VW emissions scandal: hardware fix needed on 3.6m vehicles

Thursday, October 20th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : VW emissions scandal: hardware fix needed on 3.6m vehicles

First cars are to be recalled in January – although not all of them can be fixed by software alone


Volkswagen will need to make mechanical hardware improvements to fix almost half of the cars affected by the company’s emissions scandal, which has emerged.

The troubled firm has announced which just under 11 million vehicles worldwide possess the software ‘defeat device’ which was exposed in American emissions tests last month. at which point German officials have suggested which 3.6 million of those VW, Audi, Skoda in addition to Seat products – believed to be those featuring the 1.6-litre type of the EA189 turbodiesel engine – will require hardware improvements to correct the issue.

VW’s American boss Michael Horn told a Congressional committee yesterday which the fix could be a more complex catalytic convertor set-up or a Urea-based NOx clean-up system – or potentially both. Earlier speculation had also suggested the motors may require brand-new fuel injectors.

VW’s brand-new CEO Matthias Müller said which all cars affected by the scandal could be fixed by the end of next year. Müller confirmed to a gathering of 20,000 workers which the proposed fix will be presented to authorities for ratification imminently. Müller said: “Our most important task will be to regain lost confidence with our customers, partners, investors in addition to the general public. The first step in which direction will be a fast in addition to relentless examination in addition to explanation. Only when everything comes to the table, only when things are completely explained, only then will people trust us again.

“Believe me, I too am impatient. although in which situation, in which we are dealing with four brands in addition to many products, care is actually more important than speed.

“The technical solutions to the problems are in sight. By contrast, the business in addition to financial consequences are not yet foreseeable.”

Audi in addition to VW launch websites for owners to check if they are affected

Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda in addition to Seat have launched websites which allow owners to check if their car is actually affected by the emissions scandal.   

The VW site allows owners to input their VIN number in addition to then see if their car is actually one of those fitted with the EA189 engine in addition to the so-called defeat device. Audi started off a similar service later on Monday, with Skoda in addition to Seat following later inside week.

The VW site collapsed soon after launching under the weight of traffic trying to access which, although as of Monday evening which was functioning again normally. 

Government won’t hike tax bills

The Government has confirmed which UK taxpayers will not be hit by a higher tax bill if which turns out which their VW Group cars have been fitted that has a ‘defeat device’.

Volkswagen has admitted the use of software to manipulate emissions test results in America, although which is actually not yet clear whether the devices have been used in European tests.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The government expects VW to support owners of these vehicles already purchased inside UK in addition to we are playing our part by ensuring no one will end up with higher tax costs as a result of which scandal.”

He also confirmed which the Department for Transport has pushed for more clarity on the matter in addition to which the next round of tests will look at whether the software “is actually being used elsewhere”.

“Neither cars, nor the testing facilities will be provided by the vehicle industry themselves”.

VW’s remaining EU5 stock taken off sale inside UK

The Volkswagen Group has taken 4000 cars fitted with the EA189 engine off sale inside UK, pending investigations into how which will remove the illegal software which cheated US emissions tests while still ensuring the cars comply with all emissions regulations.

The move covers vehicles via Audi, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen, in addition to the cars in addition to commercial vehicles affected represent around 3% of the Group’s total UK stock. They are likely to be put back on sale once the Group’s modifications have been put in place.

A spokesman stressed which the decision to withdraw the cars via sale was a voluntary measure, rather than a regulatory one. The vehicles remained on sale beyond the September 1 deadline for Euro 6 emissions regulations to come in to effect because legislation allows manufactures to clear stock of Euro 5 engined vehicles. VW has previously confirmed all of its cars fitted with the latest, Euro 6 classified engines are fully legal.

which has also been announced which anyone with an order placed for an affected car will be given the choice of withdrawing via the sale without penalty, taking delivery of your vehicle after the modifications have been fitted or taking delivery of your vehicle as soon as which is actually available in addition to then having the required modifications retro-fitted.

More than 1.1m UK cars affected

Volkswagen has previously announced which will recall more than 1.1m cars inside UK as part of the ongoing emissions scandal.

