Department of Justice investigate Ford, GM and the fossil fuels industry for obstructing the production of fuel-efficient cars.

10. File defamation lawsuits against any journalists or experts who point out your alleged misconduct, or evidence thereof.

Indeed there are many other strategies that can be borrowed from the Climategate playbook.

Unfortunately the company’s top executives already publicly opened their mouths and appeared to admit guilt, and so they may have unnecessarily complicated or even damaged their case. VW chief Winterkorn said he was “deeply sorry” and ordered an investigation.

Moreover Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of VW’s Center of Automotive Research in Germany, said: “This disaster is beyond all expectations.” Disaster? Why? Everyone knows VW makes some of the best and cleanest cars in the world. Why should that be a “disaster”?

Before making such comments VW’s top brass should have first consulted with their technical experts on the matter – and acquired the damage control services of Mann, Jones & Muller.

The strategy was effective for the Climategate scientists, and so it should do the trick for VW.

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PS: Personally I think this is mostly political and it is a first shot in a coming war against the automotive industry and our private mobility. Overall VW cars are clean, well-built, safe, fuel-efficient and reliable cars. I’ve owned 3 in my life and was completely satisfied. The whole affair to me stinks of government attacking one company on behalf of another (or others).

 

51 responses to “VW Needs The Mann, Jones & Muller Scandal Action Team To Implement The “Mike’s Nature Trick” Defense Strategy”

  1. sod

    VW has been cheating. This was plain out fraud. They will get punished.

    But we all know, that all the car makers are cheating with their fuel use numbers and with pollution caused by their cars.

    so the good news in this is: A dirty business, caught trying a dirty trick. This will even the field for electric cars and cars that have low consumption and low pollution values.

    Keep watching, this will stay interesting for a while!

    1. DirkH

      Of course you are too uninformed to have noticed but Ford got fined a billion for the exact same thing.

      1. Oswald Thake

        Dirk, please don’t feed our resident warmist! [Sorry -edited, no name-calling please – PG]

  2. Mike

    I thought it was a good idea to run with low emissions when the car was standing still or moving very slowly.

    Was/is it VWs responsibility to inform the test stations about this or was/is it the test stations responsibility to find out the requirements for each car?

    VW are quick to admit fault, so as not to be embrawled in a more costly cover up, a criminal one, but what really is the crime here?

    The implication is the VW did this deliberately, but anyone who works in automotive knows that such things can bring a whole company down, even a big one like VW. It doesn’t seem likely that this was deliberate, and on such a scale, even if that is what the papers say.

  3. IDontBelieveInCAGW

    Fantastic! The best article I’ve read in a long time 🙂

  4. UKJohn

    Let’s not forget about the need to delete all the emails and wipe all the servers.
    It worked for the Jones, plus the IRS and Hillary.

  5. Joe

    11. They have “climate” models to show their diesels are clean, its just the annoying data that fails to reflect what was emitted.

  6. Hoi Polloi

    This probably the scandal of the century. We are only at the beginning of the fall out of this disaster: authorities, stock holders, consumers ar involved and VW is becoming a sitting duck for thousands of claims. This is big beyond imagination and in my view the beinning of the end of VW as we know it.

    No matter how you look at it, installing cheating software is a big no-no. I just cannot imagine that VW allowed this and in fact using it for it’s clean diesel advertising.

    And Pierre, VW does not have a very good name for quality and customer service, remember the problems with the TSi motors, especially in the US. You can check out the complaints on the internet.

    1. Hoi Polloi

      PS I don’t know why you say they opened their mouth unnecessarily, there was no way they could deny it. This already was an issue in 2014 and they dragged it out until the authorities threatened to withhold certification of the 2016 models.

      Besides VW did not issued an “ad hoc” announcement to the stock holders, which can be a big problem also. Winterkorn has to go, no matter what he says.

  7. David Johnson

    It’s out and out fraud. No question. Sod however bizarrely thinks it will even the playing field for electric cars. Nope, we’ll just use more petrol engines.

    1. sod

      ” Nope, we’ll just use more petrol engines.”

      petrol engines are cheating as well (they mostly profit from the fact, that they do not have to pass the (real) diesel test!)

