back to article Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

The European Commission has begun legal action against seven member states over emissions cheating in the "dieselgate" scandal. The Commission is frustrated with how national authorities have handled the issue, which began last year when Volkswagen admitted to emissions 'discrepancies' in engines fitted in 11 million vehicles …

  1. Yesnomaybe

    Oh, here we go again!

    "The Commission has begun proceedings against the UK, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Spain for not acting on the evidence uncovered by investigations, or for failure to bring in laws punishing environmental breaches."

    The EU, wading in, faceless bureaucrats in Brussels telling us to ...uh... protect our population against pollution and ...er... trying to stop corporations doing whatever they want to make a quick buck!! Outrageous!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, here we go again!

      Yes? So what is your point, exactly? You're happy that your national government doesn't give a shit, and you'd rather be sick with British fumes than healthy under European regulations?

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        Yes? So what is your point, exactly? You're happy that your national government doesn't give a shit, and you'd rather be sick with British fumes than healthy under European regulations?

        I think you need to read the second paragraph again with your sarcasm detector engaged.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, here we go again!

          Well, so if it was sarcasm, my apologies indeed. In my defense, there's been plenty of EU-related posts and articles in the same vein recently, that were entirely unsarcastic, so I truly have trouble making the difference :/

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Oh, here we go again!

      Exactly!!11!! The EU's demonstrating its part of the globalist neoliberal whatsamajig!1111!!!!1! And its determined to keep car prices high for the common petrolhead!!!!11!!!!!1! What a bunch of communists!!!!111!"!!

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        Exactly!!11!!

        Down-voted for insufficient use of ALL CAPS and emojis. Must try harder.

        ಠ_ಠ

    3. noboard

      Re: Oh, here we go again!

      Errm, you do realise that the EU is effectively fining the population of these countries because VW cheated the EU emissions tests? The politicians don't pay the fine out of their own pocket. So VW pay jacks shit, and tax payers suffer. I'm not sure how anyone can be happy with that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        "So VW pay jacks shit, and tax payers suffer. I'm not sure how anyone can be happy with that." -- noboard

        Well, anyone who understands the law can be happy. VW are not a party here. If my tenant is not paid by his employer, and can't pay his rent, I may sympathise ... but I sue *HIM*. He sues his employer, hell I might even help him out with support or extending some credit, but guess what's going to happen if I try to sue his employer?

        If the taxpayers end up suffering, it will be because the nations that get fined for not fining VW decide they'll (or rather their taxpayers) will swallow the cost. That is *their* choice, and they risk the (rightful) wrath of their electorate if that's what they decide to do.

        1. noboard

          Re: Oh, here we go again!

          It may be the law but we shouldn't be happy. A company operating under EU law has committed a crime, but the EU are fining the population of the member countries. The people can vote out the politicians responsible, but they then go and work within the EU and can't be voted out; see Peter Mandelson.

          This is not a system to be happy with. The fines will do nothing but take money from where it's needed and the company responsible is unaffected.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Oh, here we go again!

            "The fines will do nothing but take money from where it's needed and the company responsible is unaffected."

            I can't see what you're railing against. Would you like a European Commission that had the legal power to tackle corporations? Or would you prefer that after a mutual agreement of their members to address air quality, they took no enforcement action at all when some members lapsed from this agreement?

          2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

            Re: Oh, here we go again!

            A company operating under EU law has committed a crime, but the EU are fining the population of the member countries

            No. VW are being punished because they committed a crime. The member countries are being fined for pretty much turning a blind eye to that. Each are being punished for their respective failings.

            1. Yesnomaybe

              Re: Oh, here we go again!

              "No. VW are being punished because they committed a crime. The member countries are being fined for pretty much turning a blind eye to that. Each are being punished for their respective failings."

              That's what I MEANT to say!! Instead I got dragged into some long convoluted analogy, entirely of my own making, to do with parking and that. The art of brevity is something I need to dedicate more time to the study of. Well said anyway, have an upvote.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Oh, here we go again!

          Don't worry - we will probably have left the EU long before this reaches a conclusion...

      2. Yesnomaybe

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        "...fining the population of these countries because VW cheated the EU emissions tests?"

        No. As I read it, the EU is fining the respective governments for not doing enough to uphold environmental standards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, here we go again!

          Quote: "No. As I read it, the EU is fining the respective governments for not doing enough to uphold environmental standards."

