VW emissions scandal: one year on
Source : VW emissions scandal: one year on
As the emissions scandal of which has rocked the VW Group rumbles on, we find out how much progress has been made — as well as what still lies ahead
Volkswagen’s Dieselgate pain looks unlikely to be coming to an end, despite the imminent rubber-stamping of a multibillion-dollar compensation deal inside the US.
The emissions cheating scandal broke on 18 September last year, when Volkswagen was found to be using a ‘defeat device’ on some of its diesel engines of which could detect when they were undergoing a laboratory test as well as switch to an engine management program of which minimised NOx emissions.
The US’s powerful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which discovered the deception, explained at the time: “VW manufactured as well as installed software inside the electronic control module (ECM) of these vehicles of which sensed when the vehicle was being tested for compliance with EPA emissions standards.”
Within a week of the EPA’s notification to Volkswagen about US-sold types, the company admitted of which 11 million cars worldwide had been fitted with defeat devices (scroll down for timeline).
At the end of last month, reports coming from Germany said the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority was considering criminal charges against the entire Volkswagen board. At the very least, another massive fine is usually looking likely — as well as of which’s on top of the huge sum being paid out inside the US.
The EPA only regards the US-market deal as a partial settlement, as well as the fine detail of This specific is usually daunting. VW has until June 2019 to remove 85% of the offending 2.0-litre diesel vehicles coming from US roads, or come up with an acceptable fix for the engine’s excessive pollution. of which fix must reduce NOx emissions by 80-0%.
Volkswagen must also offer to buy back the offending cars “at fair cost” or end lease deals at no cost. Buy-back cars can only be exported coming from the US if any emissions fix is usually successful. If not, they must scrapped or recycled. Some of the owners are “also entitled to additional compensation in connection with the buy-back or lease termination of vehicles”, according to the EPA.
In addition, VW has to pay £2bn into a mitigation fund, which will be used for offsetting the extra NOx emissions caused by the affected cars through investments such as buying electric school buses. This specific must also invest £1.5bn in “charging infrastructure as well as the promotion of electric vehicles”: £600m in California as well as £900m across the rest of the country.
This specific partial settlement only covers 44 US states. Talks with brand-new York, Maryland, Pennsylvania as well as Massachusetts are set to get under way before 1 November.
As daunting as the EPA deal might seem, as the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, of the 11 million VW Group cars fitted with the defeat device, just 0,000 were actually sold inside the US.
The remaining 10.4m vehicles were sold across the rest of the entire world. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, a rising tide of claims, prosecutions as well as court judgments are shaping up to significantly increase the final cost of the deception to VW.
South Korea banned the sale of Volkswagen as well as Audi types in July as well as there are said to be pending legal moves against the firm in at least another 10 countries.
VW has only just reached a settlement that has a US dealer group which had attempted to sue the vehicle maker for, among additional issues, a “loss of franchise value”. According to dealers’ representatives, the deal included “cash payments as well as additional benefits”.
One of the largest pension funds inside the US, run for Californian teachers, is usually also said to be considering action against VW.
As Autocar reported in July, brand-new VW Group boss Matthias Müller told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag of which offering a US-style compensation as well as buy-back deal to European owners would likely simply sink the company. “You don’t have to be a mathematician to realise of which compensation at arbitrarily high levels would likely overwhelm VW,” he said.
Müller’s argument was of which because the US pollution laws were much stricter than European laws, affected diesel types sold inside the US couldn’t undergo the ‘quick fix’ approved for European cars.
In any case, This specific appears of which German political pressure will be brought to bear within the EU to prevent VW coming from suffering a full-scale buy-back or compensation scheme.
however Müller’s admission of which Müllerhas pledged to restore public confidence in VW The emissions scandal erupted last September (below) Volkswagen’s EA189 diesel engine couldn’t meet strict US rules its then-brand-new EA189 commonrail diesel engines couldn’t be made to meet US — as well as particularly Californian — clean air regulations was a remarkable acknowledgement of the scale of VW’s deception.
VW didn’t just use software designed to ‘sense’ when a oratory test was taking place; This specific also heavily advertised its post-2009 diesel engines as ‘Clean Diesel’ inside the US. of which VW engineers had achieved This specific on some types without using urea injection systems to reduce the amount of NOx in exhaust gases was not questioned by anyone at the time. Ironically, This specific was doubts about the real-world NOx emissions of all diesel vehicles inside the US of which led to the uncovering of VW’s deception.
Concerns about the difference between the levels of pollution emitted during lab tests as well as realworld driving conditions were raised inside the industry some years before. Finally, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) — an independent, non-profit environmental regulation research Centeng — carried out its own detailed real-world testing of diesel vehicles, using both Euro 6 as well as the US ‘Tier 2 Bin 5’ regulations as well as made possible by the development of the Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS). The ICCT released a white paper in October 2014 with the test conclusions.
