Volkswagen: Cheat Software May Not Be Illegal in EU, Bugatti Successor in Question
In recent weeks, Volkswagen was caught cheating emissions tests and millions of vehicles may not be emissions compliant. The case against VW in #Dieselgate is pretty damning, but when it comes to some elements of the scandal, the German automaker is remaining defiant. According to the UK’s Autocar, Volkswagen has stated that its engine software could “theoretically” detect if it was on a dyno for emissions testing, a VW employee stated, “It is not certain whether this function can be categorized as a defeat device under European standards.” In so many words, the VW employee saying what it did was not illegal and it did not breach EU regulations. RELATED: Volkswagen May Cancel Nonessential Cars like Golf 400, Bentley EXP 10
The EU defines a defeat device as, “Any element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine speed (RPM), transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any other parameter for the purpose of activating, modulating, delaying or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system, that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal vehicle operation and use.” Volkswagen claims that its software does not exactly fit this definition.
At the point it is only confirmed that VW used the cheat software in the U.S. testing, thus artificially lowering the emissions software. U.S. regulations have stricter emissions standards than in Europe, and Volkswagen is not exactly ready to admit it cheated on the EU tests.
Such a defiant stance might not be the best optics for Volkswagen. The German automaker is about to make some serious cutbacks and could use all the goodwill it can spare. Earlier this week, newly appointed Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Muller explained that several unnecessary vehicle programs will be cut or delayed. That will likely include cars like the Golf R400 and Bentley EXP 10 supercar.
RELATED: Estimating the Cost of the Volkswagen Diesel Recall Proving Difficult
You might as well add another car to that list–the Bugatti Chiron hypercar. Though having gone through crash testing and the existence of concepts like the Vision Gran Turismo (above) providing a strong hint at a production car, Veyron-successor has already been hampered by delays. Most importantly, supercars are not what automakers would call “profit centers.” It doesn’t make money on these cars, and often builds the first run of them at a loss before actually making a profit. It might not be cancelled, but the safe bet it that it will be delayed until the financials (and optics) are justifiable.
One car that could be safe from postponement or cancellation is the Volkswagen Phaeton. It may have been a dud in the ‘States in its first run, but according to Car and Driver, Muller has stated that a car slotted above the Passat is necessary in Volkswagen’s Asian market strategy.
RELATED: See More of the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo Concept