Automakers' Denials of Cheating Actually Faster Than Many of Their Cars

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

This week, Daimler, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued statements on how their diesel cars don’t cheat like someone else you may’ve heard of.

“The BMW Group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests,” BMW said in a statement Thursday. “We observe the legal requirements in each country and fulfill all local testing requirements.”

BMW’s admission is notable because the automakers’ X3 diesel model was targeted by the independent commission that discovered that Volkswagen’s cars illegally polluted.

In separate statements, Daimler said its diesel sedans comply with regulations after a German group said it had evidence that the automaker cheated on emissions tests (via AutoGuide).

We sharply deny the allegation that we manipulated our cars during emissions tests. We never did and do not now use a defeat device.

FCA told that it “works closely and continually with the EPA and CARB (California Air Resource Board) to ensure its vehicles are compliant with all applicable requirements. FCA U.S. does not use ‘defeat devices.'”

And anyone else who’s ever tried diesel — even once in college, after parents’ weekend — is denying any wrongdoing.

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  • Doublechili Doublechili on Sep 26, 2015

    Does anyone know the cause of the delay for the Mazda6 diesel? If it's emissions-related, then I guess we can say at least Mazda is innocent....

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 26, 2015

    There was a time when diesel light passenger cars and trucks were a decent value proposition for owners, but they were all pre emissions, sorry to say.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Sep 27, 2015

    I once benefited by being in the NYMA. A Ford I owned tossed a part out of warranty, but as it was emission related, it was covered. The Service Manager said "when I was working in CT, it would not have been paid for". Still doesn't make up for our torture by Check Engine light. (In NY, CE=Fail) I still think the old school sniffer test made more sense, even if easier to cheat. The check engine light is a relic, and that you need a reader is a throwback to the 80's. I got rolled coal once by some guy in a dualie pickup with stacks. I'm sure it WAS more pollution than my TDi in 100k, even with the scandal. I just wish I'd known this sooner. I'd have gone with a Malone Tune and DPF delete....oh well. I'm amazed at the butthurt in comments in non car rags. I was reading a few major newspaper comment areas, and you'd think someone lied about Santa Claus.

  • Hawox Hawox on Sep 27, 2015

    come on! fiat, bmw, gm, ford, renault diesels aren't much different from vw. similar power, similar consumpions, bosh electronics everywhere. is it possible that they don't cheat? maybe they were only smarter in doing it

    • Pragmatic Pragmatic on Sep 27, 2015

      I'm sure cars can pass without cheating it will just cost more or lower fuel economy. US standards are much tighter than European. One of the issues is CARB and EPA decided in the late 2000's that all cars (gasoline and diesel) should meet the same standard. This meant that diesel NOx had to be greatly reduced to meet the gasoline NOx standard. The VW cheating story broke because the European car companies were lobbying to prevent the EU from imposing tighter NOx standards. The environmentalist wanted to prove it was not impossible to meet these standards at a reasonable cost so they tested US certified cars on the EU driving cycle (a duty cycle not recognized by the VW software as being part of an emissions test). Did BMW, FCA, Ford or GM cheap with their diesels? Maybe but other than the HD pick-ups, sales are too low to make it worthwhile. In my opinion BMW uses the diesel market in the US as a halo to show their superior engineering not to make money. It also allows them to get data on real world reliability on new control strategies in the US and then if need be use them in the EU. As far as the loss of diesel cars in the US I say good riddance. I was a big fan in the 80's but gasoline engines have improved in every way since then. Diesel cars have only been able to compete through government support (fuel tax breaks and lower emission standards).