          And where exactly do you think the governments get their money from?

          1. Yesnomaybe

            Re: Oh, here we go again!

            "And where exactly do you think the governments get their money from?"

            What does that have to do with fining a government for non-compliance with an EU law?

            If you got a parking-fine, should it matter where YOU get the money from? Could you get out of paying the fine if you said "Oh, I'm going to have to mug a couple of old ladies to pay for this. Is that REALLY what you want?"

            1. noboard

              Re: Oh, here we go again!

              "If you got a parking-fine, should it matter where YOU get the money from? Could you get out of paying the fine if you said "Oh, I'm going to have to mug a couple of old ladies to pay for this. Is that REALLY what you want?"

              Is living in a world where you get fined because someone else parked their car illegally REALLY what you want?

              1. Yesnomaybe

                Re: Oh, here we go again!

                "Is living in a world where you get fined because someone else parked their car illegally REALLY what you want?"

                You have misunderstood what's going on here. To carry on with the parking-fine analogy: The UK government (amongst others) are getting fined for NOT taking illegal parking seriously enough. Now; I have certain views on parking-fines, but YES, I DO want to live in a world where the government will be held to account if it chooses to ignore the law.

                1. noboard

                  Re: Oh, here we go again!

                  "YES, I DO want to live in a world where the government will be held to account if it chooses to ignore the law."

                  And this is the crux of the argument, by fining a country, does it achieve anything? If it does, then good, but as Britain has been fined numerous times, it seems it will do nothing but take money from the population. All the while, the company responsible for polluting the air gets off scot free.

                  So to return to the parking analogy, the EU is fining me because VW are parking their cars illegally. At the moment they're dealing with a symptom ineffectively and leaving the cause alone.

                  1. Yesnomaybe

                    Re: Oh, here we go again!

                    "So to return to the parking analogy, the EU is fining me because VW are parking their cars illegally."

                    Not quite. The EU are fining you (OK, I'll take your point that it will be passed on to you in some way) via the state for LETTING VW park in any old way they want. It is now up to you to change your voting to reflect your (un)happiness with the governments handling of parking in the UK, be it by VW or others. The EU is saying: You should have done more to stop this illegal parking, you didn't and now here is a fine.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Oh, here we go again!

                    noboard: "At the moment they're dealing with a symptom ineffectively and leaving the cause alone."

                    So you would like the legal powers of the commish beefed up so they can sue VW directly? I understand that you are unhappy but the EC are doing what they can legally do. It doesn't seem like you've got anything but "I wish this didnt' have to happen..."

                  3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                    Re: Oh, here we go again!

                    And this is the crux of the argument, by fining a country, does it achieve anything? If it does, then good, but as Britain has been fined numerous times, it seems it will do nothing but take money from the population. All the while, the company responsible for polluting the air gets off scot free.

                    True enough, but that is the fault of the UK government for ignoring it's obligations under law and international treaties. If you want something done about the blatant wasting of your tax money, write to your MP and protest against (or lobby) the government. They are the ones wasting taxpayer money.

                    The EU are doing nothing more than trying to (ensure the member governments) uphold the law.

                  4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                    Re: Oh, here we go again!

                    "as Britain has been fined numerous times, it seems it will do nothing but take money from the population"

                    If the people are stupid enough to keep electing a government that ignores the law, then I'd argue that the people deserve to be punished. You do have a choice in the polling booth, you know. You don't *have* to vote for the blithering idiots whose mere touch turns everything to shit.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        Okay.

        1) Where has the issue of fines against the government been mentioned? (In the Apple tax issue in Ireland there was just a judgement that Ireland must charge Apple the tax and the government gets the money. In this case it helps the general population by getting the tax that was owed from a corporation that owes it and stops the government acting illegally - wins all round (apart from Apple shareholders who don't lose much). The effect could be that the UK government are forced to take action against VW which may result in a fine for VW for their failings, wins all round.

        2) If you decide that any public body can't be fined because the money is public money then it would leave open a big area of double standards and incompetencies that would need to be addressed. Already judges lower fines for public bodies than they would against the private sector due to the source of the initial funds but it does seem to work. Getting fined affects budgets, strategies and the reputation of the Chief Exec.

        3) If there was a fine by the EU then that money becomes European funds and therefore forms part of the EU budget, effectively lowering the payments from member countries (the public). The fine however, similar to #2, takes control of that budget away from the fined organisation but the overall effect, minus some administration costs is evened out.

