What’s the Deal with All the Emissions Scandals?

Volkswagen emissions scandal

At CashForCars.com, we’re not afraid to tackle talking about major issues in the automotive world, like the Takata Airbag Recall. As you’ve probably heard, there’s been a lot of auto manufacturers who have gotten themselves into hot water lately because they were lying about vehicle emissions. But, what does all of that mean? We did the research and are here to report back on what exactly all of it means, whether you own an affected vehicle or not.

The Beginning

Back in September of 2015, the EPA found that Volkswagens that were being sold here in the U.S. had software installed that could change the performance of diesel engines when they were being tested. This “defeat device” let thousands of diesel engines slip through the cracks that would never have been approved otherwise.


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But, it turns out that the American VW’s were only the tip of the iceberg. After many investigations (and arrests), it’s been revealed that millions of diesels worldwide had variations of defeat devices installed. Manufacturers include Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Opel, Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Daimler, Fiat, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault.

What’s the Big Deal?

Some of you may be wondering why cheating the emissions standards were bad enough to prompt arrests of Volkswagen executives.

Well, to start, these “dirty diesels” are emitting around 40 times the amount of the pollutant nitrogen oxide (NOx). This pollutant has been linked to global warming and affecting the health of humans. While these cars got better gas mileage and were more exciting to drive, the global community will be seeing more cases of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, just to name a few.

This is also an issue because Volkswagen originally tried to claim that the defeat device was installed by a small group of rogue employees. In reality, the executives were fully aware of the software and what it could do. The Volkswagen group also continued selling vehicles from their other brands that had the device installed, while knowing fully the implications of their actions.

What are They Doing About it?

Volkswagen is now working to either re-purchase or repair the cars they sold that had the defeat devices installed. Other carmakers are issuing recalls or otherwise still dealing with legal battles over cheating the system. They all are also working overtime to improve their reputation to their stakeholders and customers.

There are still a lot of questions about these scandals that can only be answered in time. What will we do with all these dirty diesels that are bought back? Will there be more human health ramifications from this scandal? Are more automakers involved than we currently know about?

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