The collusion between the German Transport Ministry and Volkswagen Group on emissions fraud and loophole manipulation goes deep, according to an article published recently in the magazine Stern.
The article cites leaked German Transport Ministry documents in its assertion that the regulatory ministry actively encouraged German auto manufacturers to exploit loopholes during third-party tests on dynamometers (e.g., rolling roads).
This includes actions such as:
- removing door mirrors
- taping over door seams
- greatly over-inflating tires
Perhaps more importantly, though, the regulatory agency seems to have hidden the results of various carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions tests, according to Stern.
Green Car Reports provides more: “While the environmental group Bund and several others have asked that all CO2 emission-test results be released by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), those requests have always been refused on the grounds that tests are still underway.”
And here’s a real stunner from that article (emphasis added): “In the case of the leaked documents, the ministry apparently acquiesced in a decision by VW Group to reduce the number of diesel vehicles within Germany that were affected by the ‘irregularities’ associated with defeat-device software from 800,000 to 36,000.”
This matters, beyond reasons of public health, because many European countries tax vehicles specifically based on their CO2 emissions — meaning that if manipulation was used to lower these figures, then the German government and VW Group were effectively working to deprive various countries of tax revenue.