The controversy is centred on “defeat devices” VW used to fool USA emissions tests on diesel cars into believing the vehicles met environmental standards.
“Therefore, it is premature to comment on whether any specific immediate surveillance measures are also necessary in Europe and the implications for vehicles sold by Volkswagen in Europe”.
Also on Wednesday, clean air advocates and consumers called for stiff penalties against Volkswagen and even criminal prosecutions of its executives. “I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation”.
In a statement he said he was “shocked by the events of the past few days”. It is no surprise that Mr Martin Winterkorn, the chief executive of the German carmaker has resigned. “We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly and completely establish all of the facts of this case”.
Volkswagen was recently brought to its knees when scientists discovered the company had installed a device in its diesel-powered cars to fool emissions tests.
If you missed the story, basically, VW and related cars have been cheating when it comes to emissions, thanks to some ropey software in the engine. The cheat itself was a marvel of software engineering. “The story has sent shockwaves through the vehicle market, with dealers in the United States reporting people holding back from buying diesel cars and “#dieselgate” trending on Twitter.
Officials at the California Air Resources Board and the EPA agreed in December of 2014 to allow a voluntary recall of the company’s diesel cars to fix what Volkswagen insisted was a technical – and easily solved – glitch. They emit lower amounts of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide than does gasoline.
VW’s deception scheme unraveled when the non-profit global Council on Clean Transportation, which keeps watch on the environment in order to benefit public health and mitigate climate change, commissioned West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions to undertake a study to convince skeptical Europeans that auto emissions tests were accurate and legitimate.
It turns them on only when it detects that the vehicle is undergoing an emissions test. European politicians on Wednesday voted to speed up rules to tighten compliance with pollution limits on cars. This involves one of Germany’s most powerful and influential companies, a bulwark of Germany’s post-World War II industrial prowess.
“The vehicle’s engine management software has been improved to assure your vehicle’s tailpipe emissions are optimized and operating efficiently”, read the letter, which said an earlier software update increased the likelihood of the light illuminating. Reuters reported that Volkswagen shares fell 13 per cent to 140.95 euros by 0207 EDT, ‘the biggest one-day drop since November 2009’.
“We heard of the EPA’s [US Environmental Protection Agency] accusations against VW from the press”.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a San Diego-based Audi owner, alleges that VW falsely marketed the cars as “eco-friendly”, leading consumers to pay a premium.
In addition, the state emissions tests in Washington and Oregon aren’t created to pick up on this kind of information. Research suggests that outdoor air pollution, including smog containing NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions, contributes to more than 3 million premature deaths annually. The EPA’s definition of an AECD is “any element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine RPM, transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any other parameter for the goal of activating, modulating, delaying or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system”.