And it might actually be right about that.
It's been more than a year since the Dieselgate scandal engulfed Volkswagen. However, Volkswagen managed to escape the death penalty of compensating European owners because it could be catastrophic for the automaker. If Volkswagen is brought to its knees by being forced to compensate European owners, than one of Germany's largest companies stands to shut the factories that earn wealth for Germany and the EU. Now, according to Automotive News, VW may have just found another way out of its diesel muck.
Thanks to what is likely some very clever lawyers at Volkswagen, the automaker is arguing that its cheat software is actually legal in the EU. The claim might seem outlandish, but Volkswagen might actually have a case here. Laws in the EU allow cars to be programed with software that temporarily raises the emissions drastically if it's intended only to protect the engine from harsh conditions and improve durability. It's the same law that allowed GM to avoid the wrath of German authorities when its Opel Astra was accused of having cheat software. An email statement sent by Volkswagen earlier said, "The software contained in vehicles with a EA-189 engine in the view of Volkswagen represents no unlawful defeat device under European law.
"The efficiency of the emissions cleanup system will not be reduced in those vehicles which however would be a prerequisite for the existence of an unlawful defeat device in the legal sense." As Automotive News mentioned citing various German news sources, Volkswagen may be trying to cover its tracks because just last month, a court in Spain became one of the first to rule that Volkswagen must compensate an owner for their dirty diesel. This had the snowball effect of getting Spanish consumer lobbies to advise other VW owners to seek compensation. With VW so broke that it's cutting racing teams and avoiding auto shows, it looks like it can hardly afford to pay buyers in Spain.