        4) It acts as a deterrent to the nation to uphold the laws to which they signed up. Corporations cannot be seen to be above the law and nations have to stick by their legal commitments.

        Finally the issue that the target was impossible and everyone was doing it - well if that is the case there are plenty of cars out there that will be running the old software so could be tested and VW came up with a pretty simple fix for most of the cars that apparently brings them compliant again - so it looks like the target could be met quite easily? The issues some are having with the fix appears to be trying to retro activate new engine settings on older cars which have been running with more liberal settings for some time.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Oh, here we go again!

      Guys, you are forgetting the sarcasm tags. Most people lose their sense of humour outright when they see Eu and regulation nowdays - regardless is it in a positive, negative or sarcastic context.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        Guys, you are forgetting the sarcasm tags.

        That's not even the point any more. The argument has segued into one about the EU 'fining national govs for VW cheating' when the fine is actually threatened against national govs for not penalising VW for cheating. That's the point to argue against if you (in a general sense) want to.

    5. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Oh, here we go again!

      "protect our population against pollution"

      The EU doesn't give a flying fuck about protecting the population.

      A member country getting better diesel mileage because it allowed more nox emissions would have a competitive advantage. That is what the EU can't allow because avoidance of competition is the reason it exists.

      1. Yesnomaybe

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        "The EU doesn't give a flying fuck about protecting the population."

        British beaches says otherwise.

        Brussels forced the country to shape up through its 1976 Bathing Water Directive and, later, the 1991 Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, which introduced strict rules regarding the cleanliness of Britain’s sea water and sewage disposal.

        Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/environment/britains-beaches-fair-outside-eu/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, here we go again!

        "The EU doesn't give a flying fuck about protecting the population."

        The EU (as the ECSC) was most specifically created in order to end European wars and their millions of casualties. So that sentence really shows how much education is still needed.

        1. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Oh, here we go again!

          "The EU (as the ECSC) was most specifically created in order to end European wars and their millions of casualties. So that sentence really shows how much education is still needed."

          Agreed. Learn your history. In the end it'll never work. The stress cracks are already obvious to anybody.

          It's beginning to look like that before too long we will see the breakup of the whole cabal in acrimony and tears.

          Which will likely lead to a repeat of history. Again.

    6. Dwarf Silver badge

      A different perspective

      Tin hat fitted, prepared for upvotes and downvotes.. .so here goes.

      1. EU bureaucrats who know nothing about engines or technologies set "achievable requirements for emissions"

      2. Car manufacturers fiddle the figures to make it look right, so they can still sell cars..

      3. Manufacturers $$Profit$$ by selling 'compliant' cars

      4. One manufacturer gets caught out. Everyone else starts making quick software updates and removes any internal records that might bite them. This isn't just an VW issue.

      5. EU fines the countries for $$ Profit $$

      6. Customer pays the bill several times over. Once for the country bill, once for the manufacturer fine and once again for the country's EU fees..

      7. EU claims they have done good and still maintain they are right..

      The rest of world looks at Brexit and considers its options

  2. Magani
    FAIL

    What's in a word?

    Volkswagen admitted to emissions 'discrepancies'...

    In other words, FRAUD.

    The same usage that the auditors have when finding 'discrepancies' in a bank balance.

  3. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

    "the best available technology"

    Or more probably, CATNAP: Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoiding Prosecution

    1. Alister Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "the best available technology"

      CATNAP: Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoiding Prosecution

      Bravo sir!

  4. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    El Reg

    Did El Reg not think to contact the relevant minister for comment?

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Happy

    Damned EU

    The EUrocracy is once again placing it's Chanel boot on the throat of hard-working local particulates, probably in advance of demanding that room be made in Britain for uncontrolled cross-border flows of Eastern European nitrous oxides and refugee ozone!!

  6. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Speaking as someone who breathes air...

    ... about bloody time.

    1. Axman

      Re: Speaking as someone who breathes air...

      Next in line should be all the bloody London luvvies who've installed wood burners in their little country hide-aways, that they invariably get to in gigantic diesel driven 4x4s.

      As a born and bred country bumpkin, still resident in my ancestral village, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to snaffle up the pure unadulterated air of yore

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Speaking as someone who breathes air...

        Nothing wrong with driving a 4x4, soon the roads will be so bad round my way I will have to always drive my 4x4, my saloon is too low to cope with some of the roads........

