European Union cover-up of polluting cars scandal

This video, by the Chaos Computer Club in Germany, says about itself:

The exhaust emissions scandal („Dieselgate“)

27 December 2015

Take a deep breath into pollution trickery

Analysis of the emission scandal shaking the German automotive industry from a procedural, organizational and technical level. Includes insight into cheating for advanced managers and code extraction from ECUs from Ebay. And from Volkswagen. Initially.

The exhaust emission scandal has visibly shaken the confidence auto buyers put into the German automotive industry.

The details are – half a year after Volkswagen managers confessed to fraud – scarce, very scare.

Both around the procedural and the technical details of the betrayal. Daniel will show how engineering an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) works, and how many people are involved.

And he will take a look at the revealing communication from the affected parties. That try to share nothing with many words but still reveal a few interesting details.

Felix takes the other approach and looks at body of evidence that 8+ million people have access to but too few took a closer look.

He will share the tricks to extract the firmware from the affected engine control units and share the findings he made along the way and when he looked at the plain and honest truth in code.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Europe knew of dieselgate and did everything to protect industry

Today, 00:47

EU countries and the European Commission have done far too little to prevent diesel cars emitting too many pollutants. There was even mismanagement, is the conclusion of the preliminary report of the commission of inquiry on behalf of the European Parliament. The report will be published this afternoon, but the NOS has already seen the claims.

“Dieselgate would never have taken place if the member states and the European Commission would have done just what they should do according to the law,” said MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (D66 party) who wrote the report.

The diesel scandal came to light in the summer of 2015. Volkswagen used fraudulent software which kept cars neatly with the rules in the lab while outside they emitted too many pollutants. Later it turned out that also other brands in this way dodged the rules.

The inquiry suggests that the EU again and again covered up for the automobile industry. Countries did not investigate their own car brands thoroughly for fear that it would harm businesses.

So, politicians and officials have known for a long time that vehicles on the road emit more pollutants than in the laboratory. There has been talk about more stringent testing, but its introduction was delayed for years. Especially Spain, France and Italy lobbied actively in Brussels in order to avoid stricter rules.

The European Commission also protected the automobile industry. Probably the commissioners knew as early as 2005 that diesels were emitting too many pollutants. Gerbrandy: “There was extensive discussion in the European Commission. Even letters were exchanged between the Commissioners of the Environment and Industry. But ultimately there very deliberately chose to do nothing. The industry interests were put above good air quality.”

According to the inquiry, there was mismanagement at various points. For example, because member states would have had to spend more money on checking cars. They also did not investigate why cars were much dirtier on the road than in the lab while they did know that.

The inquiry last year heard, eg, former European commissioners, national politicians and representatives of car companies. Those hearings were public, so true revelations can not be read in the report. It sums up what went wrong and the committee judges harshly about that.

Main conclusions:

-The European Commission and the EU countries knew in 2004 or 2005 that diesels emit too many pollutants.

– Beneficiary countries have deliberately chosen to postpone a new, improved test until 2017 to protect the industry.

– Member states should have spent more money on checks. Now inspectors often depend on the test areas of the car manufacturers themselves.

-Not everyone wanted to cooperate with the investigation. Striking: especially public officials and politicians failed in that.

During the interrogations former commissioners and the auto industry often shifted the blame to the European Parliament. Which had also done nothing to prevent the outbreak of the scandal diesel, they said.

According to Gerbrandy that accusation is absurd. “The European Parliament has primarily a legislative role. The laws themselves are fine. Enforcement and implementation of these laws is the job of the member states and the European Commission.”

No matter how harshly the European Parliament may judge politicians and the automotive industry, that won’t lead to punishment. The parliament can not dismiss politicians or impose by penalties by other means.

27 thoughts on “European Union cover-up of polluting cars scandal

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