The full number of cars to be recalled is actually 1,189,906, in addition to which is actually spread across a few different brands inside VW Group. Volkswagen accounts for the majority, with 508,276 cars affected, while Audi has to recall 393,450 products. Skoda also features a notable number affected, with 131,569. Seat in addition to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are also involved, with 76,773 in addition to 79,838 vehicles being recalled respectively.

In a statement, the firm says: “inside coming days, the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) details of affected cars will be released to retailers. In addition, a self-serve process for customers to check if their vehicle is actually affected will be set up.”

which also confirmed which which intends to keep individual markets informed about the progress of the recall process, saying: “Customers with these vehicles will be kept informed over the coming weeks in addition to months. All of the Group brands affected will set up national websites to update customers on developments.”

which is actually not yet known whether the owners of affected cars will be offered compensation. Various lobbying groups are claiming which the potential loss of value to the cars should be reimbursed by Volkswagen.

A spokesman had previously confirmed which VW will not rush a technical solution, preferring to focus on getting which right. He said: “We don’t want to be fast – we want to be certain. Over the next days in addition to weeks we will write to all affected customers in addition to we will put in place free-of-charge fixes for all affected customers.”

However, the spokesman was unable to confirm whether the revisions could require the vehicles to be recertified for their emissions in addition to economy figures.

The official VW statement reads: “An internal evaluation on Friday established which a service procedure is actually required for some a few million vehicles via the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand out of a total eleven million Group vehicles worldwide. These vehicles via certain products in addition to type years (such as the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat or the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) are fitted with Type EA 189 diesel engines.”

Why did VW cheat?

A senior source within the German car industry has shed light on the most significant outstanding question of the VW emissions scandal, namely why?

If the offending cars have all the emissions equipment on board to make your vehicle compliant with the regulations, why take such an enormous risk engineering inside so-called ‘defeat device’ to bypass which equipment?

“I expect which was pressure on the engineers which made them do which,” said the source. “Remember which system was designed some time ago when emissions controls were not as sophisticated as they are at which point, in addition to the pressure to pass the tests could have been immense.

“in addition to I imagine the reason they installed the defeat device is actually which without which there could have serious consequences not inside laboratory although on the road, either with your vehicle’s performance, driveability, fuel consumption or some combination of the three.”

He went on to confirm which technology has since evolved sufficiently for there to be no need for such devices today.

So why, then, did VW not simply stop using the defeat device when which was no longer needed? “There are two possible reasons. First which could likely have been integrated within the entire electronic architecture of your vehicle in addition to not easy to remove, second to remove which those responsible for its installation could have first to have flagged up the fact which they’d put which there, which they’d probably not be too keen to do…”

The source said he believed the defeat device was likely to be present also on VW products sold in Europe with the EA189 engine [since confirmed by a German minister] although almost certainly not active which he said, was “nothing like as bad as having active, although still illegal”.

He said also he believed which VW alone was using such a device in addition to which all additional German car manufacturers had no equivalent systems on the cars they sold today.

The one remaining question is actually who signed off the defeat device. Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn has denied knowledge of which in addition to his resignation, while inevitable, was no kind of admission of guilt.

Whoever was responsible, which seems likely which more heads will have to roll before the true picture emerges.

11m Audis, Seats, Skodas in addition to VWs affected globally

While the VW Group has said which 11 million vehicles worldwide are affected by the scandal, only 5m are via Volkswagen brand itself. Audi has revealed which 2.1 million vehicles via its brand are affected worldwide, with 1.42 million of those being in Western Europe. Audi type lines affected include the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 in addition to Q5 ranges. Over 500,000 of the affected cars are in Germany, that has a further 13,000 inside US. Skoda has also revealed which 1.2 million of its cars worldwide are affected by the scandal. Seat has said which 700,000 of its vehicles are affected globally. 

A VW Group statement read: “As previously announced, all brand-new Volkswagen Passenger Car brand vehicles which fulfill the EU6 norm valid throughout Europe are not affected. which therefore also includes the current Golf, Passat in addition to Touran products.”

The figures also include 1.8 million light commercial vehicles.

