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Finger of suspicion – the VW scandal

Far from going away the VW emissions scandal rumbles on. To recap, some VW engines were programmed to favourably control their emissions when these engines sensed they were subject to test.

All along, the popular assumption has been that somewhere on the vehicle there was secreted some little ‘black box’ which performed this task. The truth is more sinister because there never were any little boxes, black or otherwise. Instead it is now claimed that VW actually illegally modified its engine software to perform the required task and that this software component was supplied by German auto components manufacturer Bosch. The argument is that Bosch must have understood the purpose of this particular component and is therefore complicit with VW. In a litigious society like the US this reasoning is gaining traction so it is now more than likely that the Bosch name will also be drawn into the legal arguments. So far Bosch itself has said very little, only stating blandly that the products it supplies (to the motor industry) are made to specifications demanded by its car-maker customers and could not know precisely how they were to be used. This position will no doubt be the subject of some vigorous legal arguments.

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