Task-Forcing extreme: Volkswagen and its Diesel problem – MES015

Diesel exhaustion scandalSince two weeks the Volkswagen scandal is swapping through the newspapers and the TV. Lots of details are already known, but tons of information are still unveiled. Step by step the responsibles are giving some light into the darkness of this threatening affair. An issue which might have the power for an earthquake in the German car-manufacturing industry.

In this episode I am talking about the technical details which triggered the current situation. I wanted to reflect the current problems without having any idea of solution. Considering the results which are day-by-day shown in the news we can conclude what might be going on behind the scenery.

BTW, I am sorry for any inconvenience with the audio of this episode. In the early versions I have not mono’fied the input, but you were bothered with the stereo version.

It currently looks like a big mess, however Volkswagen is a big and strong company and might dig its way out of its problems. However there are tons of issues, hundreds of technical challenges and millions or annoyed customers. I wanted to give you my perspective on to the situation – with all its actions, assumptions and believes.

Essential Know-How Provided In This Episode:

  • What are the exhaustion problems with gasoline and Diesel engines?
  • How were the defeating devices detected?
  • What kind of task-forces will Volkswagen have raised?
  • What might be the consequences out of this scandal?
  • Do we have seen this kind of cheating before? Somewhere else?
  • How has Volkswagen already reacted? Is that sufficient?
  • Where do I see hypocrisy in all the yelling?
  • What conclusions can we draw out of this finding?
  • And much much more

Selected Links and Resources From This Episode

Thank You For Listening

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3 replies
  1. t-o-m-o
    t-o-m-o says:

    I think you’re being a little bias here, being German and Diesel fan 😉 Putting obvious protectionism in the ‘Land of the brave and home of the free’ aside, I see nothing more than a typical corporate greed by VW in this case. Someone ‘smart’ found a way to maximize profits by cutting on ecology nuances. And I have no sympathy for that. However I don’t think the fine should be so drastic that a company cannot recover from it. Some reasonable compensation is in order on top on retrofitting all 500k cars with urea systems which will be a significant financial blow by itself .

    • georg
      georg says:

      Thanks a lot for your comment and the link.

      And yes I am biased 😉 . However as mentioned, I do not like cheating, too.
      Within the last days we’ve had lots of discussions about this issue. From a SW-engineer’s perspective we all know how such kind of software might find its way into sold products. However I assume it was not pure greed in a first step. VW didn’t wanted to licence the Mercedes-technology of AdBlue. Instead they announced full-bodied that they will find their own (even better as cheaper) way to handle Euro 5 and Euro 6. Perhaps they ignored the true speeches of engineers that it’s not possible. Or pushed the engineers for the “right” answers. I don’t know.
      Or was it that simple that the lower level management could not tell higher management that it is not possible to achieve the exhaustion limits by pure software? Anyway, I see a very severe problem in communication in this company.
      But – everybody of us knows a company with such severe problems. The only difference is that these companies are manufacturing consumer electronics, computers, mobiles or even industrial equipment – however not cars. It’s a difference to jump into the pool with an open wound if there are carps or trouts inside, or whether your selected the home of the local piranha dealer.

      I assume this story will become political quite soon. If the US-prosecutors overdrive the wheel there will be political interventions. Volkswagen has more than 500.000 employees. An additional 10 times this amount in the supplier industry. Nearly every 5th working place in Germany is close to car manufacturing. Going down of this industry will be no alternative. Too big to fail. Leeman Bro and the other banks were the best example.

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