Daily Management Review

Probe into Possible Violation of Diesel Emissions Extended to to Other Car Models by U.S. Regulator


10/02/2015




Probe into Possible Violation of Diesel Emissions Extended to to Other Car Models by U.S. Regulator
Following the Volkswagen emissions scandal, more than two dozen diesel car models made by BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz are being investigated by the U.S. regulator that exposed Volkswagen's rigging of emissions tests to ascertain whether the other car manufacturers too had engaged in similar cheating.
 
The Financial Times reports that at least 28 diesel-powered models would be under the radar of the Environmental Protection Agency which is in search for software-based "defeat devices" and whether Volkswagen was alone in rigging emissions tests or the practice is more widespread in the industry.
 
After announcing that Volkswagen uses software that turns off emissions controls in cars when driving normally and turns them on during emissions tests, the EPA and California officials would test other vehicles for possible "defeat devices", Reuters had reported last month.
 
 In a move that could add to industry costs and higher regulatory hurdles and in an effort to thwart any other cheating activities following the Volkswagen emission scandal, the EPA wants to toughen and broaden emissions tests for all auto makers.
 
The Financial Times reported that the EPA plans to initially test one used vehicle of each model and then widen the probe if anything suspicious is found out. Using vehicle registration databases, cars from rental agencies are being hired or borrowed from owners by the agency to conduct the tests.
 
Most of the diesel vehicles on U.S. roads, including BMW's X3, Chrysler's Grand Cherokee, GM's Chevrolet Colorado, the Range Rover TDV6 and the Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec are being targeted by the EPA, said the newspaper report.
 
Meanwhile, on Thursday, scandal riddled Volkswagen said it would take longer than expected for them to investigate its rigging of vehicle emissions tests, raising the prospect of months of uncertainty for customers, shareholders and staff.
 
The German carmaker's supervisory board, after a seven-hour meeting late on Wednesday, said it would take "at least several months" to complete investigations, including an external inquiry by U.S. law firm Jones Day.
 
There are ongoing investigations against Volkswagen in the US, where it had admitted to have used emission suppressing software, as well as in Europe where the company sells 40% of their cars.
 
The scandal has wiped more than a third off its share price, forced out its long-time chief executive, and sent shock waves through both the global car industry and the German car maker is under a lot of pressure to make rapid progress in tackling the situation.
 
The company was also looking for ways to cuts costs and boost cash flow to meet the bill for cheating regulators and the potential for refitting around 11 million vehicles that are believed to be affected by the emission scandal.
 
The status of investigations against Volkswagen's former CEO Martin Winterkorn was clarified by a German prosecutor saying it was looking into allegations of fraud from unidentified individuals but that he was not under formal investigation.

(Source:www.ft.com & www.reuters.com) 






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