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Das Bug: VW Caught with Hand in EPA Cookie Jar

Yet more evidence that Carly is right and big government is incompetent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) vaunted emissions testing is worthless, and to the the private sector to find it, from Richard Weiss and Naomi Kresge, Bloomberg Business [1]:

Volkswagen AG lost almost a quarter of its market value after it admitted to cheating on U.S. air pollution tests for years, putting pressure on Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn to fix the damaged reputation of the world’s biggest carmaker.

[…]

During normal driving, the cars with the software — known as a “defeat device” — would pollute 10 times to 40 times the legal limits, the EPA estimated. The discrepancy emerged after the International Council on Clean Transportation commissioned real-world emissions tests of diesel vehicles including a Jetta and Passat, then compared them to lab results.

Point to ponder, Jazz Shaw, Hot Air [2]:

Exit question: how likely is it that the geniuses at VW and Audi were the only ones to dream this up? This sounds like the sort of thing that a group of engineers might assume was never going to be found out because who is going around doing extra testing of vehicle emissions outside of an inspection station? (In fact, I’m still wondering how the EPA caught on to this unless VW had a disgruntled whistle blower among their ranks.) Are the big, American automakers scrambling right now to cover their own code?

If Shaw is right, did VW do anything illegal?

Can VW diesels meet EPA emissions requirements, still perform as advertised and as their customers expect?  Will a neutered VW even be worth driving?

Were those darned German engineers the only ones to read the actual regulations and take advantage of them?   Does the scope of the problem over VW diesels, VWs, or all cars sold say in the last ten years?

Was VW the only company cheating, or the only not to pay hush money to the ICCT?

Last, what will be the EPA’s primary motive, protect the environment, or their tattered reputation?

If Congress investigates, expect the usual regime stonewalling.