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Speaking as someone who breathes air...

        "As a born and bred country bumpkin, still resident in my ancestral village, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to snaffle up the pure unadulterated air of yore"

        Would that "air of yore" be the the coal smoke that followed on from the introduction of the railways? Because before that it was all wood fires unless you had turbary rights.

        BTW I too live in my native village. I quite like the wood smoke from my neighbour's wood-burner.

  7. hatti

    Potential for those fines to offset VW's losses thereby diluting the impact to VW.The fine should be levied against the original country of manufacture only, the cause and not the effect.

  8. The Electron
    Flame

    Meanwhile, pollution of the radio spectrum is encouraged!

    Rather ironic that the EU wants to tackle cheating and pollution when the very same organisation has been promoting the pollution of the radio spectrum for years. Instead of stopping Power Line Networking (aka PLT) when it first reared its ugly head, they actively encouraged the manufacturers to cheat and make up their own "standards" (CENELEC EN50561) that completely contravene their own EMC Directive. Their Market Surveillance Authorities continue to turn a blind-eye to the tonnes of non-compliant junk electronics pouring into the Single Market; and they would have ignored VW if it was not for the USA spotting the emissions cheating. The air pollution resulting from Diesels is going to take a long time to resolve. Radio pollution can be very quickly cured by turning the junk off!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About Time somebody took some action

    This is one of the few areas that the EU can do something positive about and they are right to take the UK to court. UK government has no interest in the health or wellfare of its own citizens only "entrepreneurs" who can provide the right kickbacks.

    Trouble is the loony greens and UK government went overboard for CO2 control at the expense of pollution and got conned by the French/German diesel manufacturers, when in the early stages other car manufacturers were trying to sell the idea of lean burn petrol engines. The fake benefits of diesels and lies about clean emissions conned everyone.

    On top of this we all know VW and the rest fiddled the engine software to make things even worse, and the other manufacturers, aided by the UK and German govt in particular, made sure the emissions and economy testing process was meaningless anyway.

    But when did the EU prosecute Germany or German car manufacturers? They get away with breaking the financial regulations, unlike Iceland, Italy and UK..

    They are too big to be punished, like the banks.

    In the long run we are far better out of it all and we just have our own government to blame - If the "terrorism" laws allow us to see any of the facts by then.

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me

    The main issue as I see it is there is no international measurements for NO in the atmosphere in El Reg units - I mean, is it OK if there's 100 dormice in an acre of corn but bad if there's 1000 dormice in an acre of corn? We need to get these measurements prioritised then worry over who sues who.

    1. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Trollface

      Reg units - @Your alien overlord - fear me

      Might I respectfully suggest the goebbels as an appropriate name for the new unit?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Reg units - @Your alien overlord - fear me

        Might I respectfully suggest the goebbels as an appropriate name for the new unit?

        No no, the goering, he was in the air a lot at one time...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why can't the EU...

    Sue the balls off of VAG on behalf of the whole EU?

    Nah, that's far too a simple solution.

    The problem is that VW cars met the laws/standards as laid down by the EU now the very same EU is expecting each member state to sue VW... for breaking those EU wide regulations...

    The only winners here will be the phalanxes of lawyers (no doubt driving their Porsche's no doubt paid for by us...)

    We could just ban the sales of VW's, Audi's, Skoda's and Porsche's until they fix all the 'bent' cars and paid HMRC a bit fat fine.

    Oh wait, then the EU would take legal action.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Why can't the EU...

      Sue the balls off of VAG on behalf of the whole EU?

      It's difficult to find fault with that idea; if the EU sets a pan - EU Standard then it ought to carry out its own enforcement against any company that wilfully infringes that standard. It makes no sense to me* for there to be independent feeding - frenzies of lawyers in each of the 28 member countries.

      * Probably because IANAL!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why can't the EU...

        The EU sets standards, which the individual countries incorporate into their national laws.

        Hence for example an offending Audi sold in France is under the French jurisdiction and it is for the French authorities to deal with it. I mention France because as a result they went and raided Renault and Peugot offices to see if they were fiddling things too. By comparison what has the UK done?

    2. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Why can't the EU...

      "The problem is that VW cars met the laws/standards as laid down by the EU... "

      Err, no, the point is they didn't meet the standards as laid down by the EU in the first place. They actively changed the output when being measured so as to appear to meet the standard. Cheat. Fraud.

