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Italian consumer group: VW's diesel 'fix' actually made NOx levels rise

18 Juillet 2016 - Autoblog

Italian consumer group: VW's diesel 'fix' actually made NOx levels rise

Add Italian consumer group Altroconsumo to the entities who continue to shame Volkswagen for its diesel-vehicle emissions levels.

The group recently did real-world road tests on an Audi Q5 with Volkswagen's technical "fix" for the emissions-testing "defeat" software installed. Unfortunately, the group found that nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions from the vehicle were up 25 percent compared to the level before the repairs, Reuters reported.

As a result, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), of which Altroconsumo is a member, called for the automaker to compensate diesel-vehicle owners, and had some harsh words for Europe's largest automaker.

"Volkswagen justifies compensation payments to US consumers with the argument that their cars cannot be as easily fixed as in Europe," said Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC. "This excuse now seems to be built on sand." Volkswagen representatives weren't available for comment, according to Reuters.

Results like this could leave German regulators a bit red-faced. That's because the German Ministry of Transport last week said it wouldn't fine Volkswagen for emissions cheating and would simply require the automaker to return the vehicles to their owners in "legally compliant condition." By comparison, VW reached an agreement with US regulators requiring to pay diesel-vehicle owners as much as $10,000 each. The total tab for VW in the US may reach $15.3 billion.

About 2 million vehicles were impacted in Germany, compared to less than a half-million in the US, which some sources familiar with the process said may have had an impact on the lack of a fine. Take a look at the BEUC's statement here and below. Europe has about 8.5 million diesel vehicles that may need to be repaired because of the diesel-emissions scandal, which came to light last September.

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