630,000 cars affected by Thermofenster trickery

Hair, 22 April 2016

Who believed that automakers would do their utmost to keep the environment clean, considers itself deceived. Because apparently many brands in the diesel exhaust have cheated: many cars meet the NOx limits of the Euro 6 standard only at temperatures around 20 degrees, as you but not prevail on the chassis dynamometer at lower temperatures. On some models, the flue gas cleaning shuts down supposedly already below 18 degrees Celsius. According to various newspaper reports, therefore, Mercedes, Opel, Audi, Porsche and VW commercial vehicles recall total 630,000 vehicles. The online spending report this in unison by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German newspaper, Handelsblatt and mirror. The media called on a high ranking representatives of the Federal Government.

Clean in the laboratory, on the road

Already early March 2016 the Netherlands Research Institute had reported TNO measurements, according to which a Mercedes C has adhered to the NOx limit of Euro 6 (80 milligrams per kilometre) 220 CDI in the laboratory, on the road at zero to four degree Celsius but miserably failed: the NOx emissions were eight times of the limit (650 milligrams). Mercedes had said that action is active at low temperatures, which would prevent damage to the motor. The EU emissions regulation 715/2007/EC allows such shut-off devices when engine damage for example through so-called Sooting, a mucus-like deposit of soot, hydrocarbons and water in the engine and the associated pipes.

Thermofenster control abuse?

Apparently, not only a single Mercedes is affected, but many diesel vehicles. And it stirs the suspicions that the Thermofenster rule is abused to circumvent the Euro 6 limit values. A report in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) last Wednesday (20th April) suggests this. According to the findings of the Research Association of SZ, WDR and NDR, the Federal Motor Transport Authority has achieved similar results to TNO with own tests. The tests had covers over 50 cars from Mercedes, BMW, VW, Ford, Opel, Renault, Peugeot, Fiat and other corporations. Several manufacturers have the Thermofenster control "doubtful used". According to the report, KBA and Ministry of transport were aghast: "we have can not imagine such an extent", the SZ cited an unnamed government officials. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt wants to have but only precise knowledge before you go to the public, so the SZ.

Illegal or legal?

When switching off the exhaust gas cleaning not to the motor protection is necessary, it could be illegal devices. But no matter whether the shut-off devices now comply with the requirements or not: Many buyers and the public are likely to deceived feel when exhaust gas cleaning while works in a more or a few small "floorings" in the laboratory, but not in real traffic at temperatures that are absolutely accessible such as in Germany. The results could bring the manufacturer clean image laboriously built with serious consequences for the regulations, tougher emission rules to the possible end of the low taxation of diesel fuel. (sl)