Volkswagen is still driving into the eye of the storm – probably because it’s hard to see amongst all those toxic emissions – and now it’s pumping out CO2 like it’s going out of fashion. If we’re going down, we’re taking the ozone layer with us!
Bit harsh? I suppose we should give them credit for admitting the new CO2 issues themselves. (Not that they had much choice, it would’ve come out eventually anyway.) Yes, Volkswagen admitted on Tuesday to more emissions cheating, but this time involving carbon dioxide emissions – a carmakers biggest challenge and worst nightmare.
On top of the 11 million affected NOx emitting vehicles, there are now another 800,000 vehicles that have shown “irregularities” (vague, we know) in CO2 emissions and fuel economy numbers. Although the amount isn’t nearly as large as 11 million, CO2 is a much bigger problem. NOx can mostly be filtered out using exhaust equipment, but CO2 can’t.
Carbon dioxide emissions are caused by how much fuel a vehicle burns, so if VW has sold cars that don’t get the fuel economy promised, they could be facing some more large fines and customer lawsuits.
In the UK a car’s tax is based on its CO2 emissions, so you can understand the outcry from UK Volkswagen owners. If their tax is raised, VW will likely have to fit the bill, and so they should. They could also be faced with back-pay fines from the governments. More legal expenses to add to the growing sum, which analysts are predicting might reach €35 billion by the time it’s done.
The German carmaker has put aside another €2 billion to cover the costs of these new CO2 admissions, on top of the €6.7 billion set aside for the NOx emissions. The company have released a statement in which they say the newly affected models are “mostly diesels”, meaning petrol vehicles are being drawn into the scandal too. If these revelations prove true, I suppose we can’t really call it ‘diesel-gate’ anymore. How about diesel-and-petrol-and-probably-more-that-we’ll-find-out-about-later-gate?
The authorities, investors and the public are all wondering when the ‘transparency’ part VW keep talking about is going to begin. While the company has revealed vague information, they are yet to provide us with details. New CEO Matthias Müller has promised that the truth will come, ”From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth”, but we don’t know when.
If VW are set on regaining the trust of the global population, they’ll need to start releasing details, and soon.