      Europe has laws that set limits to fleet values. Either we get a real solution for less pollution (under realistic conditions!) fat, or we will see a strong move towards tougher rules.

      Mark my words and keep watching!

      1. DirkH

        “Europe has laws that set limits to fleet values.”

        The EU is an antidemocratic organisaton for the destruction of European nations and a key element in the US power structure. Sure they will try to destroy us. The Feindagenten parties SPD and CDU will do their best to implement this destruction.

    2. handjive

      Where is all the extra warming from the now unaccounted for emissions?

      After all, it’s worse than we first thought!

  8. edmh

    “Disaster? Why? Everyone knows VW makes some of the best and cleanest cars in the world. Why should that be a “disaster”? –

    Indeed and has anyone ever proven that NO2 from diesel vehicles is actually a truly dangerous and damaging pollutant.

    The world is taking Green oriented public servants word for this.

    Never forget that the “best is the enemy of the good” seeking absolute perfection is more often than not a costly waste of effort.

    This is the ridiculous stance that the EPA uses to damage US and industry worldwide.

  9. sod

    I want to talk about the facts again.

    The EPA caught VW doing this. Rememebr, that organisation that most here dislike!

    VW, one of the big fossile fuel companies got caught committing real fraud.

    The effect will be, better environme3ntal laws and better controls against those cheating with pollutants and usage (and that for CO2 values).

    So i am not entirely sure, why the article is spinning this into some comedian stuff about stolen climate e-mails.

    1. Joe Public

      The EPA did NOT catch VW doing this.

      It was discovered by the International Council on Clean Transportation

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-19/volkswagen-emissions-cheating-found-by-curious-clean-air-group

      1. sod

        “The EPA did NOT catch VW doing this. ”

        They did. NGOs are constantly accusing companies of cheating (and they are right, most of the time!). The difference in this case is, that the EPA decided to act.

        1. DirkH

          “(and they are right, most of the time!).”

          You a payed Soros goon?

    2. DirkH

      They all cheat, sod. GM will not be sued as it is owned by Obamas government.
      So, are you gonna be the one who can’t sell his cars because everybody else cheats?

      See, cheating is normal. The wind industry cheats by advertising nameplate capacities. Would you call it cheating if you buy a liter of milk and the Tetrapak is filled to 17 % ? I would.

      1. sod

        “GM will not be sued as it is owned by Obamas government.”

        GM might get spared in the US; but GM is also active in other markets. The wheel will go full round.

        1. DirkH

          Well it’s a war. (no I don’t mean this little skirmish. This is one little shakedown in the death fight of the Empire Of Chaos.)

    3. DirkH

      “The effect will be, better environme3ntal laws and better controls against those cheating with pollutants and usage (and that for CO2 values).”

      The stronger the environazis get the faster the entire West will vanish into a giant sinkhole. When the environazis , well maybe that’s a bit unfair to Nazis. Anyway. When the environazis manage to kill off the productivity of the society who’s gonna subsidize the battery car?

      When they manage to destroy RWE and EON who’s gonna save the grid from collapse when solar and wind don’t produce? Nobody that’s who.

      The Greens as a parasitic life form will die with the society they intentionally kill. So societies not infected with the Greens will thrive.

      It’s a pity that the CDU is a Green party; and like the German Greens, today is mainly concerned with importing a foreign population – and with killing Red Kites of course.

    4. Jeff

      “The EPA ‘caught’ VW doing this. Remember, the organisation that implements Obama’s anti-business agenda”.

      There. Fixed that for you.

      CARB (California Air Resources Board) and the EPA have been caught cooking the books themselves (cf diesel truck motors and sulfur additives), so this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black (or perhaps sooty).

      This is nothing more or less than a case of Obama’s minions trying to force diesel off of the market.

      The American auto makers have been twiddling figures for a long time now. I’m over 60, born and raised in California, and things haven’t changed a bit. I have owned or driven cars from MANY different countries, and I’d take VW over most of them. I had a Passat which happily travelled over 300K Kilometres in the US and Germany, and a GolfIII (made in Mexico, no less) which logged 200K KM over the same period as its bigger brother. No major problems.

      I had three Fords and two Chryslers that were nothing but trouble – all “proudly made in America”. I’ll take workmanship (grundlichkeit) over “pride” any day. I also don’t believe all that is being said about the supposed book-cooking.

