Taking a look at the crisis enveloping Volkswagen regarding their fiddling of the emissions testing in the USA, I can’t help but wonder whether this is the end of the matter, or whether a subsequent investigation may unearth other nasty skeletons in any vehicle manufacturer’s closet. Let’s face it if a business the size of VW can get involved in systems to fool the regulators, then why hasn’t all the others?
At least this is a view that vehicle buyers at large may believe.
The SMMT were quick out of the blocks to pour soothing oil over this particular troubled water – they said: “This is, [however], an issue affecting just one company and there is no evidence to suggest that any other company is involved, let alone that this is an industry-wide issue.”
So what exactly are VW being accused of and has it effected cars and vans sold in the UK?
The claim is that some software was fitted to the cars that, when the vehicle’s circuits are disabled that have to be disabled for testing, extra Adblue is injected to clean the emissions. The rate that Adblue is consumed under this dosage would be impractical in the real world, so when the circuits are reconnected, the system will revert back to the lower Adblue levels for on-road operation.
Why would VW have done this? Well, the limits for NOx for diesel engines in the US are stricter than in Europe, (about half the amount is permitted compared to Euro 6). This means that it is extremely expensive to overcome the hurdle.
The question remains whether VW uses this system to market their European diesel engines in the US, or whether these diesel engines do not even meet the Euro standard and have similar software installed across Europe or elsewhere in the world.
VW have confessed to eleven million vehicles effected by the ‘defeat devices’ on their EA189 engines with SCR fitted. This could therefore include some of the Transporter T5 sold since 2009. Having the software on them doesn’t necessarily mean any European rules were broken, however. We will wait for more details.
VW Boss, Martin Winterkorn has resigned as a result of the scandal, although he says he knows nothing of the scheme personally.
Expect more heads to roll.