Automotive

Published on September 25th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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UK minister calling for emissions testing on all diesel models- the witch hunt begins

With the recent Volkswagen diesel emission scandal playing out, it was only a matter of time before¬†some authority¬†would request blanket testing of diesel cars. In the United Kingdom, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has done just that- calling for the retesting of all diesel models under real world conditions. It’s the kind of scenario that frightens manufacturers, simply because it can explode out of proportion in not much time at all.

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The reality of the matter is that Volkswagen is likely not the only one who has learned how to game the emissions testing system. BMW is now under fire after German magazine Autobild posted a report saying that their X3 20d was not matching the European requirements for emissions. All of these minor findings will only serve to fuel the witch hunt, but there seems to be a lack of logic behind this course of action.

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Much like trying to understand why children cheat on exams, perhaps the real issue lies with the regulations themselves. It seems that even before manufacturers have time to develop their cars to meet one set of regulations, the next revision is already on it’s way. When model and technology development lifetimes last roughly 5 and 8 years respectively, it is incredibly difficult to make a mid-life change. So perhaps the simplest solution was to beat the test, instead of achieving the actual result.

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While consumers are up in arms and stocks are plummeting over this fiasco, nobody has been able to answer who exactly the victim in this crime is. The cars that consumers bought are the same cars they’ve been driving for however many months and years, but the only thing that’s different is that there’s extra weight on their conscience.

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Volkswagen’s CEO,¬†Martin Winterkorn, has had to step down over this incident. He has issued an apology, even though the decisions that resulted in this¬†were made before he took the helm of Volkswagen. But the way things are going, this incident is far from over, and it may have set in motion a series of events that will affect the entire European automotive industry.

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