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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

THE VOLKSWAGEN EMISSIONS: 1 Million Tonnes of Air Pollution



Secondo il Guardian "aver truccato i test sulle emissioni di 11 milioni di veicoli significa che Volkswagen è responsabile di quasi un milione di tonnellate di emissioni di inquinanti atmosferici all'anno"



Quanto pesa l'imbroglio perpetrato da Volkswagen sulle emissioni di 11 milioni dei propri veicoli diesel? 

Quasi 1 milione di tonnellate di inquinamento in più in un anno. Un valore che equivale, per esempio a tutte le emissioni che nello stesso periodo le centrali elettriche, i veicoli e l'agricoltura inviano nell'atmosfera per l'intero Regno Unito. 

La stima è stata effettuata dal quotidiano britannico 'The Guardian': secondo l'analisi i 482.000 veicoli richiamati da Vw nei solo Stati Uniti avrebbero emesso tra 10.392 e 41.571 tonnellate di gas tossici nell'aria ogni anno se fossero stati usati con il chilometraggio medio dei veicoli Usa. Se tali veicoli avessero rispettato gli standard ambientali Usa avrebbero invece emesso solo 1.039 tonnellate di gas tossici all'anno.

L'azienda tedesca ha ammesso che l'apparato 'truccato' dovrebbe essere stato installato su 11 milioni di veicoli nel mondo. Se ciò fosse vero i veicoli difettosi Vw potrebbero essere responsabili di una quantità compresa tra 237.161 e 948.691 tonnellate di ossido di azoto ogni anno, un valore da 10 a 40 volte più alto degli standard di inquinamento per i veicoli nuovi negli Usa. 

Per fare un confronto, la maggiore centrale termoelettrica europea, che si trova a Drax nel Regno Unito, emette ogni anno 39 mila tonnellate di ossido di azoto.


STOP ALLE VENDITE IN ITALIA? - "Se si verificherà che anche in Europa è accaduta la stessa cosa accaduta negli Usa, le conseguenza non potranno che essere le stesse. Cioè la sospensione delle vendite delle vetture modificate da Volkswagen", ha detto il ministro dell'Ambiente Gian Luca Galletti. "Non ho ancora avuto risposta dall'Amministratore delegato di Volkswagen Italia - ha dichiarato - cui ho mandato una lettera per avere chiarimenti. 

Noi dobbiamo avere su questo argomento un comportamento unitario a livello europeo, specie sui controlli che non si sono rivelati all'altezza di quelli americani. Senza mettere regole inapplicabili o che danneggino i mercati, ma che siano rispettate da tutti". 

I sensori permettevano alla centralina di comprendere quando l’auto era sottoposta a un controllo. Poi partiva la configurazione preimpostata che riduceva le emissioni. 


Come si taroccano le emissioni o le prestazioni di un veicolo?  

Oggi le prestazioni dei motori non sono controllate dalla meccanica ma dall’elettronica, da un computer centrale, in gergo tecnico Ecm o Ecu (Engine control unit o engine control module), genericamente chiamato centralina. Se aprite il cofano di una Volkswagen non è difficile identificarla, in prossimità dei tergicristalli. 

Come funziona la centralina?  

Il software di gestione è composto da decine di migliaia di linee di codice. Riceve i segnali dalle componenti del motore, i parametri ambientali come la temperatura esterna, e regola il funzionamento degli iniettori, la coppia, e così via. Ad esempio, quando accendiamo il condizionatore, la centralina ordina al motore di erogare più coppia, per far fronte alla maggiore richiesta di potenza.  

Quali erano le istruzioni truffaldine?  

I sensori permettevano alla centralina di comprendere quando l’auto era sottoposta a un test. Uno dei segnali, ad esempio, era che le ruote anteriori, che poggiavano sui rulli del banco prova, si muovevano, mentre quelle posteriori no. Quando la centralina sentiva che il test era iniziato, faceva partire una configurazione preimpostata che riduceva le emissioni, ma che non avrebbe potuto essere utilizzata in condizioni di guida normali.  

Sì, ma come si fa a inquinare di meno?  

Uno dei trucchi utilizzati consisteva nel cambiare la miscela aria-carburante. Si riduce la vivacità del motore, ma si abbassa la quantità di ossido di azoto emessa. Ne risente il piacere di guida, ma non è quel che importa durante il test.  

Perché Volkswagen pensava di poterla fare franca?  

È impossibile determinare se le emissioni misurate dai test provengono da una configurazione particolare del motore. L’unico modo per appurarlo è confrontare i dati di emissione delle prove in laboratorio con quelli misurati sulla strada. Il motore 2.0 TDI di cui si parla, inoltre, era stato testato negli Usa già dal 2008, e allora le apparecchiature di laboratorio erano meno accurate di quanto non siano oggi. 

