A European environmental group issued a report earlier this month that suggested other automakers in addition to Volkswagen and Audi may use software or other technology to enable their diesel vehicles to perform better in emissions testing than in actual, on-road driving.
The European Federation for Transport and Environment based its assertions on a review of data from the International Council on Clean Transportation, the organization whose tests sparked the crisis that has engulfed Volkswagen.
The EPA last week said that Volkswagen had admitted to equipping 2.0-liter diesel versions of the Jetta, Golf, A3 and other models with software that cut their emissions under test conditions, and shut off emissions-control systems while in actual use.
The EPA said the issue affects 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, from the 2009-15 model years, that were sold in the U.S. Volkswagen said today that 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide have the “defeat device” software.
The report from Transport & Environment, as the European federation is known, raises doubts about the integrity of Europe’s emissions testing and suggests that other automakers may have used similar methods to improve readings in emissions tests. The federation released its report on Sept. 10 — before the EPA disclosed its conclusions about Volkswagen — but it attracted little media coverage.
Transport & Environment says ICCT tests show clear discrepancies between laboratory emissions and real-world performance for several automakers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors’ Opel unit. It argued that these manufacturers might also employ similar kinds of software in Europe that VW has allegedly admitted to using in the U.S.