“Grandma, can you tell me a story please?” said little Martin W. “Would you like Jack and the Beanstalk or Red Riding Hood” said Grandma. “No protested little Martin loudly “ I want one about the nasty German car company fixing their problem with just a bit of plastic and some software updates”
And so to all the good boys and girls, if you ever have an international problem where your company stands to lose billions and billions of dollars, just grab a hold of a plastic pipe and get your kids to update the software – perhaps they can do it as a project at school.
The responses out of Wolfsburg are barely credible if you ask me. Barely 8 weeks on from potentially the world’s largest ever corruption scandal, Volkswagen are claiming a fix in one engine with a mild update. Read the article by Jay Ramey and perhaps you’ll start to wonder, like me, why it ever got to this point if the fix was so relatively easy.
FLOW TRANSFORMER DEVICE ANNOUNCED AS KEY RETROFIT FOR AFFECTED CARS
VW has made public details of a fix for its 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines in Europe, unveiling the solution which it presented to German authorities some two weeks prior, Automotive News Europe reports.
The proposed solution for the smaller 1.6-liter is nothing short of breathtaking in its simplicity, with the automaker only indicating that all the larger 2.0-liter engine will require is a software update.
How does VW propose to modify the 1.6-liter diesels? The first part of the fix obviously involves a software update, which will presumably delete or replace the software that allowed the cars to detect when they were in testing mode and turn on their full range of emission-control systems. Wiping that part of the engine software was clear from the beginning.
The second part of the fix is a simple-looking plastic device that VW refers to as a “flow transformer” which it will install in front of the engine’s air mass sensor.
As the video (CLICK HERE) shows, the futuristically named flow transformer, or flow straightener, is a tube with egg-crate-pattern vents inside that are supposed to smooth out the flow of air towards the air-mass sensor.
Audi has announced a fix to correct the software in some 85,000 vehicles, some of which were initially named in a Notice of Violation (NOV) issued by the EPA at the beginning of the month, Automotive …
“This is a mesh that calms the swirled air flow in front of the air mass sensor and will thus decisively improve the measuring accuracy of the air mass sensor,” VW explained in a statement announcing the fix. “The air mass sensor determines the current air mass throughput, which is a very important parameter for the engine management for an optimum combustion process.”
VW claims that the proposed fix will take under an hour to install in the affected models, and that it won’t even affect the power output of the engine or fuel efficiency, as was feared early on in the crisis.
The 2.0-liter engines, at least in Germany, will receive nothing more than a software update, though it is far from settled that the fix in the U.S. and Canada will be the same given the different emission standards. The automaker points out that the solution detailed above is not meant for North American-market EA 189 engines.
“The 2.0-liter engines will get a software update. The pure labor time for this measure will be around half an hour,” VW stated. “Thanks to advances in engine development and improved simulation of currents inside complex air intake systems, in combination with software optimization geared towards this, it has been possible to produce a relatively simple and customer-friendly measure.”
The automaker is expected to announce details of a fix for U.S. and Canadian 2.0-liter TDI models in the coming days or weeks, though specifics of a possible fix have not been hinted at by VW executives. VW claims to have developed solutions for all the affected diesel engines,with the exception of the 1.2-liter engine — a variety not offered in North American models.
“With these defined measures, technical solutions are already available for the majority of all Group models affected in Europe with EA 189 engines,” VW said in statement. “At the end of this month, corresponding measures will be presented to the Federal Motor Transport Authority for the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder diesel engine as well.”