General Motors’ money losing European unit, Opel, has denied allegations it would have violated environmental standards following researchers reporting tests that concluded one of its newest models was spewing excessive amounts of nitrous oxide.
According to German environmental lobby group DUH, which on Friday issued a report concerning the Opel Zafira 1.6 CDTi multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the model under “certain situations” could exceed the EU limits by close to 17 times. The group cited testing done on its behalf by the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland. The former also supported the lobby group’s claims, adding it did encounter the abnormal behavior. Following the revelation last month that Germany’s Volkswagen AG, the largest European carmaker, had rigged diesel emissions tests in the US and had equipped up to 11 million cars sold around the world with illegal software, the automotive industry and in particular diesel technology has come under intense regulatory scrutiny. The scandal at VW sparked numerous investigations around the world, wiping around a quarter of the company’s market value and forcing a significant management reorganization under a new chief executive.
“The DUH’s findings imply a subtle suspicion of manipulation on our behalf,” commented an Opel representative. “We strongly deny this accusation.” The automaker added they have repeatedly asked the DUH to make the results available before releasing them to the wide audience. The lobby group added it was planning more tests of other diesel models from German and international automakers to see if the latest Euro 6 standard was met.