Ma qualcuno ha potuto esaminare il software?  

No. Il programma di gestione del motore è un segreto industriale, che le case proteggono. Alla contestazione delle autorità americane sulla differenza tra i risultati di laboratorio e quelli su strada, con la minaccia di non omologare le auto diesel tedesche per la circolazione nel 2016, Volkswagen ha ammesso le modifiche. 

È difficile modificare il programma?  

No, officine specializzate sono in grado di farlo con semplicità. Al costo di 500 euro si può migliorare la coppia, guadagnare fino a 40 cavalli di potenza, ridurre i consumi. 

Ma allora posso farlo anch’io?  

No, in Italia è illegale. Si rischia di infrangere le condizioni di omologazione. Spesso automobili acquistate in paesi diversi, a parità di motore, hanno configurazioni differenti che corrispondono ai regolamenti di omologazione nazionali. Inoltre, a un controllo o a un aggiornamento da parte della casa la modifica può essere scoperta, con il rischio di vedersi annullata la garanzia. Un po’ quel che succede per i telefonini modificati (in gergo jailbreak, evasione) per ospitare applicazioni non autorizzate dal fabbricante. 


Come funzionava la truffa dei test e perché Volkswagen pensava di farla franca MASSIMO RUSSO 23/09/2015



Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn paid the price for the scandal over rigged emissions tests when he resigned on Wednesday and economists are now assessing its impact on a previously healthy economy

What has VW done?

The company has falsified emissions data on its vehicles in the US, pretending its cars were cleaner than they are

How did they do it?

By installing a piece of software into computers on its cars that recognise when the car is being tested – a so-called "defeat device". This fine-tunes the engine’s performance to limit nitrogen oxide emissions. When used on the road, the emissions levels shoot back up

How widespread is the problem?

Regulators say 482,000 diesel cars were sold in the US from 2008 to 2015 with emissions certificates based on this faulty information

Which models are involved?

The allegations, which have been admitted by VW, cover the Jetta, Beetle, Audi A3 and Golf models from 2009 to 2015 and the Passat in 2014 and 2015

Is it just VW doing this?

A US investigation has been widened to other car manufacturers as campaigners warned that the practice was likely to be widespread across the industry

An unassuming West Virginia engineer has been identified as the man responsible for exposing Volkswagen's catastrophic environmental fraud that promises to go down in corporate history as one of the worst and most harmful of its kind. 

Daniel Carder, 45, and his small research team at West Virginia University produced a $50,000 study that proved that Volkswagen AG was cheating on U.S. vehicle emissions tests, setting off a scandal that cost the CEO his job, wiped billions from the company's shares and which could pose a bigger threat to the German economy than the Greek crisis. 

'The testing we did kind of opened the can of worms', Carder says of his five-member engineering team and the research project that found much higher on-road diesel emission levels for VW vehicles than what U.S. regulators were seeing in tests.

The results of that study, which was paid for by the nonprofit International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in late 2012 and completed in May 2013, were later corroborated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Carder's team - a research professor, two graduate students, a faculty member and himself - performed road tests around Los Angeles and up the West Coast to Seattle that generated results so pronounced that they initially suspected a problem with their own research.

"The first thing you do is beat yourself up and say, 'Did we not do something right?' You always blame yourself," he told Reuters in an interview. "(We) saw huge discrepancies. There was one vehicle with 15 to 35 times the emissions levels and another vehicle with 10 to 20 times the emissions levels."

Despite the discrepancies, a fix shouldn't involve major changes. "It could be something very small," said Carder, who's the interim director of West Virginia University's Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions in Morgantown, about 200 miles (320 km) west of Washington in the Appalachian foothills.

"It can simply be a change in the fuel injection strategy. What might be realized is a penalty in fuel economy in order to get these systems more active, to lower the emissions levels."

Carder said he's surprised to see such a hullabaloo now, because his team's findings were made public nearly a year and a half ago.

'We actually presented this data in a public forum and were actually questioned by Volkswagen,' said Carder.

The ICCT's research contract to Carder's team was sparked by separate findings by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, which showed a discrepancy between test results and real world performance in European diesel engines.

The scandal has rocked Germany's business and political establishment and analysts warn the crisis at the car maker could develop into the biggest threat to Europe's largest economy.

Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn paid the price for the scandal over rigged emissions tests when he resigned on Wednesday and economists are now assessing its impact on a previously healthy economy.

"All of a sudden, Volkswagen has become a bigger downside risk for the German economy than the Greek debt crisis," ING chief economist Carsten Brzeski told Reuters.