      All governments should have taken enforcement action. Now that could end up being a slap on the wrist, as the enforcement would be detrimental to the overall economy, but the governments should have APPEARED to do something. You have seen Yes, Minister, haven't you?.

      1. fandom Silver badge

        Re: Why can't the EU...

        "the point is they didn't meet the standards as laid down by the EU"

        But they did, it was US standards they didn't meet.

      2. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Why can't the EU...

        "Err, no, the point is they didn't meet the standards as laid down by the EU in the first place. They actively changed the output when being measured so as to appear to meet the standard. Cheat. Fraud."

        As I see it it seems that the requirement was to meet specific requirements in specific ways on specific testing equipment. Which the cunning bas**rds did. It seems the rules were met. The fact that the regulators were incompetent in defining and policing the "requirements" suggests that THEY should be VERY severely punished for that incompetence. I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

        VW's crime was to hype up the propaganda that their cars were so clean based on those fiddled results. ie CHEAT their customers.

        THEY should be forced to modify the cars to:

        (a) Meet the requirements in real conditions.

        (b) Give AT LEAST the same performance as before.

        (c) Give AT LEAST the same fuel performance as before.

        (d) Do so in a manner which does not intrude in any way upon the space available to the owners in their vehicles.

        (e) Do so in a manner which does not compromise in any way reliability or access to other components.

        (f) Fully cover the cost of all additional service costs, including "consumables" and any increased vehicle downtime FOR THE LIFE OF THE VEHICLE. At whatever garage the owner chooses to use.

        (g) Provide a complete and reliable fix for all vehicles within six months of the "cheat" becoming known or pay swinging penalties.

        (h) Provide the FULL source code for all software / firmware - both old and new - including all future updates - under an appropriate open source licence.

        (i) Provide suitable funds in escrow to ensure the above will be accomplished.

        (j) OR - at the owner's option - refund the FULL NEW COST of the faulty vehicle at current replacement prices to buy back the item, with NO obligation upon the owner to purchase another vehicle from their group.

        That should put the shi*ts up the whole motor industry.

        I gather these can be somewhat bad for the environment >>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why can't the EU...

          "As I see it it seems that the requirement was to meet specific requirements in specific ways on specific testing equipment. Which the cunning bas**rds did"

          No, that is completely false. The use of defeat devices were explicitly outlawed in Europe in 1998 (98/69/EC) and also in both the Euro 5 and Euro 6 in 2007 (715/2007). There was no cunning, it was outright fraud, don't try to twist the facts to give them a free pass.

        2. hoola

          Re: Why can't the EU...

          In some ways you are correct however with very few exceptions people would have bought (leased) the cars regardless of what comes out of the exhaust pipe. And, therein lies the heart of the problem, the whole CO2, fuel consumption thing is a total farce anyway. Has anyone ever got remotely close to the specified fuel consumption? No, and because you never get close to it the CO2 figure is wrong and so are the VED costs. It is all total bollocks. The only time people worry about CO2 is when it is a company car and it affects there tax liability.

          This of course also ignores the fact that diesels get progressively dirtier with age yet somehow still pass MOT emissions test. Looking at the muck that is often spewed out of the back of a 5 year old car, van or whatever, I just do not understand how they pass the MOT.

    3. Alister Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Why can't the EU...

      We could just ban the sales of VW's, Audi's, Skoda's and Porsche's until they fix all the 'bent' cars

      AARHHG! so many grocer's...

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Why can't the EU...

        AARHHG! so many grocer's...

        Dear El Reg,

        Please can we have "multiple upvote" button's? A X10 multiplier sound's about right.

        (Sorry; I couldn't stop myself...)

    4. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Why can't the EU...

      "Sue the balls off of VAG on behalf of the whole EU?"

      You don't have to look far from the M25 for a government that has been constantly resisting a federal Europe.

  12. Doc Ock

    I find this somewhat amusing given that French and German car manufacturers were at the forefront of pushing diesel cars onto the public in the first place, they were far more prevalent on the Continent before they made it to the UK. Any idiot let alone a chemist could see that diesel was not a cleaner source of fuel than petrol or gas yet everyone bought into it loving the extra MPG.

    Everybody loves being green but nobody wants to pay for it, especially the average person in the street rather than some overpaid lovvie actor type who actually can afford it.

    I wonder how many EU commissioners drive large cc diesel BMW or Mercs ?

