We Called The Fiat Chrysler Emissions Cheating in 2015

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We Called The Fiat Chrysler Emissions Cheating in 2015

After we learned that Volkswagen had cheated on government emissions tests in 2015 by having the engine perform differently in test circumstances than normal driving mode, we gave our thoughts and analysis. This crime was especially egregious because Volkswagen saved thousands on the manufacturing costs of each car by eliminating the urea tank and related plumbing. They then claimed they had invented a clean diesel technology and actually became a darling of the green culture.

It really was the auto equivalent of a Ponzi scheme in many ways.

They simultaneously undercut competitor pricing while screwing customers and regulators.

We surmised that something like this couldn't happen without CXO knowledge. There is no way your car claims to beat rivals Mercedes and BMW with better and cheaper technology and the CXO suite doesn't ask how it's done. It just isn't possible. Specifically we said:

If management learned VW engineers were able to achieve the impossible… They found a way to burn diesel in a manner which literally saved billions of dollars for the company, they would naturally want to know how it was done. This was a breakthrough. It is inconceivable that all of management wouldn’t be interested in learning at least something about how the system worked.

Basically this means all senior management could likely be liable if logic is a guide here.

To date the CXOs have been off the hook.

Moreover, we asked how it is possible for any other car companies to be oblivious to what VW was doing. After all, engineers like other people switch jobs and when they do, they are likely to share secrets. Moreover, if you learn your competitor is doing something better than you are and spending far less to do it, wouldn't you engineering department take the cars apart until you could duplicate their technique?


Turns out, we were spot on. Other car companies were doing the same thing. Fiat Chrysler shares just plunged 13% as a result of it being discovered that they too used deceptive software to achieve similar results to VW. This is on top of the cheating by Mitsubishi outed by Nissan last year.

It seems apparent more now than ever that cheating in the auto industry is widespread and part of how business is done. We pretty much explained this is how the industry had to work a few years back. In a sense, we called this scandal 16 months ago. We expect more to come from other companies - although we don't believe a Trump EPA will be as strict or punitive as Obama's.

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