VW emissions scandal: UK boss confirms EU emissions test results were affected

Friday, October 28th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : VW emissions scandal: UK boss confirms EU emissions test results were affected

VW UK boss Paul Willis confirms of which his company’s defeat device did affect EU emissions tests – as Volkswagen announces plans to recall affected cars


Volkswagen UK boss Paul Willis has admitted of which his company’s so-called ‘defeat device’ affected the results of emissions tests in Europe.

Facing questioning through MPs on the transport select committee, Willis said: “the item seems through what I understand – as well as I’m not an engineer – of which the system of gas regulation inside the engine influenced the NOx output in cars on sale inside the UK.”

“the item seems of which inside the test regime the engine behaved differently to real life via software. The software affected the flow of gas to the engine which affected the results.”

However, Willis has stressed of which cars affected inside the UK won’t need significant hardware improvements like those inside the US. He said of which the installation of exhaust after treatments – including those using a urea tank – might “not be part of the solution in Europe.”

While details on the technical fix Volkswagen will use to correct the affected cars is usually limited, Willis confirmed of which VW engineers are working to a brief of which “there cannot be any change in MPG.”

Of the 1.2-million affected cars inside the UK, Willis said of which 30,000 might require software changs, as well as over 400,000 might need additional corrective work, including fresh fuel injectors.

Both Willis as well as the chief executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, were also grilled over whether the current emissions testing procedure was fit for purpose. Hawes admitted of which the difference between real-world figures as well as those provided by the NEDC “could well be up to 30%. These figures are meant for a comparison process as well as always contain a disclaimer about the real world as well as of which is usually for some very sensible comparitive reasons.”

“The test cycle tests back to the early 1980s as well as the industry recognises the item isn’t fit for purpose. When put vehicle on test cycle, of instance, everything like air-conditioning as well as so forth must be switched off by law as well as of which clearly needs to change.”

“Then there’s the issue of real-world driving conditions – congestion, temperature, load, gradient – all huge as well as all ruled out by the test cycle to get a repeatable cycle.”

Hawes says he believes the more realistic testing cycle will be introduced on a compulsory basis through the beginning of 2017.

Willis also criticised the current testing procedure. He said: “If we look at the test regime on emissions, we know the item is usually old-fashioned as well as not fit for purpose. I will come to safety nevertheless of which point is usually key for our consumers. The point is usually of which the test regime is usually out of date as well as not fit for purpose. We need completely independent tests of which look at all sorts of detail, like Euro NCAP, which uses real-world testing. We need to look at of which.”

“We have a duty to public to reassure them [customers] of which our cars are safe. There is usually no relation to safety with of which issue nevertheless we do need to regain trust as well as we will do of which with transparency.”

Hardware fixes needed for affected vehicles

Previously, the item was thought of which Volkswagen might need to make mechanical improvements to around half of the vehicles affected by the scandal.

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

VW’s American boss Michael Horn told a Congressional committee last week of 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 fresh fuel injectors.

VW’s fresh CEO Matthias Müller said of which all cars affected by the scandal might be fixed by the end of next year. Müller confirmed to a gathering of 20,000 workers of 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 as well as the general public. The first step in of which direction will be a fast as well as relentless examination as well as 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. nevertheless in of which situation, in which we are dealing with four brands as well as many versions, care is usually more important than speed.

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

VW, Audi, Skoda as well as Seat launch websites for owners to check if they are affected

Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda as well as Seat have launched websites of which allow owners to check if their car is usually affected by the emissions scandal.   

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

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

Government won’t hike tax bills

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

Volkswagen has admitted the use of software to manipulate emissions test results in America, nevertheless the item is usually 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 the UK as well as we are playing our part by ensuring no one will end up with higher tax costs as a result of of which scandal.”

He also confirmed of which the Department for Transport has pushed for more clarity on the matter as well as of which the next round of tests will look at whether the software “is usually 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 the UK

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

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

A spokesman stressed of which the decision to withdraw the cars through 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.

the item has also been announced of which anyone with an order placed for an affected car will be given the choice of withdrawing through the sale without penalty, taking delivery of the auto after the modifications have been fitted or taking delivery of the auto as soon as the item is usually available as well as then having the required modifications retro-fitted.

