Oh, Volkswagen. Volkswagen, Volkswagen, Volkswagen. What’s up? Look, you’ve been caught. That means coming clean with everything. It’s just going to be worse if the EPA or anyone finds more defeat devices, you know, like suspicious coding in the engine controls. Just fess up already, to everything.
The recently discovered second (probable) defeat device is a string of computer code that runs on the same engine control computers as the now well-known defeat device found on VW’s EA 189 diesel engines.
EPA spokesperson Nick Conger spoke to Bloomberg about the code in question, saying:
“VW did very recently provide EPA with very preliminary information on an auxiliary emissions control device that VW said was included in one or more model years.”
The EPA is currently investigating the recently-revealed code to determine if it does, in fact, contain code designed to fool EPA emissions tests.
Deep-cover Jalopnik moles inside the company VW subcontracts to apply the warning stickers to their ECUs have managed to secure the portion of code in question:
10 REM SECRET CHEAT CODE #2 STARTS HERE
20 PR#2: REM SET OUTPUT TO INTERNAL CENTER STACK SCREEN
30 PRINT “ARE YOU CURRENTLY TESTING EMISSIONS FOR THE EPA? HIT HORN FOR ‘YES’, TAP BRAKE FOR ‘NO’” : INPUT A$
40 IF A$=”HORN” THEN EM$=”YES”
50 IF A$=”BRAKE” THEN EM$=”NO”
60 IF EM$=”YES” THEN POKE 232, 64: REM TURNS CLEAN EMISSIONS ON
70 IF EM$=”NO” THEN POKE 232, 0: REM GO AHEAD AND RUN IT DIRTY
Okay, so that’s not exactly true, that code or our mole. But the rest is all true, though I’m sure VW wishes it wasn’t.
If this new code turns out to be another defeat device, Volkswagen will also be guilty of failing to disclose the information, though it’s hard to see how much more boned they can really be.