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Volkswagen Slams Use of Retrofit Hardware for Euro 5 Cars as Risky

The coming into force of the new emissions standards in Europe last year, as well as the increasing trend of local authorities to limit and even ban access of older diesel cars in parts of the cities has spawned a new aftermarket industry.
VW says retrofitting Euro 5 diesel cars is a bad idea 1 photo
Shops here and there, especially in Germany, are offering to retrofit Euro 5 cars with hardware that in theory could turn them into Euro 6, meaning they’ll be able to comply with the stricter standards now in force. This practice seems to have gained such traction in Europe that Volkswagen saw fit to issue a long statement which details all the reasons why people should NOT do this.

Diesel cars manufactured from 2011 to 2015 had to comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard. For them to be able to do this, they had to be fitted with special hardware: a particulate filter and a catalytic converter. In some cases, exhaust gas recirculation and software updates were also needed.

To make these cars Euro 6-compliant, further changes are needed, including the addition of new hardware for which car manufacturers didn't provide any room in the design of the cars. Physically, these changes can however be made, even if at times they require some improvisations to be made, but the effects are null, says Volkswagen.

The group that for years has been at the center of discussion for cheating on emission test says “is technically not possible to retrofit a Euro 5 vehicle with an eleven-year-old engine generation so that it corresponds to the emission level of a modern Euro 6 vehicle.”

Volkswagen also claims “there is currently no reliable information on the long-term effects of intervening in the control system, the components and the vehicle architecture in continuous operation.”

The retrofit systems currently on the market are risky, claims VW, as they will actually bring an increase in fuel consumption of about six percent, and a resulting increase in CO2 emissions that defeats the purpose of trying to retrofit the car.

Volkswagen does not give proof of these findings, nor does it say how much of a problem this practice is becoming for a company trying to sell new cars. The group does however “advise against carrying out a hardware retrofit.”



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