Bosch Didn't Supply Cheating Software on Dirty Diesels

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
bosch didn t supply cheating software on dirty diesels

A former federal official and the Environmental Protection Agency said that German supplier Bosch didn’t supply Volkswagen — or other automakers — with cheating software, implying that Volkswagen engineers acted alone in deceiving emission tests, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

According to the report, Bosch supplies the engine control management unit for most four-cylinder diesel passenger cars, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and others. Both BMW and Mercedes have said their cars do not have software that cheats emission tests.

According to the report, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will consider recommending changes to the way regulators test emissions to more closely match real-world conditions.

Bosch said Tuesday that it supplied the units to automakers but “how these components are calibrated and integrated into complete vehicle systems is the responsibility of each automaker,” Reuters reported.

Last month, a report said that Bosch warned Volkswagen of its illegal software in 2007. The supplier didn’t comment on the report, citing contractual privacy with the automaker.

A former EPA official told Reuters that software to detect EPA test cycles would require significant effort by an automaker.

“It is highly unlikely that this additional software is in any computer that does not have a defeat device, as the code requires significant additional resources to write and it would be of no use unless a defeat device was being used,” John German, a former EPA official and a senior fellow at the International Council on Clean Transportation, told Reuters.

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  • NeilM NeilM on Oct 08, 2015

    Not only is the defeat device not hardware, in VW's case it's the absence of hardware that everyone else uses. VW's Clean Diesel claim was that they didn't need the urea exhaust treatment system to get all of performance, mileage and low emissions on the 2.0L TDI. Now that turns out to be untrue. If they have to add the urea system hardware it's going to be especially costly. If they do a software only fix then one or both of performance and mileage are going to suffer.

    • See 3 previous
    • NickS NickS on Oct 09, 2015

      @Lack Thereof "Well, to be fair, the same EPA test used for emissions is also used for fuel economy testing." yes, i stand corrected. This would give support to what I suspected for some time now: that VW's advertised fuel economy on their marketing materials was intentionally based on the emissions controls being fully operational and that a software fix will still shield them from lawsuits about false claims. The fact that customers were getting much better than advertised won't be nearly as bad in terms of legal exposure.

  • NickS NickS on Oct 08, 2015

    John German is correct. All he is saying is that it is very unlikely the defeat code (*) would be included in any ECM that doesn't need it. (*) the defeat code is considered a defeat device by the clean air act. The car maker is required to identify all AECDs whether they are hardware or software.

  • on Oct 08, 2015

    I smell complicity and I see posturing. We're gonna need a lot of popcorn before this one gets put to bed.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Oct 09, 2015

    There's an awful lot of space between the automaker is responsible for integration and not supplying the xode which has no other use than cheating a test. Someone hired a lobyist level pr mouthpiece. I will be shocked if this isn't shared between at least these two firms.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 09, 2015

      Maybe not. Volkswagen makes a large number of diesels, but Audi doesn't, and the few Audi diesels are sold to people who don't really care about the cost of fuel. Audi wasn't touting the urea-free aspect of its diesels, just Volkswagen. The whole idea was lower cost diesels for mass production, and sale to people who DO care about fuel mileage, as well as the cost of the vehicle.