If you bought a car recently, I'm sorry to tell you your "badass" engine noise is probably just a recording of someone else's badass engine, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Car manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Porsche and Volkswagen, have apparently slipping extremely quiet engines into your vehicles for a while now, the Washington Post reports.

Car companies are increasingly wary of alerting buyers that they might not be hearing the real thing, and many automakers have worked with audio and software engineers to make their cars' synthesized engine melody more realistic.

Volkswagen uses what's called a "Soundaktor," a special speaker that looks like a hockey puck and plays sound files in cars such as the GTI and Beetle Turbo. Lexus worked with sound technicians at Yamaha to more loudly amplify the noise of its LFA supercar toward the driver seat.

Some, including Porsche with its "sound symposer," have used noise-boosting tubes to crank up the engine sound inside the cabin. Others have gone further into digital territory: BMW plays a recording of its motors through the car stereos, a sample of which changes depending on the engine's load and power.

The trickery is sadly necessary, as the Post points out, for electric cars, which have totally silent engines and are apparently extremely dangerous to "inattentive pedestrians and the blind."

But for everyone else, it's just another reminder to trust no one: the quieter engines are actually a good thing—it's because they're more fuel efficient—but bad for sales. Turns out our fuel-efficient cars have been running on bullshit this whole time.

[image via AP]