Not again! Volkswagen, what are you doing? Stop it already!
Just when you thought Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” emissions debacle was behind it, a German court today revealed that VW’s “fix” for the diesel cheating devices contains another cheat device. We can’t make this up.
In a court hearing in Dusseldorf, Germany, the district court there has revealed that the software fix for the VWs affected by the original diesel emissions cheat only controlled the exhaust gas cleaning system in temperatures between 10-32 degrees Celsius, or 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures fall above or below this span, the system is disabled resulting in over-polluting emissions.
These Cars Still Polluting
Any VW, Audi, Seat or Skoda vehicles with the software fix are still polluting with harmful emissions. This is crazy.
The cost in reputation, not to mention rounding up cars around the world to either scrap or fix, has cost VW billions with over $33 billion in actual fines alone. VW has vigorously argued in court proceedings that new claims should be disallowed since VW offered settlements years ago. Some claims continue to trickle into the courts.
Will Statute of Limitations Start Over?
Now, with this new discovery, a new statute of limitations could begin the clock all over again, taking in both newer claims and those originally settled.
In releasing new diesel models VW has been claiming that these recent models are both economical and “absolutely clean.” It claims these new, improved, VW-developed diesels have low nitrogen-oxide emissions, especially when paired with heavier cars or trucks pulling trailers needing extra torque.
Lots of Fines
The VW diesel emissions scandal first broke in 2015. Partially attributed to Bosch first providing the technical support for the cheat software, the automaker was fined by the German government $100 million which was considered a slap on the hand. Bosch also agreed to pay $131 million to FCA (Fiat-Chrysler) diesel buyers to settle claims in the U.S. and $327 million to VW diesel owners.
Lots of Companies
Other companies charged or have already pleaded guilty are Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. A $600 million fine was Porsche’s penalty in Germany for its involvement in the scandal. In June, Mercedes was ordered by a German court to recall 700,000 diesel models worldwide built between 2012 and 2015.
What is called “the circle of five” which includes Mercedes, Audi, VW, Porsche, and BMW have also been accused by EU antitrust courts of conspiring to block the rollout of the emissions software fix. It’s considered an antitrust issue because the fraud did not allow consumers to be able to purchase the best technology and products in the diesel field.
Bye, Bye Diesels
Since the scandal first broke VW has abandoned plans for further diesel models in America. It’s invested billions so far in electric vehicle technology, a mea-culpa move over the diesel fraud it knew about but lied to consumers over.
So far in 2019 diesel sales have fallen more than 36% in Europe where diesel was once the king. Both Volvo and Nissan have stated they will phase out diesel engines in their car and truck lines.