Is BMW Guilty of a "Defeat Device," Too?

Recently, Volkswagen was found guilty of equipping many of their newest vehicles with a “defeat device” designed to enable these cars to pass emissions tests. Why is this a bad thing? A recent study proved that many of the vehicles that have passed emissions tests only pass when the vehicle is operating in test mode. However, under normal driving conditions, many of these vehicles emit up to 40 times more pollution than allowed under federal standards. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has taken immediate action.

Research shows that nearly 500,000 Volkswagen diesel-power vehicles were programmed with these devices. This specially designed software is installed into the small computers, which recognizes that the vehicle is not operating under normal driving conditions. Instead, the computer realizes that the vehicle is functioning under a test mode and knows that the front wheels are spinning but the car is not moving. Additional software allows the computer to recognize when a car is operating under test mode conditions.

Shortly after the company was found guilty, the CEO of Volkswagen apologized and submitted his resignation in hopes of gaining back the trust of consumers. However, Volkswagen suffered an enormous crash in stock prices. The company has set aside 6.5 billion euros, equivalent to $7.3 billion, to cover the expense of recalls and other efforts designed to limit the amount of damages. Volkswagen may potentially be charged with significant fines in the form of civil and criminal penalties for their dishonest and unfair conduct.

Currently, Volkswagen is in the process of recalling all vehicles that have these defeat devices installed.

Volkswagen Reveals Truths About Other Vehicles

As the crisis unfolded, Volkswagen disclosed information which stated that over 11 million diesel vehicles fall into the emission discrepancy category, as well. In fact, more recent European tests suggested that a newer BMW diesel model has failed to meet European emission standards. Reports show that the X3 model produced over 11 times the amount of nitrous oxides permitted under European standards. Similar to Volkswagen, BMW’s stock prices decreased by more than seven percent shortly after.

As a result, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency stated that the examination of the scandal will extend to other United States and European manufacturers that design high-performance diesel-engine vehicles.