German Automakers and Government Officials Reach Accord on Emissions Software

Automotive executives and German government officials have reached agreement on software upgrades that could resolve the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Engine software updates on about 9 million diesel cars in Germany will cost automakers nearly 2 billion euros ($2.33 billion), coming out to about 100 euros ($116.77) per car. The software updates would mean the diesel cars can cut their nitrogen oxide emissions by about 20 percent, industry and government sources told Reuters on Friday.

The move affects diesel cars falling under the Euro-6 and Euro-5 emissions standards. The plan will be presented in early August, sources said.

A separate news story from Reuters may upset negotiations; however, it may have been addressed and resolved earlier this month. German magazine Der Spiegel reported Friday that Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, and Porsche, may have colluded to fix prices of diesel emissions treatments systems through industry committees.

VW admitted to possible anti-competitive behavior in a letter it sent to cartel authorities on July 4, Der Spiegel reported.

The German automaker declined to comment to a Reuters inquiry.

The report said about 200 automaker employees had been sitting on 60 industry committees to discuss engine systems and components affecting vehicle emissions such as brakes, gasoline and diesel engines, clutches and transmissions, and exhaust treatment systems.

Participating automaker employees had been talking about their choice of suppliers and the price of components. It goes all the way back to 2006, when automakers talked about the cost of AdBlue, an exhaust emissions treatment systems they’d been placing in diesel engines.

VW has been hit hard during this scandal in markets around the world, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency charging the German automaker with cheating on diesel emissions reporting through rigged software in September 2015. Now Germany is putting pressure on the parent company and its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries to honestly report emissions and comply with the European Union’s regulations.

Competitor Daimler has been feeling more of the investigative heat lately under scrutiny by German officials. The automaker last week pledged to spend more 220 million euros ($256.8 million) to update software on more than 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesel cars that had been sold in Europe.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand continues to promote the performance of its diesel-engine vehicles. Last year, the company released the new GLC Coupé, shown in the photo above, which comes in three choices – two of them diesel and one gasoline engine.

SEE ALSO:  Germany Acts To Cut Diesel Emissions And Clean Up Testing

Audi said it would upgrade engine software on 850,000 diesel-engine cars it’s sold in that market. The fix on vehicles with six- and eight-cylinder engines will be free of charge for all customers, the company said.

A new committee will be set up to examine how improvements in diesel emissions will impact communities, with the intention of avoiding a possible ban on diesel cars that Germany is considering, sources said.

Reuters

 

 

 


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