Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann rejected allegations coming from both the German media as well as an environmental advocacy group, stating that their diesel engines are using software that intentionally turns off emissions controls in certain situations.
According to Neumann, conclusions reached by Spiegel magazine, ARD television’s Monitor program and Deutsche Umwelthilfe were “wrong”, saying that “We at Opel don’t have any illegal software.”
Because of what transpired with Volkswagen, credibility has dropped within the automotive industry regarding diesel engines, and since then, we’ve already had Mitsubishi coming out and saying that they’ve also manipulated fuel-economy tests, while Daimler is currently checking for irregularities at the request of the US Department of Justice.
In April, car manufacturers (including Opel) agreed to voluntarily upgrade 630,000 vehicles in Europe in order to fix temperature-control setups that were already pushing the boundaries of regulation. At that time, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said that no proof had been found that other car models used a defeat device similar to VW’s.
Despite all that, Spiegel and ARD reported that Opel used a software to reduce emissions controls at certain parameters, such as when driving at speeds over 145 km/h (90 mph) or when engine revs exceed 2,400 times per minute. This data was apparently found in the Zafira MPV as well as the Insignia midsize sedan.
As reported by Autonews, Neumann went on record to say that those findings are “misleading oversimplifications and misinterpretations of the complicated interrelationships of a modern emissions control system of a diesel engine. Our engines are in line with the legal requirements. We anticipate the authorities to share this point of view.”
Opel already gave full details about their engine software and emissions strategy to German car-industry regulator KBA last October, and has so far not been provided with the methods and details of the tests conducted by Spiegel and the DUH environmental advocacy group.
“We’ve worked transparently with authorities in Germany and Europe and will continue to do so,” added Neumann.
Opel and the German Transport Minister are currently scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 18th.