Volkswagen received some good news and some bad news regarding its tainted Dieselgate scandal.
The good news: Germany won’t fine the automaker for its cheating diesel device.
The bad news: A consumer group in Europe says VW’s technical software fix spews out 25 percent more NOx after the removal of the defeat-device software.
NOx (nitrogen oxide) is a family of poisonous gases formed when fuel is burned at high temperatures.
This toxic pollutant, the center of the emissions issue, emitted up to 40 times the legal limit when affected VW diesel engines were driven in real world conditions.
Altroconsumo, an Italian consumer group, tested an Audi Q5 crossover vehicle equipped with the European-spec 2.0-liter EA189 engine.
The group is a member of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), which issued a statement regarding the findings: “This test by our Italian member clearly demonstrates that VW’s solution to deactivate the defeat device is not reliable.
“Volkswagen justifies compensation payments to U.S. consumers with the argument that their cars cannot be as easily fixed as in Europe. This excuse now seems to be built on sand.”
This diesel-powered Q5 has not been sold in the U.S., but the same engine is available in a number of VW Group cars that are sold here
It’s quite likely the EA189 will never be fixed in the U.S. because of different emissions regulations in the U.S. and Europe.
Earlier, VW said that it would not offer European customers the same level of settlement that it did in the US.
The automaker will pay some $15 billion in U.S fines relating to the cheating scandal, including $10 billion that will be used to directly compensate affected car owners.
It’s estimated that repeating the U.S. settlement in Europe, where the majority of its dirty diesels are located, could cost more than $100 billion.