Although the cars tested remained anonymous, only one car met the Euro 6 pollution limits in real-world conditions. The average across all the cars tested was NOx emissions “seven times the certified limits for Euro 6”, according to the ICCT.
At around the same time, the ICCT granted scientists at West Virginia University £38,000 to study the realworld emissions of diesel vehicles. The three types tested were a Volkswagen Passat, a Volkswagen Jetta as well as a BMW X5.
Extensive road testing by the university team found of which the two VWs emitted significantly more NOx in real driving conditions than they did when tested in approved laboratory conditions.
US rules specify a NOx emissions limit of 0.043g/km. Tested in a lab, the Jetta achieved an impressive 0.022g/km. Using the PEMS equipment, Jetta NOx emissions on the road varied between 0.61 as well as 1.5g/km. Even the Passat, equipped with urea injection, had real NOx emissions figures of between 0.34 as well as 0.67g/km.
However, despite the weight of scientific analysis expended on the VWs, the nature of the deception wasn’t uncovered by either the university or the ICCT.
As early as May 2014, the EPA was demanding answers coming from VW. The firm reportedly claimed This specific had discovered “technical glitches” inside the management of the diesel engines in question as well as suggested a software patch. When This specific patch made no difference, the EPA threatened to refuse to certify VW’s 2016-product-year diesel vehicles.
Only then did Volkswagen admit to the embedded ‘cheat’ software. Reports suggest of which VW finally explained how This specific worked as late as 3 September last year.
Then, on 18 September, the EPA issued a ‘Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act’, alleging of which “modelyear 2009-2015” VW as well as Audi cars with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine included “software of which circumvents EPA emissions standards for nitrogen oxides. This specific software is usually a ‘defeat device’ as defined by the Clean Air Act”.
On the morning of 18 September, VW’s share cost stood at €162.40. Over the next a few days This specific took a nosedive to ¤106, at which point Martin Winterkorn stepped down as VW Group CEO. The share cost bottomed out on 2 October at just €92.36.
however things got worse. The EPA issued a second Notice of Violation to VW as well as Porsche on 2 November last year, alleging of which they had also “developed as well as installed a defeat device in certain light-duty diesel vehicles equipped with 3.0-litre engines for product years 2014 through 2016 of which increases emissions of NOx up to nine times EPA’s standard”. Seventeen days later, VW admitted the cheat software had been fitted to V6 diesel engines since 2009.
By 29 September VW had announced of which This specific would likely recall nearly 8.5m EA189 diesel-engined types across Europe for modifications, despite insisting of which the cheat software was not needed to pass Euro 5 tests.
By the time Volkswagen UK boss Paul Willis appeared before the transport select committee on 12 October, VW had announced a brand-new strategy of which would likely place a bigger emphasis on EVs as well as hybrids, more petrol engines for smaller cars as well as a switch to urea injection for diesel engines.
This specific summer VW revealed its ‘electric strategy’ — a promise of 30 brand-new EVs by 2025 as well as a brand-new, dedicated MEB electric platform. however only inside the past few weeks has the ‘fix’ for the EA189 began to roll out inside the UK.
The sequence of events will be examined by business students for years to come. So far, This specific appears of which the scandal has not seriously damaged VW brand sales. inside the first six months of This specific year, global sales were down just 0.9% on the same period last year, at 3.37 million units.
There’s no doubt of which the final cost of the scandal will be crushing for VW. This specific has already put aside £13.6bn to cover the costs of its cheating, with £9.62bn of of which already allocated inside the US. however there is usually more to come as well as many additional legal actions to be fought across the rest of the globe.
Dieselgate: the timeline
18 September 2015
VW announces recall of 482,000 cars inside the US after This specific is usually caught using software to cheat emissions tests.
VW admits 11 million cars worldwide are fitted with defeat devices. A day later, boss Martin Winterkorn quits, saying he is usually “not aware of any wrongdoing” on his part.
Almost 1.2m VW Group diesel cars inside the UK are revealed to be affected. By mid-October, a Europe-wide recall of 8.5m cars is usually announced.
3 February 2016
brand-new real-world emissions testing plans are given the go-ahead by the European parliament. They are set to replace laboratory tests by the end of 2017.
VW admits of which Winterkorn was aware of NOx irregularities on the EA189 diesel engine in 2014, however This specific denies shareholders were misled by withholding the information until September 2015.
The British government says This specific has not uncovered any evidence of which manufacturers additional than the VW Group have used defeat devices.
Germany’s financial watchdog urges prosecutors to investigate the entire former board of VW over the time This specific took to disclose the cheating, including current boss Herbert Diess.
German media reports of which VW is usually holding its stance on no compensation for European owners of affected cars, despite heavy campaigning.
Preliminary approval is usually gained for VW to provide a $14.7bn settlement to affected owners inside the US. Final approval is usually due on 18 October.
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