Opel is refuting claims that the its Zafira MPV was knowingly tuned to cheat emissions testing, much like the VW Group did.
Belgian channel VRT aired a report that suggested the diesel Zafira’s nitrogen oxide emissions were up to nine times above the EU limit of 80 mg of NOx per km.
Following the tests, the vehicles were installed with software updates at a dealership during a routine service and, in subsequent tests, NOx dropped to 2.5 and 2.8 times the legal limits, significantly lower than previously, yet still not compliant to official figures.
VRT outfitted the cars with undercover cameras and claimed that mechanics could be heard discussing their belief that the software was created to help improve emissions.
According to Opel however, the software fix was simply related to the diesel exhaust fluid controller, which was sending out wrong signals and illuminating a warning light unnecessarily. It says that only 309 vehicles in Belgium were impacted by the software update.
The manufacturer issued an official response: “Opel clearly rejects the claim of VRT News that Opel dealers have been modifying software in the Zafira Tourer 1.6 diesel that changes the emission behavior [sic] of these vehicles. The mentioned service update has nothing to do with changing emission levels.”
This does beg the question whether there is an “Opelgate”, too, or a TV station trying to making hay from the publicity raise by the VW scandal? Only proper testing by authorities can determine that, and it’ll be interesting to learn what is really going on.
Story references: The Financial Times