VW UK Boss Confirms Dieselgate Affected European Emission Test Results, New UK Tests

Following last week’s U.S. Congress hearing, which saw VW of America boss Michael Horn answer questions, Paul Willis, the Managing Director of the company’s British arm appeared in front of MPs at the Commons Transport Committee earlier this week.
VW Golf VI 1 photo
The most important declaration coming from Willis was the confirmation that the company’s cheating software, which is known as a defeat device, has also affected the results of the European emission test results.

Volkswagen already had confirmed the defeat device was present on European cars, but we didn’t know whether this had been active during the emission tests or not.

"It seems from what I understand - and I'm not an engineer - that the system of gas regulation in the engine influenced the NOx output in cars that we sell in the UK. These cars are type approved across all of Europe, of course, and they're type approved in Germany, with separate people overlooking it,” Willis said.

What about the tests themselves?

The British hearing also targeted U.K. transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, as well as two of his colleagues, Michael Hurwitz and Ian Yarnold, and the authority’s chief executive.

While VW has cheated, the tests themselves are outdated, and the European authorities could have revealed the problem sooner and limit its consequences on the environment.

“There are questions over testing and how accurate they are. What are you doing about problems of testing, have been major criticisms of department, when information was available in 2013, perhaps earlier, about discrepancies, department did not appear to act,” Labour MP Louise Ellman asked McLoughlin.

The transport secretary replied by explaining the British authority had already sent a letter on updating the testing system to the European Commission and, as a result of all the issues, the process will be sped up.

Ian Yarnorld added the UK will introduce a new laboratory emission test by 2017, while they are in the final stages of development for a new road test procedure.

Our take on the matter

After watching both top VW execs appearing in from of U.S. and UK officials, their attitude seemed similar. Both were reserved and kept pushing for the company to be given more time to come up with answers to crucial questions asked by the officials.

Most of the details revealed by VW during these official meetings had been on the table for some time, so they basically just put the official stamp on what predictable or already-unofficially-released information.

There are two major questions that remain unanswered. The first regards the exact solution that VW will use to deal with the problem. This will inevitably surface.

As for the second question, this has to do with whether top executives knew about the emission rigging plan or not. So far, VW people have only said they don’t believe such a global scheme could’ve been enforced by a remote team of engineers alone. And this is one answer we might never receive.

Via: The Guardian


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories