THE RIOT POINT

The Lab

The fruits of riotous experimentation.

Executives have to go where the rubber hits the road

The EPA has accused VW of installing software in their diesel cars to deliberately reduce levels of nitrous oxide during emission testing.  When the software is disabled, some VW diesels emit nitrous oxide levels 40 times greater than legislated limits.

The EPA are seeking an eye-watering fine of $18 billion. 

VW will join Caterpillar, Volvo, Ford and Honda in the naughty boys room as these too have also employed so called ‘defeat devices’ in the past.

In recent years there has been a change in the method of measuring emission data. The previous method (left) measured the actual emission. It was expensive, moderately accurate, and required an mechanic to receive a short exposure to dense emissions.

The new tool (right) plugs into the car computer checks whether the software and hardware controlling the emissions are working properly. If they are, it is then assumed that the actual emission is within standard. It is quicker and safer.

Now, it turns out, that if you use the old-fashioned approach to measurement without alerting the car’s computer, the regulation-busting NOx levels are evident.

So, surely then, if these pollutants are so damaging, wouldn’t you put a process in place to monitor the efficacy of the software? For example, doesn't make sense to randomly check the actual emission of, say, every 20th vehicle? This is standard practice in manufacturing.

Apparently not. 

Here’s the take away for Executives.

Despite your best endeavours, you may have 'defeat devices' installed in your organisation. To ensure this is not the case, you have to engage the source data.

What does this mean?

  • Even if your Net Promotor Score is a whopping 80%, you, personally, should still verify the data by engaging with customers.
  • Even if your employee engagement surveys tell you things couldn’t be better, you still need to confirm this by walking, talking and listening.

If it’s important to you, you have to engage the source data.

For more information on having an honest conversation with customers learn about Customer R&D®

For more information on having an honest conversation with your organisation learn about Culture R&D®

Simon LuntComment