In 1976, Bosch introduced what would eventually become one of THE most important technologies for reducing exhaust emissions:oxygen sensors. By 1996, Bosch had produced its 100,000,000th oxygen sensor.
Automotive exhaust emissions are everyone’s concern because we all breathe the same air. Fifty percent of Americans live in areas that exceed national clean air standards. Reducing tailpipe emissions, therefore, is a top priority in the effort to fight air pollution.
Today, Bosch oxygen sensors are original equipment on a wide variety of European (including Volvo, of course), Asian and domestic vehicles and are the #1 best selling brand in the aftermarket.
Oxygen sensors have been standard equipment on passenger car and light truck engines since 1980-81. Most such vehicles have one or two oxygen sensors (two are typically used on selected V6 and V8 engines starting in the late 1980s). Since the introduction of Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD II) in 1995-96, the number of oxygen sensors per vehicle has doubled (the extra sensors are used downstream of the catalytic converter to monitor its operating efficiency).
Yet, as important as an oxygen sensor is, few people are even aware of their presence, let alone the key role oxygen sensors play in engine performance and reducing pollution. One survey found that 99.7% of all consumers did not know their vehicle even had an oxygen sensor!