The NMRA’s DCC Working Group has discovered, after much investigation, the ESU has created a unique protocol which allows their multifunction decoders to communicate with additional logic on the locomotive’s daughterboard. This allows for additional functions and effects.
Replacing the ESU decoder with another manufacturer’s pin compatible decoder results in those functions not working.
The NMRA is trying to resolve this situation in a beneficial manner.
Please remember that members of the DCC working group spent many hours investigating this issue over a number of months to determine why swapping decoders was not 100% compatible if the OEM version was supplied by ESU.