    1. Flatpackhamster

      They don't drive.

      They have chauffeurs for that.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "Any idiot let alone a chemist could see that diesel was not a cleaner source of fuel than petrol or gas yet everyone bought into it loving the extra MPG."

      Really? A chemist would probably have told you that cetane is easier to ignite than octane, and that burning in an environment with lots of oxygen, such as the very high pressure air inside a Diesel cylinder head, should result in more effective combustion than the same process in the more fuel-rich mixture of a spark ignition engine. There are lots of theoretical reasons why it should be possible to get cleaner combustion from a Diesel engine than a petrol engine. At the time when cats were coming in, they worsened fuel consumption on petrol cars and they emitted more pollutants for longer when warming up. It really looked as if the Diesel was the future.

      What happened was that Diesel R&D went very fast for some time and then ran into a bit of a brick wall while spark ignition R&D took longer to get there but eventually overtook Diesel on the pollutants front. With Diesel particulates and NOx proved very hard to reduce below certain levels without adding a lot to cost, while the advent of the small turbocharged petrol engine with direct injection gave better pollution results less expensively.

      It's easy to be clever with hindsight but it was possibly Toyota and Honda who were the first to see that Diesel might have limitations, which is why they started hybrid petrol development. It took years to make hybrids kind of acceptable, and for much of that time motoring journalists were rubbishing them.

      1. graeme leggett

        Diesel also used to look better against the lead content of petrol.

      2. hoola

        Catalysts

        And the catalysts were pushed very heavily by Mercedes and BMW because they worked well on the large engines in most of their cars. This then screwed over the lean burn technology that was being developed successfully in the UK as the EU decreed that all petrol cars had to have a cat. Spot any possible connection or lobbying there?

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Catalysts

          And the catalysts were pushed very heavily by Mercedes and BMW because they worked well on the large engines in most of their cars. This then screwed over the lean burn technology that was being developed successfully in the UK

          To be fair I think the lean burn technology would eventually have run into the same NOx problem as Diesel, though in economy terms it worked very well.

          Apart from Daimler and BMW the other organisations pushing heavily for cats were the metals companies. The idea of a product that not merely used platinum but sprayed it all over the road, causing an eventually shortage that would drive the price to astronomical heights appealed to them greatly.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. JaitcH
    WTF?

    I Have a Question: Why Is It That In The U.S. of A. is Volkswagen ...

    buying these fraudulent cars back but the cash-back offer is not being made in in the EU?

    Perhaps it's something to do with The Drumph not believing in climate change ... notwithstanding the inches, centimetres, feet or metres of the white stuff that has covered half the country in the past week.

    Happy white Christmas to everyone!

    1. ShadowDragon8685

      Re: I Have a Question: Why Is It That In The U.S. of A. is Volkswagen ...

      Because since VW is not a US car manufacturer that contributes MEGABUX to the US economy, US regulators don't have any political axes hanging over their heads if they threaten to/actually bring the axe down on VW.

      Now, if it were Ford, GM or Chrysler that got caught fiddling the numbers...

      Anyway, to everyone complaining that the EU should be directly sanctioning VW and the other car companies who were engaged in numbers-fiddling, there's a bloody good reason they aren't.

      They can't.

      They don't have that kind of enforcement jurisdiction, because the EU is at present a military and economic alliance, not an overarching federal government with law enforcement powers over the entirety of the member nations.

      The EU has as much jurisdiction to sanction Volkswagen as the United States Department of Education has to sanction Boko Haram, and probably similar levels of ability to do so.

      What they DO have is a complicated series of treaties stating that member nations must, in their own way, introduce individual-country legislation that is, effectively, the regulations the EU has decided upon, but worded up and such to meet their own individual needs, and the ability to levy sanctions upon those nations for failure to do so, or failure to enforce.

      Basically, your problem is that you're asking why the EU isn't a federal government, when at every turn anyone who suggests making it more like a federal government gets shot down by all the "Muh sovreignity!" folks.

  15. Baldy50

    Congestion.

    On a journey, I used to take every day at different times yielded a difference of over twenty MPG on average when in rush hour or light traffic and only a small diesel engine.

    Just saying! Wasn't stop/start BTW.

  16. Stratman

    Why do I keep thinking that VW et al actually met the requirements laid down by the EU, namely passing the required tests?

    It's not VW's fault the regulations were badly framed. They said "Your cars must pass these tests" and they did.

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