Volkswagen AG (ADR)(OTCMKTS:VLKAY) is looking into whether more cars have software capable of fooling diesel emissions tests, probably extending the cost and depth of a emissions scandal that has rocked carmaker. The company reported it was examining older car versions of its EA 288 diesel engines to check if they have software that enabled cars to identify when they were being tested and hence reduced toxic emissions to clear tests.
However, Volkswagen later added new versions of the diesel engines, the Euro 5 and 6, and didn’t cover the banned software, lowering the prospects of a big jump in the number of affected cars. In neither of its updates did Volkswagen reveal which variants of the EA 288 diesel it was reviewing, nor how many cars might be affected.
Nearly five weeks later Volkswagen admitted to rigging diesel emissions tests, the company is struggling to know the facts of emissions scandal that has eroded about a third off its total market value, prompted its long-time CEO to resign and rocked both the international vehicles market and the German establishment.
In case there are more cars having illegal software, the company had to face increased costs for refitting them and making for potential regulatory fines and legal cases. Volkswagen stated in September that banned software probably exists in up to eleven million vehicles globally fitted with EA 189 diesel engine.
The regulators in the U.S. have disclosed that they are investigating company’s “generation 3” cars in the country, which boasts new version of EA 288 diesel engine. But that affects a small number of cars, whereas issues with the EA 288 in Europe seem to be potentially much bigger. Diesel vehicles form almost half of car sales in Europe against a small fraction in the U.S. Volkswagen AG (ADR)(OTCMKTS:VLKAY) make nearly 40% of its sales in Europe.