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Volkswagen claims its defeat device complies with European law

Volkswagen has claimed the defeat device that’s caused it so much drama around the world, particularly in the US, doesn’t break European laws.

IN A STANCE THAT’S likely to be echoed in Australia, Volkswagen in Germany has been quoted in a number of German newspapers saying its ‘defeat device’ isn’t “unlawful” in Europe. The defeat device that led to the #dieselgate scandal and broke Californian emissions laws (costing the company US$16.5 billion in US damages), VW claims is not “unlawful” in Europe.

“The software contained in vehicles with a EA-189 engine in the view of Volkswagen represents no unlawful defeat device under European law,” VW said last week in emailed comments to German media outlets. “The efficiency of the emissions cleanup system will not be reduced in those vehicles which however would be a prerequisite for the existence of an unlawful defeat device in the legal sense.”

Volkswagen implied in other comments that it’s decision to comply with voluntary recalls for corrective works on those diesel engines with the ‘defeat device’ isn’t an admission of guilt.

“Volkswagen wants to — in the special interest of customers — cooperate constructively and cooperatively hand in hand with the regulators as well as with the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority,” VW said. “This intensive cooperation should not be burdened by a contentious dispute.”

And in a strange twist, Volkswagen in Germany has come out and suggested that nitrogen oxides, the particularly harmful part of diesel emissions, can’t be proven as being harmful to humans.

Question: Is Volkswagen making a difficult situation very, very bad?

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5 years ago

The sooner VW puts down the gun the sooner it can stop shooting itself in the foot. It may be technically correct but that is of no interest to anyone but a lawyer and a judge. I’ve bought a VW in spite of the best efforts of senior VW management to alienate me. Others may be less inclined to let VW management off the hook. I’d love to know who is advising VW. Customer relations 101. If you are in a hole, stop digging.

Andrew Riles
Andrew Riles
5 years ago

Personally I think they should just lay low, and let the authorities make the announcements on things like this…..they certainly aren’t doing themselves any favours (not that anyone is likely to believe them anyway) with these kind of announcements…..

Given that the number of US cars affected by this is a relatively small proportion of the cars affected worldwide, I do wonder how much they are shaking in their boots about how much more this is going to cost them…..

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober