Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
Rather alarming news recently hit the Volkswagen community when it was announced in late September that VW had reportedly installed deceptive software in thousands of their vehicles.
According to reports, many of the most popular Volkswagen vehicles were fitted with this software as early as 2010. The software itself was designed to manipulate emissions levels during vehicle smog tests to make it appear that it met legal standards when in fact they did not.
Essentially, the VW computer software would detect when a test was being performed on the vehicle, lowering the level of emissions for that vehicle to an acceptable legal volume. Once the test was over, the emissions from the vehicle would again rise back up to illegal levels.
Diesel, though generally regarded as being much more fuel-efficient than its counterparts, often burns “dirty” and is therefore much more susceptible to higher levels of emissions. Because of this, many vehicle manufacturers have constantly sought to develop ways to clean up the way in which diesel burns, with VW being among them.
Unfortunately, VW took a shortcut in this process, which will ultimately cost them a large sum of money due to the recalls that will inevitably be issued.
According to BBC, at least 1.2 million Volkswagen vehicles are fitted with this illegal computer software, which makes certain that a recall is in the immediate future.
By keeping the emissions levels at an illegal level, the vehicle’s performance is enhanced with horsepower and torque, all receiving a boost.
But at what cost?
In some instances, these VW vehicles equipped with the manipulative software were found to be emitting 10 to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide emissions. For a company that was often considered at the forefront of environmental and technological advances for vehicles, these findings are leaving many in the industry puzzled while consumers at the heart of this scandal are left feeling a sense of betrayal.
After all, one of the primary draws of many of the vehicles on the VW line is rooted in both the vehicle’s performance and their overall efficiency.
However, VW owners are in unanimous agreement that they would prefer a vehicle that wasn’t polluting the environment over one that marks slighter higher in the performance categories.
One silver lining of this Volkswagen scandal is that it isn’t a safety issue for those driving the vehicle and owners can continue to use their vehicles as they normally would. And, assuming that a recall is on the horizon, owners of these VWs would likely not have to pay anything to get their vehicles fixed and returned within legal levels of emissions.
Where VW will go from here and how they will attempt to save face has yet to be determined. However, one thing has certainly been made clear through these revelations. Manipulating government regulations, misinforming the consumers and polluting the environment isn’t justified by enhanced vehicle performance.