When will the cheating stop?
The dominoes are now starting to fall for automakers trying to skirt emissions regulations, this after Volkswagen was busted last year in what has come to be known as Dieselgate. After GM's ignition scandal, the General was happy that VW got caught and made to be the poster boy for the bad automotive company. Unfortunately, this may no longer be the case because if recent accusations towards GM subsidiary Opel are true, then GM may be the next automaker to get thrown under the emissions cheating bus.
GM has to appear in front of the German Transport Ministry to testify about accusations that its Opel Astra has software that shuts off emissions control devices when the 1.6-liter diesel is at speeds over 90 mph, at temperatures above 86 and below 68 degrees F, at altitudes above 2,788 feet, and at engine speeds over 2,400 RPM. Further east, Nissan is facing its own crisis. After blowing the whistle on Mitsubishis that were advertised with false fuel economy numbers, Nissan bought a controlling stake in the smaller automaker. Now, South Korean officials are telling Nissan that its own hands aren't clean. The Environmental Ministry of South Korea is claiming that the diesel Nissan Qashqai has similar cheat software to GM's.
Not only do Korean officials want Nissan to stop selling the Qashqai, issue a recall, and pay a $280,000 fine, but they want to indict Nissan's head of South Korean Sales on criminal charges for violating emissions laws. The Qashqai is built in the UK and has passed European emissions tests, but as most European countries already know emissions tests rarely reflect real world variables, therefore producing different results. Korean regulators claim that the Qashqai has cheat software similar to that of the Opel Astra and turns off emissions systems when the engine is operating outside of certain parameters. Hopefully we quickly find a way to remedy this culture of cheating that seems prevalent in the world of the corporate automaker.