Opel CEO, Karl-Thomas Neumann, has rebutted all accusations concerning the use of special software developed specifically to lower emissions in certain situations.
Spiegel teamed up with Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and ARD television's Monitor program for a joint investigation and discovered some worrying facts about a diesel Zafira. Opel allegedly used special software to cut emissions under certain circumstances, like when driving over 90 mph (145 kph) and when the engine is revved at more than 2,400 rpm. Similar results were discovered when the Insignia midsize sedan was analyzed.
However, Opel through the voice of its CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, says “these allegations are wrong.” He goes on to specify that Opel hasn’t used illegal defeat devices and describes these accusations as “misleading oversimplifications and misinterpretations of the complicated interrelationships of a modern emissions control system of a diesel engine.” Neumann added that all of Opel’s engines are in line with the legal requirements and he believes the authorities will reach the same conclusions.
Speaking of which, the DUH environmental advocacy group has announced it will share with the German regulators the results of the findings. Opel says it has not received details concerning the methods and protocols used during testing and does not believe the results of the tests are “objective or scientifically founded.”
Opel’s official response to the latest accusations comes only a month after the Rüsselsheim-based marque along with VW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche agreed to recall 630,000 diesel-powered cars in Europe. These cars have a diesel emissions management software that takes advantage of a legal loophole to diminish emissions under certain circumstances.
That’s why a recall is necessary to guarantee the loophole is “tightened to ensure lower level of pollution going forward,” said a German government official. Opel mentions the recall procedure for its affected diesel-powered cars in Europe is scheduled to commence next month.
Statement by Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann on the Current Diesel Discussion
“Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Monitor and Spiegel create the impression that they found new facts suggesting Opel uses unprecedented illegal defeat devices. These allegations are wrong!
As we have stated before, we at Opel do not have any illegal software. Our engines are in line with the legal requirements. We anticipate the authorities to share this point of view. We have always cooperated transparently with the authorities in Germany and Europe and we will continue to do so. Opel already provided the KBA in October 2015 with the details regarding the company’s engine software, engine calibration and engine emissions strategy. We will provide the public with more information after we have talked to the authorities.
The recent accusations based on findings of hacker Mr. Felix Domke are misleading oversimplifications and misinterpretations of the complicated interrelationships of a modern emissions control system of a diesel engine. Emissions control devices are highly sophisticated integrated systems, which cannot be broken down into isolated parameters.
As methods and protocols of the activities by DUH, Monitor & Spiegel were still not shared with Opel, the company is not in the position to evaluate this part of the allegations. Based on our own and independent measurements and on the experience with experiments published by DUH before, we have to repeat that we do not believe that these results are objective or scientifically founded.
We have naturally learned our lessons from the recent discussions with the authorities and in the public. With every new engine, we strive to be the benchmark. We will further improve the efficiency of emissions after-treatment of our SCR diesel engines, wherever we can and as far as the laws of physics allow. This includes a voluntary service action for cars already on the road, starting in June.”