Report: VW's Dirty Diesels May Have Caused Up to 100 Deaths

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
report vw s dirty diesels may have caused up to 100 deaths

A report by the New York Times estimates that Volkswagen cars that illegally polluted up to 40 times more nitrogen oxides may have contributed to more than 100 premature deaths in the U.S., nearly equal to the faulty GM ignition switch that has been linked to 124 deaths.

The researchers calculated the effects of the increased nitrogen oxides by using numbers derived from U.S. counties where power plant emissions had been reduced. Those counties removed 350 tons of nitrogen dioxides per year and had 5 fewer deaths per 100,000 people. Calculating the number of VW diesels and their average emissions at 39 times the legal limit, the writers concluded that the cars could be responsible for 106 premature deaths nationwide.

An associate professor at MIT used figures from the Environmental Protection Agency to estimate that pollution from dirty Volkswagens may have caused around 40 premature deaths, which the article’s authors cite could be on the low end.

The total effect of pouring tons of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere and its impact on health would be extremely difficult to calculate — let alone prove in court for plaintiffs who may sue Volkswagen.

But so far, it appears that VW’s growing scandal has at least one casualty: diesel’s immediate future.

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5 of 74 comments
  • Kvndoom Kvndoom on Sep 30, 2015

    Thinking about it, I have a question.. Is there *any* good source of news out there anymore? I just want unbiased reporting. No left or right slant, no sensationalism, just straight up news. I've gotten to the point where I just don't read news as much as I should because it's gotten too tabloid-ish to even stomach anymore.

  • Doublechili Doublechili on Sep 30, 2015

    So TDIs kill old, frail people? Having read between the lines of the healthcare debate, I'd think the NYT would think that's a good thing. Kinda like global warming. We can control the climate? Excellent! We just have to keep enough internal combustion engines around so that when the next ice age comes along we can fire them all up and ward it off.

  • Chocolatedeath Chocolatedeath on Sep 30, 2015

    I know that someone has probably already brought this up but, dont you think its funny how VW can fire or remove as they say a top guy and then this happens. I smell a snitch.

  • Whatnext Whatnext on Oct 02, 2015

    How many deaths is my granny's '68 Nova responsible for? Somebody stop her before she kills again!