German Environmental Group DUH Files Lawsuit Against Motor Authority KBA

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The Volkswagen challenges for cheating have been mounting, as have challenges for other automakers found to be cheating the system with regard to diesel emissions and fuel economy claims. Now, another target for purposeful wrongdoing and perhaps criminal activity is German motor authority KBA.

A lawsuit has been filed against the KBA by the environmental activist group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) alleging that the authority hasn’t done enough to address the problems exposed by the recent (and ongoing) Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal, according to recent reports.

To explain further: despite facing relatively harsh penalties in the US, Volkswagen hasn’t really had much pushback in Europe as a whole with regard to the diesel emissions cheating scandal discovered by researchers in West Virginia in the USA. In particular, Germany has been soft on Volkswagen.

“KBA approved plans for VW to refit affected vehicles in Europe, which included software updates on pollution control systems and some technical fixes,” Reuters notes.

“DUH’s suit alleges the removal of illegal software from the cars was unlawful because the KBA’s original approval for the vehicles did not include any mention of the software, DUH Managing Director Juergen Resch said on Friday.

“German daily Bild reported the lawsuit earlier. It said DUH had filed the suit with an administrative court in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where KBA is based.”

As would be expected, both KBA and Volkswagen reps have declined to comment on the news (following queries from Reuters).

To elaborate further on points made towards the start of the article, there are a number of loopholes in European Union legislation that possibly allow auto manufacturers to avoid penalties for modifying emissions controls systems “to protect the engine.” Critics of this explanation for the lack of action note that a more likely reality is that the auto industry in the European Union exerts a lot of political influence (especially in Germany) — both in creating such loopholes and slipping away from significant prosecution.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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