Dieselgate: VW admits CO2 irregularities

Volkswagen Group has admitted that CO2 and fuel economy ratings have been wrongly certified on up to 800,000 of its cars.

A statement issued by Volkswagen said: “Under the ongoing review of all processes and workflows in connection with diesel engines it was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process.”

Exactly what happened and how is currently unclear, Volkswagen describing the issue as “not yet fully explained.”

According to VW, the majority of cars affected are diesel-engined. It is thought Volkswagen’s BlueMotion range and equivalents from Audi, SEAT and Skoda are affected. Reports suggest that 1.4-litre petrol engines with Cylinder On Demand technology are, as well.

Volkswagen’s statement went on: “The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG will immediately start a dialog with the responsible type approval agencies regarding the consequences of these findings.”

Initial estimates put the cost of rectifying the problem at €2 billion.

“From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth. That is the basis for the fundamental realignment that Volkswagen needs”, Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency.”

This latest scandal came to light just a day after the US Environmental Protection Agency alleged that VW’s 3.0-litre, V6 diesel engine uses an emissions-cheating defeat device. It found that the engine produces up to nine times the legal limit of NOx emissions in real world conditions than under laboratory testing.

According to the EPA, up to 10,000 Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg, Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi A8 and Audi Q5 cars sold from 2013 are affected.

Porsche had not previously been caught up in the dieselgate affair. “We are surprised to learn this information,” a statement from Porsche said. “Until this notice, all of our information was that the Porsche Cayenne Diesel is fully compliant. Porsche Cars North America will cooperate fully with all relevant authorities.”

Volkswagen issued a statement saying: “The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft on Monday that vehicles with V6 TDI engines had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process. Volkswagen AG wishes to emphasise that no software has been installed in the 3-liter V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.”

Under US law, software used to protect engines under certain circumstances is allowed. VW’s statement implies such software is present in the V6 TDi engine, but isn’t intended to cheat emissions.

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By Only Motors

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