Volkswagen scandal: the secret history of the EA 189 engine

Volkswagen scandal: the secret history of the EA 189 engine

When you begin to suspect that the Volkswagen group something is not being done well? The origin of the Volkswagen scandal years ago is to be found precisely with the development of the new TDI diesel engine, the one that gave rise to the "boom" Volkswagen brand and today and in the coming years will propel the entire Volkswagen group into one of the biggest crisis in the history of the automobile. Although fraud has broken out now, the problem with the Volkswagen TDI engines It began in 2006. Now, when leaders have recognized the seriousness of the situation, it is too late. This is the chronology events on fraud of the emissions from Volkswagen.

The year 2006, and in Germany an era of compression ignition engines was coming to an end: injection diesel engine-pump, with which VW priori guaranteed low power consumption and high power, would fail to meet the future emission limits. That was for sure. And that starts to make you sweat managers of the Volkswagen Group an imminent inspection in South Africa. Among them, the head of the Board of Directors of VW, Ferdinand Piëch, director Audi, Martin Winterkorn, head of Audi engines section, Wolfgang Hatz and the head of VW brand, Wolfgang Bernhard.

By then, Audi had already developed its own Diesell engine six-cylinder technology "common-rail" and lower emissions. It was a technology from other manufacturers, nothing distinguishing, because employing all others Diesel market. Audi was already also working on a four-cylinder version. Bernhard Krebs and lead for the first time these prototypes EA 189 -now known as TDI 2.0 configured in four-cylinder V6 derivatives. During the test, Piëch maltreated these units to see how far they were able to reach. Y EA 189 survived this torture. It is the beginning of the story of a disaster. Continue keeping an eye to the past.

SCR and exhaust, so it worksSpring 2006

Developers Volkswagen heatedly discussed above catalyst technology used to limit nitrogen oxide emissions of the EA 189. In this point, the engine has already been exported to the United States for strategic reasons, although it is known that future rules on emissions will be much stricter. Krebs and Bernhard advocate a particularly efficient in the conversion of harmful NOx SRC system, working with urea injection. Both are convinced that, otherwise, they will not be able to meet the strict emission limits United States, and even more so considering that in later life cycles engine legislation will harden even more. Meanwhile, opponents warn of high costs, and advocate a simpler and lighter catalyst NOx-trap. Do not forget the pride of the developers of VW, which at that time was taking its toll Mercedes with its development of SCR technology.

December 2006

The picture in the German automotive industry is quiet, with the exception of BMW: Bernhard (VW), Hatz (Audi) and Thomas Weber (lead developer of Daimler), on the eve of the LA Auto Show address the idea of ​​a joint offensive clean diesel in the United States. The key word is Bluetec. Goodbye to the car "green". Everything should be blue, the new clean car color. US customers have some rejection of diesel. US is considered a dirty fuel and diesel is well seen only in commercial vehicles.

January 2007

Bernhard leaves VW and with it, ceases its involvement in the decision regarding the NOx storage catalyst. SRC expensive system that defended Bernhard and finally Krebs has not developed.

February 2007

Krebs, who had been appointed chief Bernhard motors, is sent to the engine plant in Salzgitter, and Wolfgang Hatz leaves the direction of Audi-Mann. This, along with Martin Winterkorn (corporate and member of the Board of Directors of the mark) and Ulrich Hackenberg (responsible for development) move from Ingolstadt to Wolfsburg. He EA 189 has already been adapted for the United States.

harmful emissions escapeAugust 2007

Elea 189 It reaches the European market under the hood of the Volkswagen Tiguan, and the name VW Euro 5. In speaking of the 'cleanest diesel in history'. At about the same time, VW any shadow of doubt away: this engine you can not easily pass the tests of US emissions (Known as the Tier 2 Bin 5) with catalyst-NO x storing.

There must be a solution. It was decided to install a safe diagnostic software in electronic control of motors EA 189. A program lines recognize situations test, with what cars with ESP, to be stationary on the rollers, they can be testeds safely. Without this prior information, the ESP is activated when detecting that the front wheels to rotate faster while remaining rear stops. Other manufacturers also use a program, or directly put their cars manually on a "trial mode". So far, a legal practice. Nevertheless, VW uses this information to manipulate the engine control. In the test work with low emission parameters; on the street electronic control unit focuses on getting high power and driving comfort. However, in the test these criteria are irrelevant. In addition, VW knows that it is almost impossible to detect manipulation via software control unit, even for experts. In a modern car there are more than 100 million lines of program code, rather than a Boeing 747.

