VW says trying to meet “impossible” US NOx emissions is to blame for #dieselgate
Volkswagen chairman, Hans Dieter Poesch, has said that VW boffins installed illegal software on its EA189 diesel engines after it couldn’t meet US NOx emissions regulations legally.
VOLKSWAGEN HAS BLAMED trying to meet “impossible” US NOx emissions regulations for engineers fitting illegal software to cheat emissions tests by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Up to nine engineers have already been suspended as VW continues to seek out those responsible for the deception.
“The key finding is that we are not talking about a one-off mistake but a whole chain of mistakes that was not interrupted at any point along the timeline,” Poetsch said through an interpreter at a press conference yesterday.
The deception goes right back to 2005, when Volkswagen made a “strategic decision to launch a large-scale promotion” of diesel vehicles in the US market, it said in a statement. As we know, US regulations around emissions, and particularly those in California, were more stringent than European and, indeed, Australian emissions regulations, and still are.
The EA189 engine was to be the brand’s great hope to bring diesel power to the US, but according to Poetsch boffins were unable to build an emissions system that could meet the strict US emissions regulations while also meeting cost and timing targets.
Poetsch said engineers developed software with two steps, one to show low NOx emissions in lab tests and the other for the real-world that emitted much higher levels of NOx.
“Looking back, we regrettably have to recognize that the developers involved in the EA 189 project quite simply could not find a way to meet the tougher NOx limits in the United States by permissible means, or at least they could not find a way they felt at the time to be meaningful and that fitted the timeframe and the budget they had been given,” Poetsch said.
Volkswagen said its investigation to discover the ultimate source of the plan and a suitable fix is ongoing. Locally Volkswagen Australia is dribbling out information and statements from head office, but is keeping quiet when it comes to what it might, or might not do, locally.