You might be tired of hearing about diesel emissions and all that jazz, and we’re getting tired of writing about them. Unfortunately, the news is often too big to ignore, and what began as an isolated incidence of cheating government emissions regulators at a single (albeit huge) automaker is proving to be much more widespread than anybody suspected.
So far Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Opel and Mercedes-Benz have been implemented in the emissions cheating scandal so far, and the Verge reports that German regulators are taking a look at Fiat now, too.
Regulators say that the Fiat cheating method was a little less advanced compared to Volkswagen. Whereas VW’s cheating software could detect when it was undergoing an emissions test and alter its emissions accordingly, the Fiat Ducato indicted in the cheating scandal just ran a different set of engine parameters for the first 22 minutes it is running. Why 22 minutes? Because German emissions tests last just 20 minutes.
It was German parts supplier Bosch that tipped off regulators, telling them that the Fiat ran its active exhaust filtration during initial startup to fool regulators. Though not as sneaky as Volkswagen’s software, it was just as effective at fooling emissions sniffers by taking advantage of the precise nature of German engineering and testing. Fiat’s exposure to diesel emissions in the U.S. is limited to the EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500, but you can bet U.S. regulators are scrutinizing every diesel automotive engine that falls under their jurisdiction.
Every new week seems to bring a new revelation about the diesel cheating scandal, and it could have a major impact on the development of future diesel engines. Exciting news? No, but of the utmost importance to anybody who loves diesel engines.