Feds investigate Bosch’s role in VW emissions cheats

Feds investigate Bosch’s role in VW emissions cheats

US government officials are reportedly investigating Bosch’s role in Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal.

The German supplier built numerous components for VW’s non-compliant diesel engines. Prosecutors are said to be interested in what role, if any, the company had in developing and implementing the ‘defeat’ system that allowed the vehicles to circumvent emissions regulations, according to a Reuters report.

Most of the offending VW- and Audi-badged vehicles are powered by a four-cylinder engine controlled by a Bosch-supplied electronic module. In a 2006 press release, the company boasted that its new EDC17 module “controls every parameter that is important for effective, low-emission combustion.”

“In addition to controlling the precise timing and quantity of injection, exhaust gas recirculation, and manifold pressure regulation, it also offers a large number of options such as the control of particulate filters or systems for reducing nitrogen oxides,” the announcement adds.

Real-world tests found that the VW engines emitted nitrogen oxides at levels up to 40 times higher than regulatory thresholds. To make the vehicles appear compliant, the control systems appear to have been programmed to detect predictable lab-test conditions and temporarily run with different settings.

Bosch’s EDC17 promotional materials describe the hardware as flexible to suit any vehicle segment or specific market requirements. Investigators will presumably focus on the company’s potential involvement in helping develop the specialized software required for the VW engines.

A previous report suggests Bosch may have supplied VW with the basic software used in the emissions-dodging vehicles. The company allegedly claimed to have warned VW as early as 2007 that the diesel-management configuration was for testing purposes only and would be illegal to implement in production cars.

The government probe into Bosch’s involvement is said to be in an early stage, and Reuters‘ sources claim investigators have not yet found evidence of wrongdoing.

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