As fallout from the Volkswagen emissions scandal continues to grow, reports surfaced that two top engineering figures in the automaker’s other flagship brands — Audi and Porsche — have resigned.
What’s the problem?
September 24, 2015 – Audi’s head of research and development Ulrich Hackenberg, Porsche’s engine chief Wolfgang Hatz, and VW’s U.S. chief executive were dismissed today, according to CNBC.
Meanwhile, there are reports that BMW’s diesel engines were also “significantly” exceeding exhaust limits, with the BMW X3 2.0-liter diesel emitting 11 times more nitrogen oxide (NOx) than European standards permit.
Last Friday, news broke that Volkswagen had installed “defeat device” software designed to cheat emissions testing on nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. VW later admitted that defeat devices were actually installed in more than 11 million vehicles worldwide. Click here to view a complete list of models equipped with the cheat software.
While diesel engine sales account for less than 1% of the passenger car market in the U.S., the market has been growing in Europe in response to higher fuel prices, looser emissions standards and widespread testing fraud — reports of automakers taping the doors shut and folding in mirrors to improve aerodynamics during tests, etc.
We already know that Volkswagen cheated emissions standards in the U.S. and Europe. But fallout from the scandal may expose other automakers for the same type of deception, increasing the odds that the U.S. diesel car market may soon be a thing of the past.