making good

German carmakers pressured to accept Dieselgate hardware fix

VW-Diesel
Oh, here's your problem: Diesel. Source: DPA

Germany’s auto industry knows that it has to clean up Dieselgate cars to keep them on the road, but it’s only prepared to go so far. “Hardware retrofits are expensive, complex and tedious,” said Matthias Wissmann, president of German automotive industry association VDA. Mr. Wissmann was responding to a new report by a government working group which called for carmakers to agree to hardware repairs. Members claim that the industry has yet to establish how its preferred solutions – software updates and trade-in premiums – will bring down emissions.

The report, led by Georg Wachtmeister, an engines expert from the Technical University of Munich, concluded that equipment fixes would be a “very efficient measure for reducing emissions,” according to German magazine Der Spiegel. The transport ministry tapped Mr. Wachtmeister to join its commission of inquiry into Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal in 2015. Ahead of the next meeting of carmakers and members of government, his working group, one of four established at the first diesel summit in August, is trying to come up with ways to bring those models in line with emissions standards to keep them from being banned from roads in certain areas.

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