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VW stands by emissions practices in EU

November 4, 2016

Volkswagen stands by its software installed in vehicles, and insists the company did not violate any regulations in the EU. The carmaker still admits to tampering with the software in cars in the United States.

Deutschland Wolfsburg Produktion VW Golf
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Schreiber

According to a German media report, German automaker Volkswagen believes it has done no wrong regarding the emissions standards in its diesel cars sold in the European Union.

German daily newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and state broadcasters Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk collaborated on the report. VW said in the report that the software that was used on the diesel vehicles in the European Union “did not constitute an unauthorized shutdown device under European law.” An unauthorized shutdown means gas cleaning is shut off after taking an official measurement.Süddeutsche Zeitung - VW: we did not manipulate (in German)

Volkswagen said it would work with authorities in the "special interest of customers" in the EU, but continuously counters claims from customers, saying the cars meet the pollutant measurement requirements during tests, according to court documents.

Nitrogen oxide is more dangerous in terms of air quality, which is what is more important in United States emissions standards, where Volkswagen is currently fighting legal battles. EU regulations are much stricter on carbon dioxide levels, which contribute to global warming. Volkswagen said that nitrogen oxide is not harmful to health, a belief shared by the German Federal Environmental Agency. “According to our knowledge, a serious assessment of the number of illnesses or even deaths for certain population groups is not possible from a scientific perspective,” said the agency. 

VW admitted to manipulating the software to beat emissions tests for its 2.0-liter model diesel cars in the United States and has been ordered to pay approximately $15 billion (13.5€ billion) in damages and penalties to American drivers, hundreds of thousands of which accepted the deal. It is not clear how much the penalty for drivers of 3.0-liter model diesel cars will be, as that is still being determined in a San Francisco court.

kbd/kl (Süddeutsche Zeitung)