Opel clears suspicion of manipulation of harmful emissions
The carmaker escaped trial on charges of manipulating the underreporting of harmful emissions, but paid a fine.
German car manufacturer Opel has paid a € 64.8 million fine in connection with a diesel scandal. This became known on Wednesday, October 20.
The fine was imposed by the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office due to the fact that some Opel diesel models emit significantly higher concentrations of harmful substances than the automaker declared to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).
Thus, the investigation that led in 2018 to large-scale searches at Opel headquarters in Rüsselsheim and at the component plant in Kaiserslautern, completed. The company has been cleared of suspicion of manipulating the level of harmful emissions, and there will be no trial of those allegedly responsible for the underreporting of these figures, as happened in the case of Volkswagen. This information was confirmed yesterday to the dpa news agency in the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office.
Frankfurt investigators believe it has been proven that Opel violated the KBA’s documentation requirements in the approval process for several diesel engine types. In October 2018, the trucking department ordered the recall of 96 thousand Opel diesel vehicles worldwide, with about 32 thousand of them in Germany. It was about the Insignia, Cascada and Zafira models produced from 2013 to 2016.
These vehicles have been “identified with unacceptable shut-off devices” which are causing the increased emissions of nitrogen oxides. If the air temperature dropped below +17 degrees Celsius, the exhaust control system began to work less efficiently, the department said.
Opel responded with a software update, continuing to insist that it did not install any devices that impair exhaust gas filtration. The so-called “thermal windows” serve to protect the motors, the automaker argued.
As a reminder, in September 2015, the diesel scandal around the German carmaker Volkswagen… As a result, the car manufacturer was forced to admit that special software was installed on some diesel engines that underestimated harmful emissions. After the fraud of the concern became known to the public, VW had to pay billions of dollars in compensation to the defrauded customers. In June 2021, Volkswagen announced that four former top managers guilty of underreporting will pay the company compensation in the amount of 288 million euros.
A source: Deutsche Welle Russian Service