Opel called for official hearing

Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Date: 17.07.2018

Exhaust gas cleaning of three models involved

The German car manufacturer Opel must now give information about the functioning of the exhaust gas cleaning because of the diesel scandal. Three models should be affected. The German Federal Motor Transport Authority has recently called on Opel to respond within two weeks.

A spokesman of the German Federal Motor Transport Authority confirmed that “an official hearing against Opel due to the three Euro 6 models” is taking place. “Nothing can be said to the inadmissibility of the defeat devices before the outcome of this hearing.”. A spokesman of Opel did not comment on this issue.

Regulation of exhaust gas cleaning for engine protection in question

The function of defeat devices is to reduce exhaust gas cleaning, which, according to the car makers, serves to protect the engine. For many models, however, there is no need for it. If the exhaust gas cleaning is not fully functional, diesel vehicles cause more harmful nitrogen oxides. Due to the exceeding of the air limits in many cities, driving bans on diesel vehicles are considered. Restrictions have already been introduced in Hamburg, and are expected in Stuttgart from 2019 on.

An exact number of affected vehicles at Opel is unknown. “We are waiting for the official hearing,” said a spokeswoman of the ministry. According to an Opel spokesman, there is no decision from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority.

Worldwide 60,000 vehicles affected

According to the Bild am Sonntag, 60,000 diesel vehicles are affected worldwide. This includes the models Zafira, Insignia and Cascada. The Opel spokesman also did not want to give information to this: “We cannot comment on open processes that started more than two years ago.”

The process aims to clarify whether exhaust gas cleaning is necessary on certain vehicles, how fully it is used and whether it was permissible. According to Opel, exhaust gas cleaning has been reduced to protect key components when high temperature ranges at high speeds appeared, which is technically necessary and legal.

Voluntary conversion to new software

In 2016, several carmakers had to carry out repairs to 630,000 cars at the request of the German Federal Motor Transport Authority.because of conspicuous exhaust emissions. From Opel 90,000 vehicles were affected. According to the car maker, it were the models Zafira Tourer, Insignia of the previous generation and Cascada.

Consumers can decide for themselves whether to convert their car or not, said the Opel spokesman. Since the summer of 2016, a new software is being used, which is considerably more effective and significantly reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides. How many vehicles have been converted so far is not known.

Opel was unlike other car makers so far not affected by judicial investigations or a mandatory recall. The public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt ended the preliminary investigations more than a year ago.