Smog Check Done… But Why?


I took Helaine’s SUV to have its emissions checked. Pass. Was there ever a question?

In California auto emissions are a big deal. Because of our topography we are prone to smog. A few decades ago SoCal’s air was horrendous. Mountains you can see today were invisible back then.

Strict auto emission rules have gone a long way toward making California a healthier place to live.

And now comes the Volkswagen cheat. Eleven million vehicles worldwide reporting bogus pollution numbers. Can we believe any car is really as clean as it claims?

It’s time to force the car companies to open up the black boxes, really computers, that keep our cars running. For years automakers have resisted by saying car owners would install new firmware that couldn’t be trusted… sort of like VW did.

It’s true. Some people might do to their cars what they’ve done to the flow restricters on their showers. It’s worth the risk, The wholesale criminality of Volkswagen doesn’t deserve to be protected and hidden from view.

Was the smog check I took yesterday worth my time, effort and money? Today I can’t tell you.

3 thoughts on “Smog Check Done… But Why?”

  1. I’ll vouch for the smog! I was living in Glendale from Sept 1964-July 1966. The only times that I saw the mountains from there was between Nov-January. The rest of the time, they were blocked from view. You could ride out to San Bernardino and look back to LA and see nothing but a brown haze. I used to have near constant sore throats–never realizing why til years later. When I left the east coast, NYC was clear. It didn’t take long for that to change. By the mid 70’s, that too was smogged in. It is good to know that emissions controls have done something to improve the air we breathe.

  2. There’s a couple of issues not yet touched upon. When the VWs are in ‘pollution mode’, just exactly how bad are they? We’ve only heard 40x worse than something. And also there is the DCMA question. Did VW rely upon the DCMA to hide their cheat, or was that an unintended consequence? Finally, I’d love to hear the complete story of how this was uncovered. I bet that would be interesting to the geekier community.

    I’ not happy about the cheating, but someone did a pretty nifty job of coding to pull this off. High points for skills, but a fail for morals.

  3. Geoff, from a personal security point of view, you should fuzz out the license plate on Helaine’s car…any car of yours, for that matter!

    Kill this comment and email me direct if you have questions…

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