      But then, only CAGW alarmists are allowed to, erm, modulate figures…..

  10. JJM Gommers

    Typical american style, making rules so tight that you can expect this sooner or later.And on top of this excessive fines and paradise for lawyers. VW could and should know this. Maybe there is a lesson to learn by abolishing the TTIP negotations to prevent becoming a province of the USA,

  11. Joe Public

    Spare a thought for the makers & salesmen of competing manufacturers’ vehicles.

    They’ve been fraudulently cheated out of a significant proportion of legitimate sales, by some consumers swayed by the expectation of lower emissions.

  12. Hoi Polloi

    For those who say that other car manufacturers cheat also, the ICCT, who originally discovered the cheat tested a VW Jetta and Passat and a BMW X5. The results for the VW’s are known, the BMW passed the test with values at or below standards.

    1. DirkH

      And Ford already payed up for the same cheating.

  13. Svend Ferdinandsen

    I wonder who got the brilliant idea to put that SW in, and most important who allowed to use it in the US and else.
    SW peoble can have splendid ideas and it is so easy to implement, but others need to think of the consequencies.
    (It just controls the engine according to the use, whats wrong with that)

  14. gnome

    Well Sod- I guess it’s because the cheating and catching will make absolutely no difference to vehicle emissions generally, and particularly none to CO2 emissions.

    Automakers (of which VW is one, not a fossile [sic] fuel company) are making their vehicles as non-polluting as possible, and all this is pointing out is that there is a practical limit, which has been reached.

    Further reductions are only achievable by deceit (more than a bit like global warming really).

    1. sod

      “Further reductions are only achievable by deceit (more than a bit like global warming really).”

      That is false. Other models pass the test. Yesterday german newspapers wrote, that the problem could be managed by a spare part costing about 100€ for the smaller models.

      And with electric vehicles, we have the solution by now. So the old explanation (there is no solution) just do not work any longer.

      1. DirkH

        “Yesterday german newspapers wrote, that the problem could be managed by a spare part costing about 100€ for the smaller models.”

        I’m pretty sure you misunderstood everything. What is that mystical part?

        I got an idea. Germany agrees to bunker even more American nukes and the EPA gives VW a slap on the wrist.

  15. RCS

    Entirely off thread.

    Have you read the bobastic nonsense from Eschenbach on WUTH?

    As a “self taught mathematician” he has decided to shed many of your posts with astonishg mathematical ignorance

    Any response would fall on the deaf ears of his monstrous ego. Nevertheless you might want to respond, althoough I doubt it would prick his vanity.

  16. KTWO

    I’m much more interested in the investigation than the pollution. Who at VW specifically initiated the fraud, and who carried it out. Why? Who profited? And after it was done who covered up? And in what reports?

    A Golden Age for lawyers. VW will be lucky to survive.

    1. DirkH

      A deeper question: Why is the Obama administration shaking down VW *NOW*.
      Right on cue, in Brazil, VW gets sued for allegedly having knowingly tolerated torture of workers ages ago under the Mil government…
      There are no such things as coincidences.

      Maybe VW circles tried to find ways to trade with Russia.

      This is part of the US campaigns to wreck Germany to keep it dependent on the Empire Of Chaos.

  17. Peter

    I want one of these VeeDub diesels with the cheating software just to give a big middle finger to the EPA.

  18. cementafriend

    RCS -noticed Willis E’s diatribe – I have had little time for him since in a comment on one of my posts (2010) he pointed to a nonsense paper which was about a modeled atmosphere 100’s of M years ago.
    Re diesel fuel motor vehicles -they are safer than petrol or LPG fueled cars. Would you want to take want to take 100-160 l of spare fuel in 20 litre “jerrycans” in the back of your vehicle crossing a desert for 3 days in temperatures close to 50C? Environmentalists have even thought about CNG (compressed natural gas) which has been a big failure in trials and hydrogen fueled vehicles. Diesel fuel is cheaper to produce and transport and the engines are more efficient and last longer.

    1. DirkH

      I drive an LPG-converted VW. Advantage over CNG is you don’t need a high pressure tank. After a few years the CNG tank needs replacement which is usually the economic death of the old car.
      As to dangers: I don’t think so. LPG is a Propan/Butan mix and does not tend to form explosive mixes like gasoline fumes do.

