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Lecture 3

ITM 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Turbocharged Direct Injection, 6 Years, Ryerson University

Information Technology Management
Course Code
ITM 102
Franklyn Prescod

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Case Study Volkswagen Pollutes Its Reputation with Software to Cheat Emissions Testing
Noor Salem
Dr. Franklyn I. Prescod
Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management
In partial fulfillment for the requirements
ITM102 - Business Information Systems
September 28 2017
Ryerson University
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After trying to bypass Toyota as the world’s largest automaker, Volkswagen Group was
issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency in
2015. During the process, Volkswagen promoted “‘clean diesel-powered cars with low
emissions and high mileage, tripling U.S sales throughout a decade. However, the 580,000 cars
in the U.S. and almost 10.5 million more sold under Volkswagen and other brands were not
actually “green”. The agency had discovered that Volkswagen was intentionally programming
turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to start certain emissions controls during emissions
testing. Though the vehicle’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) output met the US regulations during
laboratory testing, the nitrogen oxide produced when the cars were out on the road was up to 40
times more.
Volkswagen has been getting away with cheating on emissions test for years, putting this
software in about 11 million cars worldwide. It took investigations by environmental groups and
independent researchers to realize that from 2009 through 2015, Volkswagen has been deceptive
with hiding emissions in lines of software code. According to Cynthia Giles, an EPA
enforcement officer, “these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when
driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test” (theguardian,
2015, Volkswagen under investigation over illegal software that masks emissions, para.3).
Today, many functions in automobiles are controlled by software program codes, and
carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide levels are monitored to control how much pollutants the car
releases. Typically, nitrogen oxide is emitted a greater amount, which is why standards for NOx
are tough in the United states, where diesel cars are more common as opposed to Europe. Diesel-
powered cars are able to limit emission levels by using sensors and a monitoring software, which
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