New VW twist: 800K cars, gasoline included, may have CO2 emission discrepancies

Audi A1 VW emissions CO2 problem

$2.2 billion set aside to deal with fallout on VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT models

Volkswagen announced it has discovered what it calls “inconsistencies” in the carbon dioxide emission levels of a number of engines, Automotive News reports. The inconsistencies are believed to be separate from the EA189 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine issue, and involve a number of different models, at least one of which is equipped with a gasoline engine.

The inconsistencies came to light after the automaker launched an internal investigation into the emissions and efficiency metrics of all diesel models.

The models believed to produce higher than advertised carbon dioxide emissions include Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT vehicles that use 1.4-liter, 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines produced starting in 2012. This includes models like the Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Polo, as well as the Audi A1 and A3. Engines in the Skoda Octavia and the SEAT Ibiza are also believed to be affected. A spokesperson for Volkswagen said that fuel efficiency deviation could also be as high as 10 to 15 percent in some of these models, most of which are not sold in North America. In all, some 800,000 cars are thought to be affected.

Surprisingly, the automaker has already named a monetary amount representing the financial risk of this latest development: 2 billion euros, which works out to approximately $2.2 billion. That’s the amount that the automaker could end up paying in compensation to owners of cars in Europe, where CO2 emissions data is specifically used in marketing and in some cases determines how cars are taxed.

Even though the named models are mostly European-market vehicles, Volkswagen is not ruling out that U.S. market cars could also emit higher than advertised CO2 levels.

“VW’s top management will immediately start a dialogue with responsible authorities regarding the consequences of these findings,” Volkswagen said in a statement. “This should lead to a reliable assessment of the legal, and the subsequent economic consequences of this not yet fully explained issue.”

A recall based on this issue is not foreseen by the automaker in the U.S., as it is not considered to be a technical problem caused by faulty manufacturing or failed components, but rather a labeling issue.

 

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