German Transport Ministry Pushing For Auto Manufacturers To Update Engine Control Software In 12 Million Diesel Vehicles

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The German Transport Ministry is reportedly now pushing for auto manufacturers in the country to update the engine management software in up to 12 million diesel vehicles that are registered there, if unnamed sources who spoke to Reuters are to be believed.

As noted in that coverage, national elections in Germany aren’t that far off (they’ll be taking place on September 24), so there’s probably a connection to be made there as far as timing — if the Reuters coverage is to believed anyways.

An update to the engine management software of the diesel vehicles out there currently is of course a much less “extreme” solution to the country’s air pollution problems than that now being pursued by a couple of the large cities in Germany — so probably much more palatable to the country’s politically influential auto manufacturers. To be specific, that’s in reference to the potential bans of diesel vehicles in some cities (depending upon local air quality conditions) that we’ve reported on previously.

An update to the engine management software would not completely “solve” anything, but such an action could potentially help to some degree or other in the reduction of emissions — if regulators do their job this time.

Reuters provides more: “Germany’s top car manufacturers volunteered a recall of 630,000 cars in April 2016 to fix diesel emissions management software but that failed to reassure regulators and policymakers that pollution levels are under control. … On Monday, lawmakers upped the pressure in closed-door talks with the auto industry. The ministry is in discussions with German auto industry associations VDA and VDIK as well as representatives from local governments to try and cut nitrogen oxide pollution by about 25 percent, the sources said.

“It could cost 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion to $2.8 billion) to update cars and the ministry is demanding that vehicles with engines conforming to the euro-4, euro-5 and euro-6 standards be part of the recall, government sources said. The government has demanded that the auto industry shoulder the costs and is pushing for a solution to be presented before the elections in September.”

Overall, that does sound as though it would be a large improvement to the current situation. We’ll keep you posted.


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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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