Frankfurt: Allegations that Volkswagen lied about the carbon dioxide emissions of up to 800,000 cars appeared to evaporate into thin air today as the embattled German car maker said they had been proven to be largely unfounded. “Just a month after questions relating to the CO2 figures measured on some of the group’s models arose, Volkswagen has largely concluded the clarification of the matter,” the company said in a statement.
“Following extensive internal investigations and measurement checks, it is now clear that almost all of these model variants do correspond to the CO2 figures originally determined,” the statement said. “This means that these vehicles can be marketed and sold without any limitations. The suspicion that the fuel consumption figures of current production vehicles had been unlawfully changed was not confirmed,” VW said.
VW is currently engulfed in a massive pollution-scandal that had initially centred on so-called defeat devices, sophisticated software fitted into diesel engines to skew the results of tests for nitrogen oxide emissions.
The carmaker has admitted to fitting 11 million diesel engines worldwide with the rogue software, triggering both regulatory and criminal investigations in a range of countries, including Germany. But on November 3, the auto giant revealed an internal probe had uncovered “inconsistencies” on carbon emissions as well, affecting not only diesel engines but petrol engines, too.
It said that the 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litre motors of VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat vehicles were affected and these cars had been found to be releasing more CO2 than previous tests had shown.
VW said it had presented its latest findings to the government and the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Initially, the group had said that around 800,000 vehicles were under suspicion.
But the deviations found in the figures for only nine model variants “amounted to a few grammes of CO2 on average.” And here, only around 36,000 vehicles were actually concerned.
The affair would therefore have no consequences for customers, VW continued. “Customers’ real-world consumption figures do not change and neither are any technical vehicle modifications necessary. Against this background, the negative impact on earnings of 2.0 billion euros (USD 2.2 billion) that was originally expected has not been confirmed. Whether we will have a minor economic impact, depends on the results of the remeasurement exercise,” VW said.