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Old May 14th, 2019, 13:53   #16
bizzle
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Southern California
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CARB doesn't need to know the flash counter to determine whether it's been flashed. CARB also doesn't need an exact image of the flash file to determine that it's been altered. If there is ever a question of fact, like whether the flash counter should be 1 or many, it's irrelevant to you as a driver because CARB will simply refuse your registration unless and until you prove to them your ECU is untampered. I would definitely not rely on some implausible story about VW technicians messing up a flash...I'm not even sure that happens. I've never flashed an ECU but I have flashed other hardware devices and incomplete flashes resulted in either a bricked device or an unflashed one--never an increased flash count The humor in this is it's always the offenders who try and float these implausible scenarios and wonder why they aren't credited as possible scenarios.

But given the problems you all described, which CARB is obviously aware exist since they were obvious objections to be raised, that's not going to be the mechanism. It may be an additional measurement, but it won't be the sole one. Tuned ECUs already have it rough in California. Gone are the days of electrical tape over a CEL...as of about 20+ years ago.

Smog techs don't crawl under vehicles unless someone makes them. On a diesel, they plug your vehicle directly into the DMV's system and look at the tailpipe to assess opacity. The computer does all the work and analysis. The tech simply pushes buttons to tell it when to start and end. There's no reason for them to dig any further than that, the computer tells all and it's live data to DMV. It would not surprise me at all if the system was also wrapped into VW (and other manufacturers) at this point.
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