Volkswagen In Hot Water Over Emissions Fiddling
In fact, recently Volkswagen has be revealed in the US to be cheating on air pollution tests on its diesel engines and as such, could face fines up to $18bn (£12bn). As well as this, the VW group faces criminal charges, which were started over the weekend. Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has been forced into a public apology and says there will be investigations into the matter at Volkswagen. However, respected think tank Transport & Environment, don't believe the buck stops with US VW and instead, the European branch could also be fiddling their emission data. Greg Archer, from the Transport & Environment's Clean Vehicles Team, said: "We have become increasingly suspicious of the figures on emissions because there is a very wide gap between laboratory performance and performance on the road."
Diesel engines continue to have a significant impact in Europe, adding up to nearly 50% of total sales. This is huge in relation to stateside statistics, where diesels contribute to just 5%. As such, Transport & Environment has called on the industry to tighten up and bring monitoring systems up to speed with what's practiced in the US, where tests are much more stringent.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: "The EU operates a fundamentally different system to the US with all European tests performed in strict conditions as required by EU law and witnessed by a government-approved independent approval agency. There is no evidence that manufacturers cheat the cycle."
So, whilst there may be an element of fabrication in the data car manufacturers have been churning out, it shouldn't be a case of mistrusting them entirely. Over the last five years, vehicles have become more efficient than ever before, not only reducing emissions and pollutants, but also cutting the running costs of the average motorist.
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