Volkswagen Says It Lied About CO2 Levels In 800,000 Cars

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
volkswagen says it lied about co2 levels in 800 000 cars

Volkswagen on Monday said that internal testing revealed 800,000 Volkswagen cars may emit more carbon dioxide than reported and could cost the company $2.1 billion more in penalties.

New CEO Matthias Müller apologized for the deception.

“The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency,” he said in a statement.

According to the automaker, 800,000 cars could emit more CO2 than the company reported. Volkswagen said a “majority” of the affected cars were diesel models, but didn’t specify which ones, nor if they were models already affected by the growing diesel scandal.

According to the Financial Times, affected cars all have 1.4-liter engines, although some are gasoline-powered, the first time Volkswagen gasoline engines have been implicated in its emissions crisis. Volkswagen Polo and Golf models, as well as some Skoda, Seat and Audi models, were fitted with the 1.4-liter engine, although none were sold in the U.S. or Canada.

In August, Volkswagen announced it would equip a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine in its cars in the U.S. to replace the outgoing 2-liter engine. It’s unclear if that engine, coded EA 211, is related to the European engines that spew higher levels of carbon dioxide that Volkswagen didn’t specify. A related engine, based on an earlier generation four-cylinder, has been used in many VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars.

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  • 50merc 50merc on Nov 03, 2015

    Too much CO2? That's a victimless crime. In fact, plants were thankful for the extra food. The fines that VW will have to pay will be tribute to the false gods of catastrophic AGW.

  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Nov 04, 2015

    I can maybe disagree with the particulate levels or co2 standards.... I understand there are lab conditions and real world etc. But what this comes down to for me is a massive fraud. The standards are the standards, like them or not, until they're changed everyone must meet them. And vw simply cheated and lied about it on an epic scale. I know there are no deaths but for whatever reason this seems way way worse than something like the GM ignition fiasco. I'm no gm fan, but as an engineer I can understand how pressures on cost can lead to something like that, and I can understand how it can take time to realize the significance of a problem and develop a solution, and also there will be roadblocks on the way. But this to me just feels like vw decided at all levels of the company to just say "F the requirements" and that was that. And for some reasons this feels far worse to me than any other safety related issue. Blatant, in your face, non accidental, deliberate fraud in every corner of the company. So large and so deep that I have to ask if they also rigged say crash test cars with equipment or bracing etc that they then didn't put in the actual production models. Or what other parts like seat belt performance did they "test" and it "passed" because they rigged the test or just straight up lied about the numbers? This is not one bad apple or a department of bad apples. This smells more of a rotten, dishonest company from top to bottom. And therefore I can't personally dismiss it as a fluke or an isolated incident. I was on fence if the particulate for diesels might bankrupt vw. I am now officially on vw death watch. If this is true, I suspect it is enough to put them under. Idiots.

  • Dr.Nick Dr.Nick on Nov 04, 2015

    So they basically cooked the CO2 books in order to look more competitive in Europe or anywhere they tax cars based on CO2 production. It will be very interesting to see how they're trying to firewall this problem and claim that a core group of 10-29 people are responsible for this massive fraud with no one else the wiser. Ridiculous.

  • CarnotCycle CarnotCycle on Nov 04, 2015

    I do not think VW should be shelling out massive government fines for this. Civil litigation - at least in USA - will thump VW in the pocketbook already, which ultimately will be picked up by VW shareholders - mostly little people, in other words. The ones who should be suffering are in VW executive suite and they will be the ones who get away. No junior firmware dev decided to 'update' critical ECU op routines on his own. This also brings up another potential in the future, which is user-based hacking of individual ECU's to achieve same effect when getting emissions tested. I would guess there is fair amount of fraud going on that way already. And that also brings up another point, why would it be only car companies that should suffer a 'crisis of confidence' with the auto-public over this? What about EPA (at least in USA)? Whole air-quality-assert regime here seems suspect given scale of what went on under all these alleged MacGruff crime-dog noses and Ralph Nader wannabes. All the unreliable data on VW sticker was 'certified' by EPA. Apparently that's just a form one files - EPA actually has no idea about any of these cars probably.