      1. cementafriend

        DirkH, With all due respect the LPG tanks are pressurised and they are heavy due to the extra metal thickness. There have been fires and explosions of vehicles in accidents. I have had over the years several dual fueled (petrol/LPG) cars -needed in Australia because of long distances and can not carry spare LPG. LPG is less efficient in km/l (30% less or divide the price/l by 0.7 and even less if towing a trailer then maybe 0.5). LPG was cheaper because of lower tax. My next car will be a diesel but definitely not a VW.
        Did you know that VW is one of the largest car suppliers in China -I think sales there make up about 50% of VW’s world wide sales. However, with the down turn there they are losing money. Maybe Daimler AG will have to take them over.

        1. DirkH

          Well I only know that an LPG tank doesn’t need regular inspection and eventual replacement as opposed to a CNG tank so the pressure must be way lower. Which makes sense for me given the respective molecule size and boiling points of the gases.

  19. Gerard

    VW had a good fix for an emission standard designed to attack diesel car use.

  20. sod

    very good article about the digital aspect of the situation:

    http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/volkswagen-affaere-aus-gier-vertrauen-verspielt-lobo-kolumne-a-1054353.html

    and it is not just me, who thinks that this will help the electric car:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/volkswagen-just-helped-electric-cars-breakthrough-christian-schuh

    and the documentary “who killed the electric car” was now mentioned several times in different news sources.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car%3F

    You are in trouble, when people only expect the worst from you…

    1. DirkH

      “and the documentary “who killed the electric car” was now mentioned several times in different news sources.”

      Which of the many deaths of the battery car are you referring to? Battery cars have been dying for well over 100 years.

    2. DirkH

      Warmunists kill the battery car, of course, by making electricity more and more expensive.
      So, warmunists need to kill the Hydrocarbon car even more – which the ICCT tries via Obama/EPA. Behind ICCT there’s the Hewlett and Packard foundations overtaken by leftists, and a dubious org called ClimateWorks which doesn’t have a wikipedia page. So, it’s a warmunist attack.

      Here we see that warmunists destroy not only their own – the battery car – but try to compensate by destroying everything else. Which is just fine as I was waiting for the collapse and have positioned myself accordingly.

      The VW/BMW collapse will kill the German economy, a bunch of banks, anf from there, the American system as well, which is long overdue.

      After the smoke has cleared, the billions in subsidies for Musk will be as valuable as Zimbabwe Dollars.

      1. Jeff

        Sad to see what has become of the Hewlett and Packard legacies, though when I see what they did to Walter,
        I’m not surprised.

        Have a look at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7682

        It has a lot of networks – interesting that Soros has his fingers in that too…

  21. stan

    The problem for VW execs is that they don’t work for the US govt. If they did, they could call tens of thousands of veterans and get bonus checks. Or they could ignore warnings and cause massive pollution of a river.

    No one gets fired, no one loses their bonuses, no accountability. If private companies did what govt did, people would be crucified.

  22. Dave in the states

    Just to be clear about what was going on from an engineering perspective. The emissions in question here were nitrogen oxides. NOx emissions are the result of excessive combustion temperatures. In other words more efficient combustion. This was likely the result of advancing the injector timing to maximize fuel economy by the engine management software. The net result was actually reduced co2 emissions, and overall much cleaner emissions, except for the NOx.

    Advancing timing is done all the time by everybody. It yields the significantly better fuel economy that Gov agencies are constantly mandating.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      NOx levels are high due to lean burn. i.e. lots of fresh air for very little fuel so the fuel finds air quickly and burns more rapidly, putting all the specific heat into the combustion chamber in a shorter time.

      Modern diesels use exhaust gas recirculation to mix (cooled) exhaust gas which has had some of it’s oxygen already used up, with fresh air. With extremely lean burn however, even 100% recirculation would take a significant number of cycles to use up enough air to be stoichiometric on the final cycle. i.e. EGR ratio would be of the order of 90% or so; while typical maximum ratio is about 60%.

      Turbocharging is used to increase the available amount of combustible air on most modern diesel engines. High boost levels at even low engine speeds make for a responsive engine, but that boosted pressure cannot have all of its air instantly taken from the exhaust manifold on engine torque transitions.

