Cheat Codes in computer games are initially hard to find but ease to use. There where designed as part of the program (application) from a very easily stage for development and testing reasons. I remember back in the 2000’s using them in the old SimCity PC computer games to get ahead. Enter the use of cheat codes in the automotive world…
In the real world Volkswagen (VW) has been caught using cheat codes on their cars computers ‘s meet US pollution/emissions requirements for their diesel engines. Since VW also makes Audi, Skoda and Seat that use the same engines they are all effected by the same cheat. Using cheat codes in this context essentially means that the company does not have the technology to develop genuine clean engine tech. Since VW does promote its diesels as the best in the world, you can logically assume that you can no longer trust their PR and marketing spin (literally) on any technological promotion. Being found out like this is bad news for the brand’s image and financial standing. We should have read the signs when VW where caught using noise boxes to make their cars sound better. Which we find the sound more annoying than appealing. Watch out BMW…
VW where found out by the a nonprofit council initiated the tests in 2013 and referred the results to the authorities but in typical VW fashion sent continual denials to the various authorities until the EPA agency said that no vehicles will be sold in the US until they came clean (LOL), DSG gearbox with that anyone? Not surpassingly VW finally owned up.
Going slightly off topic, we all know that claim fuel use is not an accurate representation of real world use so you can assume there is some leeway in the measurement but as you can read in the article, a reputable source the results where way out. In fuel terms it’s like saying you’re engine uses 5 litres per hundred kilometres but in the real world it’s 200 litres per hundred kilometres. Another side note and a great save is how Suzuki had finally extracted its self from a flawed agreement with VW over the said diesel engines. After all with Suzuki’s engineers pouring over VW specification they would have found the cheat codes pretty quickly?
VW’s did make good and reliable cars based on experience however when there is a problem like most car companies they start to hide behind walls of denials, so their behaviour in this regard is no different. (Since the trust is broken what other things have they been dishonest about. However this emissions cheat goes to the core of any VW branded car in particular Audi which charge a premium for supposedly better tech.) The body and interiors may be well put together but underneath it all it’s no better than a car made generations ago and hence contributing to the destruction of the planet and health problems. You can understand how they managed to spend extra on the interiors – by skipping on real technology.
Unfortunately VW can no longer be trusted, have any green or eco friendly credentials at all – which is the main issue. Sure the cheat has been found in certain engines but the fact that they developed cheat probably means that they have for other engines too. Since the cheat was specifically developed by head office it again goes to the core of VW and shows everyone it’s a dishonest company. Whether scrutiny will extend to other brands that use diesel engines or even further examining petrol engines will be interesting topic to watch. It is not the first time VW has taken short cuts on the emmisions technology. Will VW recover – who knows?
To conclude, the cheat codes in Simcity made the game more fun for me. It helped ease the games learning curve – quite sophisticated in the day for a game and I enjoyed many months of game time. Without the codes it would have been a harder slog and I would definitely be left feeling more than a little annoyed at the game. VW’s cheat likewise made their cars better to drive and made the owners feel good about their purchase, however it was killing them, us and the planet. It’s simply wrong thing to do, life is not a game and definitely not Simcity.
Update: The fuel injection system is provided by Bosch and VW where warned that using the codes would be illegal.