Expert: Some Manufacturers at North American International Auto Show Likely Cheating on Emissions Testing

Experts say some of the manufacturers displaying vehicles at this week’s North American International Auto Show could be fudging just how much pollution the product produces.

When Volkswagen was caught using software that cheated emission standards tests the company was fined and took a hit to its market value.

But a man who helped uncover the scandal, the International Council on Clean Transportation’s John German, says VW had a chance to change its methods but continued to cheat anyway.

German alleges that many European automakers still falsify how much pollution pours from their vehicle’s exhausts because governments there are not nearly as stringent in enforcing regulations as officials are in the U.S.

There’s been a lot of testing done in the aftermath of the VW scandal and by at least five governments in Europe (and) private organizations,” German says. “We have hundreds of them tested now and 95 percent of them exceed the emission standards.”

He alleges that automakers like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have been caught following VW’s lead because those companies are used to a lack of enforcement by European regulators. 

The manufacturers routinely shut off controls and nobody does anything about it. So I think that’s what happened with Fiat Chrysler in the U.S.,” German says. “The Fiat Chrysler diesels were engineered in Italy. And I think they just didn’t understand how different the enforcement is in the U.S. than it is in Europe.”

German tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter that car companies cheating on emissions tests is a somewhat common practice across the pond.


Click on the audio link above to hear the full interview

Image credit: J. Carlisle Larsen

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.  

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