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German NGO says Volvo cheated over diesel emissions

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AFP – A German environmentalist group said yesterday it had discovered Volvo SUVs emitting massively higher levels of harmful pollutants than legally allowed in the European Union, although Volvo denied cheating.

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Researchers at the DUH group “discovered, what is in our view, a clearly illegal defeat device when measuring exhaust from a Volvo XC60… in real on-road driving”, they said in a statement.

So-called defeat devices manage car engines to allow higher emissions out on the road than under test conditions.

At temperatures between nine and 22 degrees Celsius, the Volvo’s diesel motor emitted four times more harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) than allowed under “Euro 5” standards, DUH said.

That grew even higher, up to almost 12 times, when an external temperature sensor was cooled to between -4C and 0C, the group added.

“Vehicles with such high real emissions cannot be allowed to keep polluting the air in our inner cities,” said DUH director Juergen Resch, calling for “hardware refits” with new catalytic convertors to eliminate the NOx. This marks the first time Volvo has faced accusations of “dieselgate” cheating.

The scandal erupted in 2015 when German giant Volkswagen admitted to installing defeat devices into 11 million diesel cars worldwide and has since ensnared a string of other carmakers. But the Swedish carmaker, owned by China’s Geely, was quick to reject allegations of software trickery.

The fallout from the “dieselgate” saga has so far cost 12-brand behemoth VW more than $33 billion.

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