VW Claims Carbon Dioxide Emission Issue Only Affects 36,000 Vehicles, Not 800,000

In early November, Volkswagen added to its mounting emissions scandal by announcing that an internal investigation had found that nearly 800,000 vehicles may have issues with carbon dioxide emissions resulting in inflated fuel efficiency. But now, the carmaker says its was all just a big misunderstanding: only a fraction of those cars are actually affected. 

VW announced today that irregularities in CO2 levels and fuel efficiency were found in only about 36,000 vehicles, Reuters reports.

“Only a small number of the model variants of new cars will have the catalogue (CO2) figure slightly adjusted,” VW said.

The CO2 problem was found during the company’s ongoing review of processes and workflows in connection with diesel engines. Investigators found that CO2 levels and fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the carbon certification process. VW never disclosed which vehicles were affected by the new issue.

“Based on present knowledge around 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group could be affected,” the company said in a statement at the time. “An initial estimate puts the economic risks at approximately two billion euros (about $2.19 billion).”

Changes to the second emissions scandal plaguing the carmaker likely means it will no longer face the previously reported economic risk of two billion euros (about $2.19 billion).

“The negative impact on earnings… has not been confirmed,” VW said. “Whether we will have a minor economic impact depends on the results of the remeasurement exercise.”

News that the carbon emissions issue affects far fewer vehicles comes just two weeks after reports surfaced showing that VW knew of the problem years ago. German Publication Bild am Sonntag reported last month that VW executives were previously made aware that many of its vehicles were less fuel-efficient than advertised, even pulling one of the vehicles from the market because of the discrepancy.

While the findings related to carbon dioxide emissions might bring a bit of relief to VW and owners of its vehicles, the company has yet to gain approval for any of its planned remedies for 11 million vehicles worldwide that contain “defeat devices” used to cheat nitrogen oxide emission standards.

VW’s CO2 cheating affects far fewer cars than feared [Reuters]

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