Opel now admits to using emissions control software… but says its legal
Opel has admitted to the German ministry of transport that it does indeed use software that can switch off exhaust emissions treatment systems in its Zafira model.
DESPITE SAYING IT didn’t run a Volkswagen-esque defeat device to control the exhaust emissions in its vehicles, Opel has now admitted that it does use software that can switch off exhaust emissions treatment systems in its Zafira model. The German car maker told the German transport ministry that the software isn’t illegal and that it’s necessary for the protection of the vehicle’s engine in some situations.
According to Germany’s Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt, Opel confirmed during his meeting with senior management that the exhaust treatment systems in the Vauxhall Zafira (an older version of which was briefly available in Australia) can be shutdown under certain speed and air pressure conditions in order to protect the car’s engine.
Unlike the case involving Volkswagen, Germany is not investigating Opel for emissions rigging.
“The accusations concern control of the emissions treatment with the Opel Zafira relating to the revolutions, the air pressure and the speed,” Dobrindt said.
“Opel promised complete cooperation at today’s talks,” he added, saying this would include access to the relevant software. The Commission gave Opel 14 days to provide it with appropriate technical information.
“We also asked whether there were similar measures or elements with the Astra as we discussed with the Zafira,” Dobrindt said, adding that the carmaker had been unable to provide detailed information on the Astra but would do so subsequently.
“We at Opel do not use any illegal software. The German government wants to check this. We will fully support this,” an Opel statement said.
The key issue surrounding all of this is how the German government and Opel interpret the relevant laws surrounding the use of this software and its affect on exhaust emissions. Indeed, Dobrindt has said that there were clear “differences” in the legal analysis of the Government and Opel. Stay tuned.