The first recall confirmed was the 480,000 VWs inside USA. Volkswagen has set up a website for owners of affected vehicles inside US, which features a video apology via the company’s US boss Michael Horn.

SMMT: just because VW cheated, which doesn’t mean the whole industry is actually cheating

Speaking at a conference on air quality, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers in addition to Traders (SMMT) Mike Hawes said: “Consumers are right to be concerned following the events of the past ten days. although we must remember, the actions of one company do not mean collusion. Implicating additional brands or companies could be unfair in addition to wrong.

“which could be wrong to penalise all diesels. The latest diesel vehicles are the cleanest ever – effectively reducing nitrogen oxide levels by 92% compared with earlier generations. They make a significant contribution to climate change targets, an environmental challenge which cannot be ignored.

“We recognise the current regulations for testing are out of date. We want, for consumers in addition to our own industry’s integrity, a brand-new emissions test which embraces brand-new technologies, in addition to which is actually more representative of on the road conditions.”

VW’s global meltdown

There have been calls for governmental probes in to VW’s actions via around the entire world since the firm admitted cheating inside US emissions tests, including in Canada, Germany, Italy, South Korea, UK in addition to the USA. The UK government has already announced which will launch an inquiry into the scandal.

VW has put aside a fund of €6.5bn (approximately £4.7bn) to cover the costs of dealing with the issue, in addition to says which will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result. The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in addition to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed which while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations which violate American environmental standards.

Reports have since surfaced which Volkswagen was warned about the legality of its software as far back as 2007.

According to the EPA, which means which the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is actually linked to asthma in addition to lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, in addition to VW Passats built via 2014-15.

The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight in addition to Investigations Subcommittee.

“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy in addition to Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton in addition to Oversight in addition to Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.

“Manufacturers throughout the United States, in addition to across the entire world, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA in addition to state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations which certain Volkswagen products contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.

“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned which auto consumers may have been deceived – which what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers in addition to assurances which which will not happen again. We intend to get those answers.”

A date for the US Congress hearing has yet to be set. Since the scandal broke the VW Group share cost has fallen by more than 50% via its 2015 high.

VW emissions scandal: how which unfolded

The Volkswagen emissions scandal is actually currently headline news, although the story has its roots in May 2014, when a study found higher-than-clamed emissions coming via two Volkswagen vehicles. Here’s our timeline of how the story unfolded.

May 2014 The West Virginia University’s (WVU) Centre for Alternative Fuels, Engines in addition to Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation which found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions via two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta in addition to a 2013 Passat. A BMW X5 also tested passed the tests. 

WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the issue.

Summer 2014 Over the course of the year following the publication of the WVU study, VW continues to assert to CARB in addition to the EPA which the increased emissions via these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues in addition to unexpected in-use conditions.

December 2014 VW issues a voluntary recall of approximately 500,000 vehicles to address the emissions issue.

6 May 2015 CARB, in coordination with the EPA, conducts follow-up testing of these vehicles both inside laboratory in addition to during normal road operation to confirm the efficacy of VW’s recall. Testing shows the recall has had only a limited benefit.

None of the potential technical issues suggested by VW can explain the higher test results consistently confirmed during further testing by CARB.

Summer 2015 CARB in addition to the EPA make which clear which they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold inside USA – for VW’s 2016 type year diesel vehicles until the any car adequately explain the anomalous emissions in addition to ensure the agencies which the 2016 type year vehicles could not have similar issues.

3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits which has designed in addition to installed a defeat device in these vehicles inside form of a sophisticated software algorithm which detects when a vehicle is actually undergoing emissions testing.

18 September 2015 CARB in addition to the EPA make their findings public, stating which Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles which did not comply with their certificates of conformity, in addition to second by manufacturing in addition to installing into these vehicles an electronic control module capable of switching its calibration to beat the emissions tests.

Read more on the Volkswagen emissions scandal:

Six things the firm could cut

Bugatti under threat as boss warns of ‘painful’ cuts

Blog – navel gazing at Volkswagen

Blog – Keeping up with pollution laws is actually not always easy for car makers

Blog – How Volkswagen can survive its emissions scandal

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