Volkswagen: Get in line or get off the road

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Authorities have set Volkswagen a deadline for submitting a plan to bring its vehicles’ emissions into line with official standards, a newspaper report says. The move comes as another damaging revelation has emerged.

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has given scandal-stricken carmaker Volkswagen a deadline of October 7 to submit a plan laying out whether and when its vehicles will meet emissions standards without the use of manipulatory software, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

In a two-page document cited by the “Bild am Sonntag,” the KBA said it was legally required “to call for the necessary measures to ensure that the manufactured vehicles are brought into line with the respective approved type [of vehicle.]”

If Volkswagen does not comply with the KBA’s demand, the approval applying to the types of vehicles using the software designed to deceive regulators would be withdrawn. Withdrawing the approval would mean the cars could not be sold or moved in Germany, the paper said.

The paper quoted a VW spokesman as saying only that the vehicles were safe and ready to drive, and would be called back for adjustment. While VW cars have come under fire around the world for not adhering to emissions standards, the safety of the cars has not been called into question.

Growing losses

The German carmaker is facing huge financial losses after US environmental authorities revealed that it had used software – a so-called “defeat device” – to manipulate the results of emission tests.

The software recognized when a vehicle was being tested and reduced emissions for the duration of the examination, while emissions under normal driving conditions could be several times higher than the allowed limit.

The scandal forced longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn to step down last week. He was replaced on Friday by former Porsche head Matthias Müller.

Supplier’s warning?

In another revelation damaging to the carmaker, the paper reported that an internal company review of the affair has discovered a document showing that one of Volkswagen’s most important suppliers, Bosch, had warned against using its software for illegal purposes as far back as 2007.

The paper said it had information that Bosch had told Volkswagen the planned use of the software to manipulate emissions results would be against the law.

A VW technician told managers that the carmaker’s emissions measuring system was illegal in 2011, according to a report in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.” The paper said an internal inspection report came to the same conclusion. The paper did not, however, go into details about who was aware of the information in 2011.

Eleven million vehicles across the world have been affected by the scandal, 2.8 million of them in Germany.

Berlin ‘wants emissions test delay’

Another German newspaper reported on Sunday that the German government intends to delay the introduction of new, more realistic emissions tests by the EU despite the scandal at Volkswagen, which is a mainstay of the country’s vital auto industry.

Citing an internal position paper, the “Welt am Sonntag” said Germany wanted to see the new tests brought into force in 2021, rather than at the end of 2017 as planned. The paper said the German government also wanted to retain many existing loopholes in emissions regulations.

The paper quoted a member of the task force working on the new test procedure, Greg Archer, who described Berlin’s intention to delay the tests as “improper.”

The German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe has accused politicians in Germany of having known about the manipulation of emissions test results.

Source Deutsche Welle

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