Is VW out of its mind?
It's a bit of a slap in the face when someone promises to fix a problem and instead makes it a lot worse. But according to Italian consumer group Altroconsumo, that's exactly what Volkswagen has just done. Soon after it escaped being fined by the German government for the diesel scandal on the one condition that it had to fix customer cars, VW began the process of righting its wrongs. To do so, it updated the software on its 1.2-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines.
On the other hand, its 1.6-liter diesel needed a new flow transformer (a device that helps the mass airflow sensor to get a better reading) as well as a software update. When Altroconsumo tested a "fixed" Audi Q5 that had its cheat devices removed, it found that the diesel spewed 25% more NOx gases than a cheating engine. The findings immediately ticked off the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), which issued a statement calling for German testing agencies to re-evaluate the approved fixes for the diesels. In a less polite tone, the organization added, "Volkswagen justifies compensation payments to US consumers with the argument that their cars cannot be as easily fixed as in Europe.
"This excuse now seems to be built on sand. VW must compensate European consumers. This is the only possible way forward for VW to make up for this ongoing consumer detriment." It all boils down to the fact that European consumers are pissed off because Americans were the only diesel buyers to be compensated while EU diesel drivers are being forced to suck it up in order to keep Volkswagen from collapsing. Based on the findings, BEUC will now test other VW diesels that have undergone the fix to see if they meet requirements or are still over the legal limits. The BEUC added that it wants European governments to add pressure to Volkswagen to get the automaker to take the fix and its ethics more seriously.