At Least 20 Automakers Investigated For Emissions Problems

German authorities investigating 20 automakers for possible problems with nitrogen oxide emissions.

Posted in News

— The Volkswagen emissions scandal has opened Pandora's Box in Germany as safety regulators announced they are investigating numerous models from VW and at least 19 other automakers.

German authorities said they want to know if any of the vehicles are emitting illegal nitrogen oxides, the type of emissions that started the Volkswagen chaos. Regulators said vehicles with diesel engines are the focus of the investigation, but authorities didn't specify which model years are under investigation.

Third-party tests have indicated possible nitrogen oxide emission problems in the following models:

Audi

  • Audi A6
  • Audi A3

BMW

  • BMW 3 Series and 5 Series

Daimler

  • Smart Fortwo

Fiat Chrysler

  • Alfa Romeo Giulietta
  • FIAT Panda
  • FIAT Ducato
  • Jeep Cherokee

Ford

  • Ford Focus
  • Ford C-Max

General Motors (Opel)

  • Opel Astra
  • Opel Insignia
  • Opel Zafira

General Motors

  • Chevrolet Cruze

Honda

  • Honda HR-V

Hyundai

  • Hyundai iX35
  • Hyundai i20

Jaguar Land Rover

  • Land Rover Evoque

Mazda

  • Mazda 6

Mercedes-Benz

  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Mercedes-Benz V-Class

Mitsubishi

  • Mitsubishi ASX

Nissan

  • Nissan Navara

Peugeot

  • Peugeot 308

Porsche

  • Porsche Macan

Renault

  • Renault Dacia
  • Renault Kadjar

Toyota

  • Toyota Auris

Volvo

  • Volvo V60

Volkswagen

  • VW Golf / Golf Sportsvan
  • VW Beetle
  • VW Passat
  • VW Touran
  • VW Touareg
  • VW Polo
  • VW Crafter
  • VW Amarok

Separately German authorities are investigating employees at Audi who were involved with providing the results from emissions tests. German prosecutors said they received information from third parties as well as directly from Audi.

German authorities further say about 540,000 Volkswagen cars with 1.6-liter engines will need both software and hardware changes, both which could cause a change of emissions and fuel economy.

Volkswagen Emission Systems May Be Legal in Europe

Considering most of the diesel cars with defeat devices are located outside the U.S., much of the action has taken place in Europe. However, VW is looking at the possibility that defeat software may be deemed legal in Europe based on European testing regulations.

Current rules allow an automaker to alter the settings of engines before an emissions test, using a setting that wouldn't normally be used during routine driving. This in essence could render official tests useless and provide specific emissions results the automaker wants authorities to see.

Although defeat devices are illegal in Europe, Volkswagen says special software that alters emissions readings might not legally be called a "defeat device." With millions of cars and billions of dollars on the line, VW could turn the entire circus into a legal battle over the meaning of "defeat device."