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Volkswagen Emissions Blog

Volkswagen Dieselgate Emissions Recall

By now most people have heard about the Volkswagen emissions scandal or “Dieselgate.” The story begins on September 18th, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, slapped Volkswagen with a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act. It was discovered that the automotive manufacturer had deliberately programmed their turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to only activate certain emissions controls during laboratory testing. The laboratory manipulation regulated the vehicles’ nitrogen oxide output to meet U. S. standards. However, once out of the lab and on the road the cars would emit up to 40 times the recorded nitrogen oxide levels. It is speculated eleven million cars worldwide, 500,000 in the U.S. alone, manufactured between 2008 and 2015, include the deceptive programming. The news, of course, has been devastating to Volkswagen stock and car sales, however as news continues to be released, it appears the German manufacturer is far from the only culprit. The International Council on Clean Transportation has spent a great deal of money the past few years investigating the significant difference between laboratory emissions test and those conducted in real life scenarios. It seems that about 14,000 Audi A3 diesel engine cars in the U.S., 2.1 million worldwide, have also been putting out false emissions information since 2010. ADAC, German Automobile Club, has tested 32 Euro 6 diesel cars independently and the results have been staggering. Volvo was found to produce nitrogen oxide emissions 14.6 times higher than the maximum threshold. Even Hyundai was found to have failed, producing a value 6.7 times higher than acceptable. To fans of diesel engines, this comes as a major blow. Diesel-powered cars have been steadily growing in popularity in the U.S. due to their durable nature, great fuel economy, overall power output and dedication to clean air technology. However, these new studies are worrying to those contemplating the switch to diesel. In the times since the Volkswagen scandal has come to public light, CEO Martin Winterkorn has stepped down. Additionally three top managers within the company have been suspended without further notice. While the company has pledged to spend over seven billion dollars to rectify the situation, it is part of a larger trend of automotive companies ignoring important set standards. VW revealed on November 3rd that an internal investigation found CO2 emissions and fuel consumption numbers have also been affected by “manufacturing irregularities.” These new issues affect about 800,000 vehicles in both diesel and petrol models. This news is especially striking when considering more than one hundred thousand people prematurely die every year as a direct result of air pollution, namely caused by diesel cars. With all that in mind, what does it mean for the consumer who already has a Volkswagen? For the time being the cars are still classified as safe and legal to drive. A recall will begin to bring existing models up to regulations. For newer cars, this simply means a software update while older models are expected to need additional components. Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche dealerships will no longer be carrying new or used VW diesel models. Volkswagen is not expected to release any diesel engine vehicles for the 2016 model year. TriState Auto Champs will continue to cover Volkswagen’s response to “Dieselgate.” For information about trading in your Volkswagen or Audi reach out to our automotive professionals today.