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Editorials

Dishonest dealing: 'Dieselgate' stain spreads

| Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Christoph Schmidt/AP

Volkswagen AG's “Dieselgate” scandal — involving “defeat device” software that made diesel engines run cleaner during emissions testing but otherwise let them pollute at up to 40 times legal levels — is far from over. A new study suggests the world's largest auto-parts supplier played a role in such cheating by VW — and by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

The new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and a German university alleges Robert Bosch GmbH created VW's defeat-device software, Bloomberg reports. These researchers also say Bosch-copyrighted documents suggest other Bosch defeat-device software was used on a Europe-only diesel Fiat model.

Bosch is mum on this latest study but has denied it conspired with VW to cheat on emissions testing, admitting no wrongdoing in a $327.5 million settlement with vehicle owners. But Bosch's role is now part of the Justice Department's criminal investigation of VW. And Fiat Chrysler denies Justice allegations that it used “defeat devices in Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups, which use Bosch software.”

VW has admitted cheating 11 million diesel buyers worldwide, whose cars didn't live up to VW's “green” claims. VW also cheated U.S. taxpayers of up to $51 million in $1,300 credits on 2009 diesel Jetta models. If these new Bosch and Fiat Chrysler allegations are proven, such dishonest dealing will tarnish even more of the global auto industry — and cheat untold additional numbers of consumers.

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