I was rather depressed to read in the November edition of Vintage Roadcar that Volkswagen’s emissions cheating was not even that original.  Apparently in the late 1990’s a number of truck manufacturers were fined $1bn for doing the same thing, namely using software to change the way their engines ran whilst undergoing emissions tests.

Even more depressing was the fact that in 1974 Volkswagen paid the US authorities $120,000 to settle claims that they had fitted a mechanical “defeat device” to many of their cars that would sense when the engine reached a certain temperature and would then thwart the mandated pollution control systems.

It is hard to believe the engineers responsible for the current scandal were aware of the alleged misdemeanours of their forebears but it does perhaps show that a culture of disregard for the strictures of emissions laws is nothing new to Volkswagen.

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