      There will be either brief excursions of high NOx from the combustion chamber during torque transitions or more diesel fuel will have to be injected with less fresh air drawn in. The latter results in poor “throttle” response and higher fuel consumption. Storage catalysts may be installed to absorb the excess NOx during those transitions but the engine has to subsequently operate “rich” for a brief period to facilitate conversion of the NOx in a downstream catalyst as the storage catalyst has limited capacity.

      A “normal” driving cycle requires the engine to operate on the “rich side” due to demand (e.g. accelerator pedal operated by the driver) so not much extra fuel is consumed. If such opportunities do not exist and (typically) the NOx sensor detects that the storage is full, then the engine management system is operated to force a rich mixture by altering timing of injection, engine boost and EGR ratio so that the output torque remains the same while NOx storage is “purged”. Specific fuel consumption rises sharply for a short period because the engine is operated as inefficiently as possible for a short period.

      The capacity of the storage catalyst should be as small as possible so that it reaches operating temperature as quickly as possible from a cold start; but it must be large enough to meet restrictions on emissions without requiring deliberate purging of storage as such costs fuel.

      Larger diesel engines use selective reduction; injecting urea into a catalyst that allows direct conversion without messing with injection, boost or EGR. However, the reduction agent must be available; larger vehicles have fillable tanks for e.g. “AdBlue”

  23. Mervyn

    A very entertaining article. But it failed to mention the most important part of this story … the equivalent of the biggest farce of all, the climate gate inquiries, so expertly written about by Andrew Montford … inquiries that conveniently let all the ‘crooks’ off the hook.

    Let us wait and see if all the VW inquiries have a similar outcome to the climate gate inquiries, despite admissions of guilt having been made by VW, by letting all the VW ‘crooks’ off the hook.

  24. Bernd Felsche

    See the ICCT Report (Part 1 PDF) Almost every other vehicle also “failed” to meet the limits set for the official test; when operated outside of test conditions.

    If VW’s lawyers are really smart, they’ll sue the authorities for not having real road traffic behave according to the test cycle.

    Without Part 2 of the ICCT’s report, it’s impossible to tell e.g. the road speed when there were “high”, specific emissions of NOx. Emissions are in g/km (grams per kilometre travelled) so they tend to be high in e.g. areas with low traffic speeds; by speed limit or otherwise. It’s also impossible to determine how representative that testing cycle was of “typical” driving anyhere. It’s entirely possible for engineers with an understanding of emission controls to devise a test cycle where emissions will exceed the limits set on paper under a standardised test.

    The peak emissions of NOx are around 2 grams/kilometre. Nobody knows if that amount is actually significant or important.

    When EPA420-F-99-017 was drafted, the projected emission limits were a wishlist and conditional upon being technically viable.

    Methinks that manufacturers have bowed to the limits set by e.g. Euro5/6 and EPA in order to appear “green”; with the knowledge that they could use technology to meet those limits under predetermined test conditions.

    Manufacturers implementing “devices to circumvent” goes back to last century. e.g. 1998

    VW have been stupid. The speed with which they acknowledged deceit after being accused by the EPA indicates that management was aware of the intent to circumvent. A software audit would have taken weeks to months if the “switch” had been concealed by an adept programmer.

    The resignation of Winterkorn makes space for the muddle managers who instigated and watched over the exercise to crawl further up the management ladder.

  25. Dave in the states

    NOx is a component in the creation of the type of smog one can see, but since urban smog is not near the problem it once was, it raises the question of just how significant NOx emissions are and what the realistic levels should be. Are the limits set by the EPA and CARB ect.. set artificially and unrealistically low? Is attaining finite NOx emissions worth all the trade offs? It’s just NOx, and its not like the overall emissions are not relatively clean.

    VW management has been trained like all other persons with MBA degrees to contain scandal by appearing to be as transparent and as contrite as possible from the beginning, and avoiding any hint of a cover up. (something Hillary Clinton does not do well) However, in this case I think they may have jumped the gun. The regulations drawn up are part of the “changing goal posts” tactics to advance political agendas during the Obama Era. And this is, in my opinion, the real issue here.