August 2008

VW introduces the EA 189 in the United States in the predecessor of the Volkswagen Jetta (fifth generation), and manages to put on the market even in states with stricter regulations emissions, such as California. The big difference is the certification of emissions between the US and Europe: Europe are carried out by independent institutes such as TÜV or Dekra, while in the United States makes the manufacturer, but always under state supervision. In addition, in the United States there are several different test cycles (FTP and US06, HWFET). In Europe, however, we only have the "New European Driving Cycle" (NEDC). Nevertheless, no one suspected anything.

January 2011

VW presents the American version of the new Volkswagen Passat, which variants diesel now have the SCR catalyst, more elaborate. VW everything is going as planned: the Passat was named 'Motor Trend Car of the Year' in 2013 and achieved a record efficiency between cars without hybrid engine (3.02 l / 100 km).

May 2014

West Virginia University published a study for the German-American Institute of Environment ICTT in analyzing the emissions of three vehicles from different manufacturers, as measured both test bench and on the road: the Jetta, the Passat and BMW X5. Mercedes did not participate because, according to the institute, there was no car brand available rental companies in the area. On average, all diesel NOx emitted an amount seven times higher than allowed by the Euro 6 standard.

Expected deviations of this kind in road tests, and cars manufactured in series and certain scuffs, but not at this level. Values ​​nitrous oxide Volkswagen Jetta with deNOx multiplied limits between 15 and 35 times. Volkswagen Passat, with SCR catalyst, the multiplied by 20. The BMW X5, which combines both catalysts, comply with the limits in almost all test conditions. EPA (Agency Environmental Protection United States) and authority California air pollution (CARB, Californian Air Resources Board) VW America demanded an explanation. Mark's response was based on software defects and improper use of the vehicle. It did not sound too convincing.

Heinz-Jakob Neusser, responsible for the development of powertrain VW Group since October 2012, leaving the groupDecember 2014

VW performs voluntary recall of 480,000 cars exported to the United States so far, powered by EA 189. A software update should fix the problem. Meanwhile, the Regional Institute of the German Environment published a study on three models diesel Euro 6 NOx emissions significantly above the limit: VW CC and BMW 320d -both the cuadruplicaron-, and Mazda 6, that fivefold.

April 2015

The head of the Board of Directors of VW, Ferdinand Piëch says in an interview his rift with Winterkorn: 'I'm struggling to reach the head of the Board of Directors and the Board the right people'.

May 2015

CARB emissions tests for the Volkswagen Jetta and Volkswagen Passat in both test bench and on the road. It confirms that there has been a slight decrease in NOx emissions on the road, although levels remain high. For this research, CARB He conducted a series of special test, repeating the second phase of the FTP test cycle. This special cycle is not recognized by the software VW, why now SCR catalyst injects less urea, whereby NOx emissions are even greater.

July 2015

CARB makes public the results of VW and EPA. To this they followed numerous technical meetings with VW executives. CARB specialists consider that explanations of VW technicians are not enough to explain the behavior of the exhaust gases. Under these circumstances, will not give any approval to 2016. VW models realizes for the first time what your situation.

Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen Group again replacing WinterkornSeptember 3, 2015

After lengthy discussions, Volkswagen admits to the CARB and EPA have committed fraud Two aspects of different motor. This technical procedure is not regulated by legislation emissions in the United States.

September 18, 2015

Friday of the first week of the Frankfurt International Motor Show the bomb explodes: the CARB and the EPA They make public fraud, which already includes 42 models of different years group in the United States. The value of VW shares fell by about 20 billion euros.

September 22, 2015

VW fund accrues 6,500 million euros in order to resolve the problem. Martin Winterkorn apologizes publicly in a video message. He resigned the next day.

September 25, 2015

The Board of Directors of VW decided to do without the responsible development of Audi (Ulrich Hackenberg), Porsche (Wolfgang Hatz) and VW (Jakob Neußer). As successor from Winterkorn the former chief executive of Porsche, Matthias Müller, the initial favorite Piëch is appointed to replace a Winterkorn.