Opel and Fiat summoned to answer emissions questions in Germany
The German taskforce established to investigate car makers over emissions cheating has summoned both Fiat and Opel to answer questions that its models cheat tests.
THE GERMAN TRANSPORT minister, Alexander Dobrindt, gave a brief statement on Friday that his department had contacted representatives of both Opel and Fiat to answer claims its cars are capable of cheating emissions laws. While it’s believed neither manufacturer has installed devices onto their vehicles that actively cheat emissions testing, like the Volkswagen cheat device, it’s claimed that Opel has a device that can deactivate its emissions control gear.
German publication Der Spiegel reports the Opel Astra, which is sold in Australia as the Holden Astra, and is one of Europe’s best-selling cars, contains specific software that deactivates the exhaust treatment systems when the outside temperature is below 17 degrees C, and also under hard acceleration. The article doesn’t specify whether the software is on both petrol and diesel models, or just one of them.
Opel has responded by saying, “[Opel] once again wants to stress the fact that we do not deploy any software that recognises whether a car is undergoing an exhaust emissions test. This statement is backed by extensive tests conducted in various countries”.
The German Transport Ministry (KBA) has said that a Fiat being tested deactivated its emissions control gear immediately after the test concluded. Fiat in Europe has declined to comment, and the KBA hasn’t specified what model was being tested.
In other testing news, GM in the US has been pinged, like Mitsubishi was recently, for tweaking the fuel consumption of some key SUVs. It is now in the process of rectifying its “oversight” and releasing updated fuel consumption figures.