"If Volkswagen's sales were to plunge in North America in the coming months, this would not only have an impact on the company, but on the German economy as a whole," he added.

Volkswagen sold nearly 600,000 cars in the United States last year, around 6 percent of its 9.5 million global sales.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the company could face penalties of up to $18 billion, more than its entire operating profit for last year.

Although such a fine would be more than covered by the 21 billion euros ($24 billion) the company now holds in cash, the scandal has raised fears of major job cuts.






It emerged this week that Volkswagen rigged software in 11 million "clean diesel" vehicles so that they only passed emission standards when tested.
Since 2009 the cars may have been producing up to 40 times as much harmful smog-forming compounds and particulates than allowed - and analysis suggests an extra 1 million tonnes of air pollution have been added to the atmosphere every year as a result.
The Guardian reports that this is equivalent to roughly the same amount of pollution as is emitted by all of the UK's entire industry and agriculture sectors, power stations, and vehicles on the road.
Professor Martin Williams of King’s College London told the Guardian that emissions from diesel cars cause roughly 5,800 premature deaths in the UK each year.
In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency has said that Volkswagen has clearly violated the Clean Air Act, and the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges.
The company has had to recall more than 482,000 cars and is looking at £11.7billion in fines.
So why did they cheat? Volkswagen is yet to give a reason why it gamed the emissions tests, but it has been suggested that the company was trying to balance out the negative effects of emission controls on milage and acceleration performance.
The company board is meeting today to discuss Volkswagen's future actions in light of the scandal.

Volkswagen’s egregrious behaviour has highlighted the need for stricter corporate governance.

If I were Jeremy Corbyn, I would be thanking my lucky stars for the scandal that threatens to engulf parts of the car industry. Nothing is more guaranteed to galvanise the Left-wing cause than a corporate conspiracy – and the VW diesel affair, which reads like the script of a Hollywood movie, ticks all of the boxes. 

Lies, secret computer technology programmed to fool the authorities, a deliberate breach of environmental regulations by a rapacious corporation: it’s all there, and crying out for the full George Clooney treatment.

Fortunately, this latest blow to the reputation of big business won’t be enough to rescue the doomed Labour leader. But those of us who support capitalism must lead condemnations of VW’s egregious behaviour, and explain clearly that a functioning free market implies a scrupulous adherence to the rule of law.

What is most damning about this scandal is that an almost identical deception had already been uncovered. In October 1998 the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency fined seven heavy-duty diesel engine makers for equipping their engines with an older version of “defeat devices” – just like in the VW scandal, software designed to detect and trick the official tests. The automotive industry must be forced to change its ways. It must become truly transparent, and there needs to be a crackdown on abuse.

It is vital that free-marketers explain again and again that proper liberal, competitive capitalism is the exact opposite of the law of the jungle or of a Hobbesian free for all: it is a remarkably disciplined system. Individuals are encouraged to pursue their self-interest; but unlike in a kleptocracy, they can’t force anybody to trade with them and must respect the sanctity of private property rights, contracts and the legal system.

It doesn’t matter how big your company is or how rich you are: a pledge must be met; a product must deliver what it says on the tin; lies are never acceptable. Breaking the law must lead to pitiless prosecution; and selling customers a pup must result in litigation and thorough compensation.

Free markets are at once realistic about human nature – unlike naive Leftyism, they don’t assume that people are altruistic or self-policing – and civilising, in that they force people to adhere to strict norms of behaviour. As Milton Friedman put it in his famous libertarian theory of business ethics: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business ... to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.

There will always be dishonesty, in all walks of life, in every industry and profession, in the public and private sector and in all economic and social systems. Yet humanity’s inherent fallibility, and the need for eternal vigilance, doesn’t invalidate the fact that free markets are the best possible system to create wealth and prosperity for all.

But while corporate scandals always force the political right onto the defensive, this particular story is just as bad, if not worse, for the Left-wing world-view. It shreds many of its favourite assumptions, highlights endless government and political failures and mercilessly exposes the flaws at the heart of the ridiculous virtue-signalling that has passed for environmental policy in recent years.

Take the nonsensical claim that the City of London is a cesspool of iniquity, home to a uniquely amoral tribe of adrenalin-junkies willing to lie and cheat whenever bending the rules is deemed to be a gamble worth taking. The truth is that no industry can claim moral superiority, and all are blighted by a tiny minority of rogues: even old-fashioned manufacturers in the supposedly gentler, law abiding industrial capitals of Old Europe can and do commit fraud, taking insane risks to pull the wool over regulators’ eyes. The anti-London euro-enthusiasts were wrong, once again.

