Volkswagen Fined For Cheating Emissions Tests

Volkswagen has hit the news everywhere in the past 24 hours for admitting to rigging their US emissions tests on up to half a million of their diesel cars.

As a result of this Volkswagen have been forced to recall these vehicles to be repaired and retested, and have been stumped with fines that could amount to billions of dollars, depending on how many have been affected. The fine will be calculated for each of the vehicles sold within the previous seven years, which broken down averages around $37,5000 (£24,000 GBP) per vehicle.

Volkswagen and Audi improved their emission readings on the test by installing software within each vehicle that could detect when they were being tested under official emissions tests conditions, triggering the vehicle to enter an emission friendly state. This illegal software is known as a ‘defeat device’.

This blooper has resulted in Volkswagen’s shares falling £11 billion (15 billion euros) and their stock is now the lowest in three years being approximately £95 (130 euros) a share. It was only recently that Volkswagen overtook Toyota in being the world’s top selling vehicle manufacturer earlier on this year and so we’re sure they’re glued to this news! But ultimately, it’s unfair on the Volkswagen owners who were mis-sold their vehicles, by thinking that they were purchasing vehicles that were supposedly low in emissions at a premium, which is a product that they have never received.

Which Vehicles Have Been Affected By The Defeat Device?

It has been released that the following vehicles are the most likely to have been affected:

  • Audi A3 (2009 – 2015)
  • Volkswagen Beetle (2009 – 2015)
  • Volkswagen Golf (2009 – 2015)
  • Volkswagen Jetta (2009 – 2015)
  • Volkswagen Passat (2014 – 2015)

Are Other Manufacturers Lying About Emission Readings?

The American regulator for these emissions tests, along with the German Government, have now planned to start testing other diesels. This is not a surprise to a number of people as car manufacturers have been known to exaggerate their “economic” miles per gallon figures, with drivers reporting a significantly lower MPG figure in the real world.

At this moment in time critics are asking the question whether people should still use diesel vehicles at all. Reports suggest that we have all been duped into believing that diesel is the future of fuel and that it is a greener, cheaper alternative to petrol. In fact tests confirm that more harmful gases are released when running diesel vehicles compared to the petrol equivalents. Channel 4 Dispatches digs a little deeper into this which you can read more about here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/on-demand/59670-003

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