Volkswagen Ag’s so-called defeat device used to rig emissions tests in the United States is apparently active in diesel vehicles sold in Europe as well, according to a recent report.
German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung has cited Volkswagen in claiming the illegal software was also active in diesel vehicles sold in Europe, where it sells much more autos with the technology than in the United States. Last month the German automaker, the largest in Europe and biggest in Europe by sales after the first six months, acknowledged it had used illegal software to cheat on US emissions tests and later admitted around 11 million autos sold worldwide were also manufactured with the software. But the company so far has refrained from saying if the software was also able to dupe emission testing procedures in vehicles delivered outside of the United States. It also previously stated that around 8 million vehicles of the 11 million total had been sold in Europe.
The German newspaper cited the company as saying it has now found the software can also recognize the test procedures used in Europe – enabling many more vehicles to cheat emissions regulators and spill up to 40 times the allowed level of smog-causing pollutants (NOx) into the atmosphere. The largest crisis in the 78-year history of the 12-brand group has wiped off about one third of its market value, triggering the resignation of long-time chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn and sending major shockwaves through the global automotive industry and the German industrial sector.