Volkswagen’s Dieselgate software fix has another cheat device: German court

A Volkswagen diesel engine. (Credit: Volkswagen)

It appears that Volkswagen’s high-profile Dieselgate scandal won’t let go of the veteran German automaker just yet. In a recent decision, a district court in Düsseldorf, Germany has declared that Volkswagen’s software fix for vehicles affected by its Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal that broke in 2015 actually contained another cheating device. 

With this development, the carmaker could face a new wave of claims from hundreds of thousands of car buyers whose vehicles were supposedly addressed by the Dieselgate software fix. This could also result in an equally large number of Volkswagen diesel owners receiving compensation over the company’s newly-discovered emissions manipulation efforts

According to the findings of the Düsseldorf district court, Volkswagen’s Dieselgate software fix was intended to ensure that the emissions of vehicles affected by the scandal were appropriately controlled. Unfortunately, it turned out that the exhaust gas cleaning system in the update only worked at outside temperatures between 10-32 degrees Celsius. In the event that the weather falls below or above this range, the cleaning remains disabled, allowing the affected vehicles to overly-pollute as before. 

The district court noted that the cheat devices in the software fix would affect diesel-powered vehicles from Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and Skoda. The defeat device in the software fix of the original Dieselgate defeat device has only been announced by the Düsseldorf court recently, which means that a notable number of vehicles that were supposedly fixed by Volkswagen continue to emit more harmful emissions until today.  

As noted in a report, the repercussions of the Düsseldorf court’s decision will likely be explosive. Claims from owners who owned the affected vehicles from the original Dieselgate had mostly been settled years ago, and Volkswagen has argued that any more claims should be barred by the courts since over three years have passed since the scandal broke. The rigged software fix could now lead to the statute of limitations to run again. 

The news of Volkswagen’s cheat device inside a cheat device comes on the heels of a recent announcement about one of the company’s new diesel engines. In an interview about Volkswagen’s 2.0 TDI EA288 Evo diesel engine, the carmaker’s Head of Diesel Engine Development, Sebastian Willmann, proved very enthusiastic, praising it due to its low emissions and efficiency. 

“Diesel has always been very economical and now it is absolutely clean. Vehicles with the latest emission technology, such as our current diesel engines, emit only very low nitrogen oxide emissions. Our models are at the level of the best competitors… Especially in heavier vehicles, where large ranges and a lot of torque are required and possibly even a trailer to be pulled, the diesel is still the most efficient drive today,” he said.

H/T Alex Voigt.

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate software fix has another cheat device: German court
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