German Government Investigating Opel for Emissions Cheating
Charges Alleged by Environmental Group, Media Outlets
As many predicted, the investigation into the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal has opened up a Pandora’s box of activity and interest into other automakers testing methods and reporting. The latest brand to come under the microscope of regulators is General Motors’ European brand, Opel. German media outlet Deutsche Welle reports that German environmental activist organization Deutsche Umweltlife alleges some Opel models are equipped with “kill switches” that are hidden from testers. Following this allegation, the German Transport Ministry has announced it will look into Opel’s business practices, as well as those of Italian automaker Fiat. The ministry has asked to meet with representatives of both brands in the coming weeks.
Opel denies any wrongdoing and said, “The isolated findings of a hacker do not reflect the complex whole of a modern emissions control system.” The increased scrutiny on diesel emissions, as well as the tighter Euro 6 emissions standards, have forced many diesel models to employ urea fluid-based selective catalyst reduction (SCR) systems on engines as small as 2.0 liters to control NOx emissions. SCR has been effectively mandated in the U.S. on new diesels since 2011, with the exception of Volkswagen, when it was believed at the time the vehicles were compliant with U.S. standards without the need for an SCR system. GM’s U.S.-market diesel models are not implicated or affected by the investigation.
Source: Deutsche Welle