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Volkswagen used code words to hide its diesel defeat devices, says a report

The more it's being looked into, the more Dieselgate seems like some odd spy novel.

It's yet another red light in a case that feels like it will last until the heat death of the universe.
Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/Corbis

When Volkswagen employees created software meant to intentionally sidestep emissions regulations around the world, those employees probably realized that hiding it was a good idea. But instead of deleting any trace of this system, those responsible turned to a trope as old as spy stories themselves: code words.

That's according to a report from Bloomberg, which cites anonymous sources and says the investigation into Volkswagen's misdeeds is taking longer than usual, thanks to a number of factors, including the use of coded terms like "acoustic software." Those code words, along with computer systems that aren't exactly the most cutting-edge in the world, have contributed to a slow investigation thus far.

Deadlines haven't exactly been met at any point in the Dieselgate debacle. The judge overseeing the federal lawsuit against the automaker has pushed back a deadline related to VW and regulators coming to agreement on a fix for its affected diesel vehicles. VW itself has delayed its own shareholders' meeting as well. And now this. Volkswagen did not immediately return a request for comment.

In fact, Volkswagen has a court date on April 21, which is when the automaker and federal regulators are supposed to have agreed on a fix. Earlier this month, I wrote that this deadline would likely come and go without any appreciable solution. Volkswagen has approximately 500,000 diesel vehicles currently overpolluting on US roads, with global totals encompassing some 11 million affected cars.