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Faster, Higher, Farther
The Volkswagen Scandal
By Jack Ewing

This is a good book about the emissions scandal at VW. It does a great job of setting the background, all the way back to the original 1936 bug, and the Porshe and Piech families. I learned all sorts of new terms as well. For example:

o DPF: Diesel Particulate Filter
o DEF: Diesel Exhaust Fluid
o SCR: Selective Catalytic Reduction

More importantly, I learned how the "cheats" were implemented in the engine computer, and how much over the limits the actual exhaust gases were, on the order of 20x in some cases. So this was no small sin. And after reading about the unhealthy effects of NOx emissions and the callous disregard of the rules, I came away thinking the VW executives being punished got what they deserved. And there are still others who should go to jail as well.

When the scandal first broke, and arrests were made, I wondered if the prosecution wasn't biased to go after a foreign company, and was perhaps overlooking similar violations at other, US-based companies. But I learned that both GM (1993) and Ford (1997) had in fact been caught and fined for exhaust cheating. Furthermore, multiple diesel truck engine makers including Cummins, Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, Mack, Renault, Navistar, and Volvo had been fined for similar deeds as well (1998).

My instinct had been that maybe VW was being over-zealously proescuted. But after learning the scope of the violations and the extent of the cover-up, I was convinced otherwise - the punishment was called for, absolutely.

Other interesting tidbits include learning how the Porsche-Audi-VW triumvirate had come to be, and that there was a scandal involving that, too.

For car guys and gals, I consider this a must-read book. I got mine at the library.


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