By on September 28, 2015

Passat TDI engine

According to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Bosch engineers told Volkswagen in 2007 that software the supplier had offered for the cars in testing, which made it into road cars, was illegal and should not be used.

The newspaper, which did not cite any sources in the story, said a spokesperson for Bosch did not comment on the report.

If true, the report shows a quick push from the supplier — who admitted it supplied Volkswagen with the parts used to circumvent emissions standards — to isolate the automaker’s responsibility for the scandal. Bosch issued a statement last week saying as much (emphasis mine):

As is usual in the automotive supply industry, Bosch supplies these components to the automaker’s specifications. How these components are calibrated and integrated into complete vehicle systems is the responsibility of each automaker.

Bild’s story also suggests that VW executives had known about the deceitful measures its cars used to pass emissions tests, although it didn’t specify who or when executives may have known.

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said last week when he resigned that he was unaware of the “defeat devices” used by his diesel cars to cheat emissions tests.

The German newspaper (via Automotive News) said that a 2005 initiative — before Winterkorn’s tenure as CEO — to develop a diesel engine for the U.S. market initially showed promise, but when engineers said that when a urea-based system would be needed to clean emissions, executives balked at the additional $335 cost per car. The engines were eventually produced with faulty software to skirt emissions rules.

Separately, German newspaper FAZ said Volkswagen was made aware by one of its own engineers in 2011 that its emissions management systems were illegal.

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29 Comments on “Report: Supplier Warned VW About Illegal Device in 2007...”

  • avatar

    Abgas-Manipulationen is my word for the day.

    Good info here .

    So, Bosch knew….

    The answer is $335 per car for Urea injection “saved’.

    Wonder if the retrofit TDi will be able to accommodate Urea and IRS in the US ?

    Is that popcorn ready yet ?

    • 0 avatar

      Back when I coveted and purchased a TDI, $335 for proper emissions control would have been just fine with me.

      I bought the thing because it was efficient and interesting. Unfortunately, I ended up owning a vehicle that was about as reliable as my father’s Volkswagen minibus.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        $335 was the unit rate at millions-volume from Bosch to VW. On the sales lot at the dealer, it would be more like $1500-$2000 on top of what was already a several-thousand-dollar premium versus a gasoline engine.

  • avatar

    Schultz: I see NOTHINK! I know NOTHINK!

  • avatar

    Bosch Lied. People Died.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Well, I’m eager to see a solution from VW.

    Ten days on, and VW has been silent while everyone else talks.

    The worldwide impact of this is immense – people & dealers want to transact business with these vehicles but can’t. The lawyers & clients are screaming, Spain wants its clean credits money back from SEAT, and the list goes on. I’m wondering if this could sink the company, or at least severely shrink it.

    All VW Group cars have to be radioactive at this point, and the showrooms must be very quiet.

    Hey Volkswagen, what’s the answer?

    • 0 avatar

      These things take time.

      It takes a while to sort out a solution, especially within a large company like VW.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        A complex emissions component hastily developed and slapped onto an already complex system by a company rated slightly above Lucas for reliability of electronic components. What could go wrong?

    • 0 avatar

      Now might, thus, be a *great time* to get a gas VW, if you’re inclined…

    • 0 avatar

      I wonder if any of the VAG TDI tuners have been able to dig into the code to disable the “cheat,” and get at least an inkling of the immediate effects of doing so. (IOW, might the performance hit be less than everyone fears? Or might the DPF need to be removed from the car and cleaned at every oil change, or will so many automatic cleaning cycles be necessary that they will happen every 10 miles, with mpgs barely breaking two digits?)

  • avatar

    Welp, they’re gonna lose way more than that now, aren’t they.

  • avatar

    Did you ever feel a great disturbance in the world, as a matter of some significance, regarding social and economic inequality, a lack of corporate ethics (even by historic standards), and, in general, the type of unstable, volatile conditions that lead to watershed moments in history?

  • avatar

    What they need now, more than ever, is a good block party.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    How about put electric power for every car or hibrid to compensate in the next…2 years? The smart move and the only to make a difference.

    • 0 avatar

      But where does that electricity come from? Probably coal, which doesn’t really change anything.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica


        • 0 avatar

          Actually, nuclear power is the least deadly energy source; coal is the worst. The problem is that when nuclear energy does have accidents, everyone looks on that as the norm (and the anti-nuke movement has been deeply entrenched since Three Mile Island).

      • 0 avatar

        In 2014: 39% coal, 27% natural gas, 19% nuclear, 6% hydro, 4.4% wind, and it’s all sort of miscellaneous after that (<2% per remaining sources).

        18 states get half their power from coal (or more, almost all of it in a few states); they account for 23% of the US population.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s amazing or surprising that solar power isn’t listed, at least to me.

          I’ve seen many buildings, commercial/residential, that have solar panels and fields with solar panels. Guess solar energy is still a blip in the energy [source] world.

      • 0 avatar

        If you run the numbers, a coal powered EV in, say, Houston pretty similar to a Prius as far as CO2 emissions go.

        That’s still better than a lot of vehicles, and coal is being replaced by natural gas as time goes on.

        But the EV is agnostic about its power source, and you can plug it in to any power source. So, you get NIMBY benefits AND you trade two really hard problems for one somewhat bigger really hard problem.

        EVs still look like a win, even in Huston or Indianapolis. They’re a HUGE win in hydro-heavy places like the PNW. And, don’t forget smooth instant torque!

  • avatar

    I’m off to search for Clean Diesel t-shirts.

    Bwa-ha! First hit, Audi sold one, page still up but “This item no longer available”. Amazon has same shirt but “Clean Diesel” is in too tiny a script.

    Found “Diesel. It’s no longer a dirty word.” shirt at ECS tuning but it’s no longer available.

    Now I’m feeling determined.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but the syntax and comma structure in this article is really mangled. I had to read several sentences twice or more to get what Aaron wanted to say. Not up to standard….

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