EPA Warns Automakers of More Rigorous Testing, BMW Issues Statement
OEMs Told To Expect Longer Wait Times for Certification
As many had predicted, the fallout from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal is starting to have ripple effects throughout the automotive world. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a letter to all automotive manufacturers warning them of prolonged and more rigorous testing protocols. The letter states:
“EPA may test or require testing on any vehicle at a designated location, using driving cycles and conditions that may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal operation and use, for the purposes of investigating a potential defeat device. Such testing can be expected in addition to the standard emissions test cycles when Emissions Data Vehicles (EDV), and Fuel Economy Data Vehicles (FEDV) are tested by the EPA.”
Per existing regulations and statutes, manufacturers are required to supply production vehicles to the EPA for testing upon request. The more comprehensive testing may delay final certification of diesel models for sale.
After defending the performance of its X5 35d during the same battery of testing performed by the ICCT that detected the excessive NOx levels on the VW TDI models, BMW responded to an assertion by German automotive magazine Auto Bild that the NOx emissions of a European-spec BMW X3 diesel were higher than the allowable limits. The company said, “We are willing to discuss our testing procedures with the relevant authorities and make our vehicles available for testing at any time.”
Diesels account for a huge percentage of BMW’s European and German sales, representing 80 percent of sales in Europe, 73 percent in Germany, and 38 percent globally. Just 6 percent of BMW’s U.S. sales were diesel models last year. BMW says it supports the revised European Union vehicle test cycle and emissions testing that more closely replicate real-world driving situations.
Source: EPA, BMW