The German government has instructed Daimler, Opel and Volkswagen Group to recall 630,000 cars so emissions systems can be adjusted to remove temperature-dependant devices, according to reports in Bild newspaper.
German government engineers have been probing car manufacturers since the Volkswagen defeat device emissions crisis emerged in September. 56 models have been tested.
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The device in question here is a system that only engages the particulate filter at certain temperatures. Daimler is one car maker that’s admitted such a device is fitted – insisting it’s a perfectly legal system designed to protect the engine when cold.
They may be legal, Stefan Bratzel from the Centre of Automotive Management at Germany’s University of Applied Sciences said, but they’re not legitimate. It “shines a negative light on the industry as a whole,” he told Bloomberg. “This isn’t a good sign.”
The NEDC fuel economy and emissions test cycle is conducted from a cold start, meaning the system would be active for at least part of it while the engine warmed up.
Experts did, however, stress that the only unquestionably illegal ‘defeat device’ found to date is that on Volkswagen diesel cars. This system could sense when the engine was being put through an official test cycle and emissions controls were adjusted to help it pass strict NOx limits without expensive aftertreatment tech.