More than 1.1m UK cars affected

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

The full number of cars to be recalled is usually 1,189,906, as well as of which is usually spread across all 5 different brands inside the VW Group. Volkswagen accounts for the majority, with 508,276 cars affected, while Audi has to recall 393,450 versions. Skoda also features a notable number affected, with 131,569. Seat as well as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are also involved, with 76,773 as well as 79,838 vehicles being recalled respectively.

In a statement, the firm says: “inside the 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 usually affected will be set up.”

the item also confirmed of which the item 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 as well as months. All of the Group brands affected will set up national websites to update customers on developments.”

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

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

However, the spokesman was unable to confirm whether the revisions might require the vehicles to be recertified for their emissions as well as economy figures.

The official VW statement reads: “An internal evaluation on Friday established of which a service procedure is usually required for some all 5 million vehicles through the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand out of a total eleven million Group vehicles worldwide. These vehicles through certain versions as well as style 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 the auto compliant with the regulations, why take such an enormous risk engineering inside the ‘defeat device’ to bypass of which equipment?

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

“as well as I imagine the reason they installed the defeat device is usually of which without the item there might have serious consequences not inside the laboratory nevertheless on the road, either with the auto’s performance, driveability, fuel consumption or some combination of the three.”

He went on to confirm of 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 the item was no longer needed? “There are two possible reasons. First the item might likely have been integrated within the entire electronic architecture of the auto as well as not easy to remove, second to remove the item those responsible for its installation might have first to have flagged up the fact of which they’d put the item 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] nevertheless almost certainly not active which he said, was “nothing like as bad as having active, nevertheless still illegal”.

He said also he believed of which VW alone was using such a device as well as of which all some other German car manufacturers had no equivalent systems on the cars they sold today.

The one remaining question is usually who signed off the defeat device. Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn has denied knowledge of the item as well as his resignation, while inevitable, was no kind of admission of guilt.

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

11m Audis, Seats, Skodas as well as VWs affected globally

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

A VW Group statement read: “As previously announced, all fresh Volkswagen Passenger Car brand vehicles of which fulfill the EU6 norm valid throughout Europe are not affected. of which therefore also includes the current Golf, Passat as well as Touran versions.”

The figures also include 1.8 million light commercial vehicles.

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

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

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

“the item might 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 as well as our own industry’s integrity, a fresh emissions test of which embraces fresh technologies, as well as which is usually more representative of on the road conditions.”

VW’s global meltdown

There have been calls for governmental probes in to VW’s actions through around the globe since the firm admitted cheating inside the US emissions tests, including in Canada, Germany, Italy, South Korea, UK as well as the USA. The UK government has already announced the item 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, as well as says the item will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result. The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed of which while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations of which violate American environmental standards.

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

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

The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight as well as Investigations Subcommittee.

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

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

“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned of which auto consumers may have been deceived – of which what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers as well as assurances of which of 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% through its 2015 high.

VW emissions scandal: how the item unfolded

The Volkswagen emissions scandal is usually currently headline news, nevertheless the story has its roots in May 2014, when a study found higher-than-clamed emissions coming through 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 as well as Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation of which found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions through two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta as well as a 2013 Passat. A BMW X5 also tested passed the tests. 

WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) as well as 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 as well as the EPA of which the increased emissions through these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues as well as 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 the laboratory as well as 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 as well as the EPA make the item clear of which they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold inside the USA – for VW’s 2016 style year diesel vehicles until the company car adequately explain the anomalous emissions as well as ensure the agencies of which the 2016 style year vehicles might not have similar issues.

3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits the item has designed as well as installed a defeat device in these vehicles inside the form of a sophisticated software algorithm of which detects when a vehicle is usually undergoing emissions testing.

18 September 2015 CARB as well as the EPA make their findings public, stating of which Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles of which did not comply with their certificates of conformity, as well as second by manufacturing as well as 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 usually not always easy for car makers

Blog – How Volkswagen can survive its emissions scandal

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