Or consider another Left-wing shibboleth: the idea that Wall Street’s lobbying and influence means that it effectively controls the US political system. Yet the VW scandal reminds us that heavily unionised car manufacturers have traditionally been far better at getting their way, collecting handouts and bailouts and directing legislation. They have convinced politicians, especially in Germany, France and Brussels, to turn a blind eye to indefensible testing practices that would never be tolerated in any other industry.

What must be most galling to the Left is that VW is structured exactly in the way they would love every company to be. It is partly owned by a German state; the remainder of its ownership structure means that it is protected from a hostile takeover; and it has the sort of two-tier board structure beloved of the dafter corporate governance activists, complete with plenty of trade union representation. Yet it didn’t make a blind bit of difference. In the fraud stakes, the Anglo-American model of financial capitalism and the Germanic and Japanese models are one and the same. Once again, the euro-enthusiast belief that everything is always better in Europe has been spectacularly refuted.

Last but not least, the scandal has highlighted the gross hypocrisy of politically correct companies, as well as how the environmental agenda can backfire spectacularly. Industrial firms should be honest: if they don’t like green rules, or believe that meeting them would impose price hikes on their customers, they should say so, not loudly sign up and bask in the moral high ground while surreptitiously ignoring the rules.

As to the embrace of diesel as a supposedly cleaner alternative to petrol, it has been a disaster caused entirely by official error. Desperate to meet Kyoto Treaty carbon dioxide targets, the European Union decided in the late 1990s to bet the bank on diesel. This reduced CO2 but increased emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulates, an own goal if ever there were one.

The idiocy of the policy, backed by German carmakers, but for which the Eurocrats must bear responsibility, is only now becoming apparent. Nobody emerges from this sorry saga with any credit.


The Volkswagen scandal reveals the corruption of the Left's regulation dreamworld Allister Heath 24 Sep 2015

Volkswagen emissions rigging echoes similar scandals at GM, Toyota, Honda Sep 22, 2015 


Angela Merkel’s government turned a blind eye to Volkswagen emissions rigging, it was claimed as the car company’s chief executive resigned amid the escalating crisis.


A written parliamentary answer shows that German ministers were warned months ago of the so-called “defeat device” cheat software on diesel engines.


The transport ministry answered a question about the motoring industry on July 28, in which it said: “The federal government is aware of [defeat devices], which have the goal of [test] cycle detection.


While the answer does not mention Volkswagen, the suggestion by the country’s Green party, which posed the question, is that it was in reference to the car maker.


Volkswagen’s chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, was forced to stand down on Wednesday at an emergency meeting.

  • Volkswagen scandal: CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns over emissions deception with more heads expected to roll

  • Volkswagen emissions scandal 

  • His resignation followed an eight-hour summit at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg.

  • Mr Winterkorn announced to the stock market last night that he was “clearing the way for a fresh start”.

  • He announced his resignation as:

  • • There were suggestions the scandal could widen to fuel consumption data after consumer groups warned they too could be based on flawed testing.

  • • The German public prosecutor’s office in Brunswick started a “preliminary investigation” into VW employees while American authorities have widened criminal inquiries.

  • • Natalie Bennett, the Green Party leader, led calls for authorities to consider corporate manslaughter charges.

  • • VW is braced for class actions for billions of pounds in the US as British lawyers also urged UK motorists to sue.

  • Defeat software on 2.0 litre VW diesels was discovered by a US regulator on Friday, prompting a 35 per cent slump in shares over two days.

  • There was no written evidence on Wednesday of a specific question or answer naming VW in the parliamentary exchange between the German Greens and the country’s ministry in July.

  • However, the ministry wrote: “The government shares the view of the European Commission that there is no extensively proven means of preventing defeat devices.”

  • Oliver Krischer, deputy leader of the Greens, told N24 television: “The government told us in July that it knew about this software, which has been used in the USA. It’s clear they knew the software was widely in use.

  • The VW emissions scandal is the result of a politics in which environmental and consumer protection plays no role and every trick and means of cheating is accepted with a wink.

  • Claims that Mrs Merkel’s government should have done more were backed by a forum of German environmental businesses.

  • Alexander Dobrindt, German transport minister, said in Berlin on Wednesday that the allegation that the government had acquiesced in manipulation was “false and indecent”.

  • The German government has set up a commission of inquiry, headed by Michael Odenwald, a junior transport minister.

  • Meanwhile, Volkswagen is facing a class action lawsuit in Italy from a consumer group which found a “huge discrepancy” between advertised and actual fuel consumption on a VW Golf model, leaving drivers an estimated £350 a year out of pocket.

Volkswagen: ipotesi class action mondiale da 50 miliardi di dollari PAOLO GRISERI  24 settembre 2015

Airpocalypse Kills 3.3 Million People Every Year 19 SETTEMBRE 2015



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