VW, Mercedes & Others May Have Colluded On Diesel Emissions Systems

Jul 25, 2017, 11:45
VW, Mercedes & Others May Have Colluded On Diesel Emissions Systems

A recent report in the magazine said antitrust authorities are examining allegations that executives from the country's leading auto makers colluded on technical specifications for everything from brakes to clutches and emissions systems.

Diesels came under increased scrutiny after Volkswagen admitted to using illegal software that in the USA detected when vehicles were on test stands and turned emission controls on so that the cars passed the emissions test.

"The fact is that automobiles from the BMW group are not manipulated and comply with the relevant legal requirements", the company said in a statement.

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Given that the V6 and V8 TDI engines are used across both Audi and Volkswagen brands, it would seem inevitable that another Volkswagen diesel recall is on the way.

On Friday, July 21, the European antitrust authorities said that they were looking into the allegations that these German auto makers together were trying to hold down the prices of crucial technology, including emissions equipment.

Mercedes-Benz Korea's decision came in line with Daimler's previous call to provide "voluntary service actions" for 3 million vehicles in Europe, nearly all Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel vehicles. "Of course this also applies to diesel vehicles".

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And on Friday, Audi said it would retrofit 850,000 diesel cars to improve their emissions in "real driving conditions".

German magazine Der Spiegel said last Friday that engineers from BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche had been meeting together since the early 1990s to control costs of components and discuss diesel emissions legislation.

The scandal comes as automakers wrestle with an unprecedented technology shift in the industry, with electronic cars made by Tesla or Toyota finding more buyers and German manufacturers trying to catch up with the battery-powered vehicle trend. The VW subsidiary Friday launched a recall of almost 1 million diesel vehicles to update the software that controls emissions.

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The VW letter reportedly concedes anti-competitive behaviour, including technical solutions to treat diesel emissions for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - the issue at the heart of the widening emissions fraud scandal. As a result, levels of harmful nitrogen oxides are higher in urban areas than they would be if carmakers were adhering to pollution standards. Volkswagen has agreed to more than $20 billion in USA civil and criminal fines and settlements, and eight executives have been charged.

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