dieselgate darkens

VW Scandal At Risk of Widening

VW engine dark patrick pleul dpa
The recall will affect millions of diesel engines.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The recall process is likely to cost Volkswagen billions of euros and take much longer than thought.

  • Facts


    • In September, Volkswagen was caught rigging its diesel engines to perform more efficiently in tests.
    • It is now recalling more than 11 million cars worldwide to remove the so-called “defeat devices.”
    • Originally only one engine type was thought to be involved, but now it seems others were fitted with the fraudulent software.
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VW’s diesel emissions-rigging scandal looked set to widen on Thursday as the company said it was checking whether it had fitted fraudulent software into early versions of a second engine.

So far, the company has admitted only that its EA189 engine, built into 11 million diesel cars worldwide, was affected. But it emerged on Thursday that earlier versions of the successor engine, the EA288, may also have been equipped with the device to cheat emissions tests. 

A spokesman for the automaker told the dpa news agency that VW was investigating the initial version of the EA288 engine that was based on the Euro 5 European emissions standard. “We’re in the process of taking a close look at that,” the spokesman said. He could not say how many engines might be affected. So far, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority has only ruled that EA288 engines based on the later Euro 6 emissions standard might be affected.

The EA288 was introduced in 2012, initially in line with Euro 5, and was also sold in Germany, for example in the Golf, VW’s top seller. The automaker then gradually switched to the Euro 6 version. Details on the timing of that transition were not immediately available. Since last month, VW dealerships only have Euro 6 engines on their lots.

VW has so far consistently stressed that the “current diesel engine generation EA288 isn’t affected.” But it did not make a specific statement about the Euro 5 version of the EA288.

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