NOx levels currently exceed binding limits set in EU clean air
legislation in several major German cities, prompting the
European Commission to file an ongoing lawsuit against the
federal government in Berlin at the European Court of Justice (CJEU).
German carmakers have repeatedly resisted calls for hardware
updates to diesel motors on the grounds that they would be too
expensive, volunteering to offer cheaper and less complicated
motor software updates instead.
So far, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s (CDU) coalition government
has shown leniency towards economically-significant automotive
industry while inconclusively debating the issue within cabinet
for several months.
The chancellor and Scheuer have previously sided with German
carmakers, while minister for the environmental Svenja Schulze (SPD)
has echoed demands by the UBA for mandatory hardware upgrades to
be conducted as well.
Merkel has announced that a final decision would be reached
by the federal government in September.
Speaking to press on Friday, a spokesperson for the ministry
of transport said that earlier "technical, legal and financial"
concerns raised by Scheuer over hardware upgrades remained
Nevertheless, his colleague Schulze welcomed the news of a
vague new "concept" on diesel emissions as a "sign of hope for
all of those who want clean air in cities and who must fear
driving bans for no fault of their own."
"Technical upgrades are the best and fairest way out of the
diesel crisis," Schulze added.
She hereby expressed confidence that the German government
would work together to ensure that carmakers assumed
responsibility for the measures rather than leaving customers to
shoulder any resulting costs.
The video message by Scheuer was published on the same day as
the German Environmental Aid (DUH) group released independent
test results according to which even the newest Euro 6 diesel
motor types released 5.5 times more NOx emissions on average
than permitted under EU law.
Only 8.4 percent of vehicles tested by DUH complied with
For DUH president Juergen Resch, the findings were a damning
indictment for carmakers, as well as the federal government.
"Enough is enough," Resch said.
The DUH president urged Merkel’s government to finally begin
confronting "fraudulent automotive companies" and offering
assistance to customers affected by the scandal.
The DUH has filed dozens of lawsuits against cities in breach
of EU clean air legislation in the wake of the Leipzig ruling
and is hence indirectly responsible for the first diesel driving
bans to be mandated by courts.
Jailed Audi chief
executive officer (CEO) Rupert Stadler will be sacked
BERLIN Germany (Xinhua) --
Audi chief executive officer (CEO) Rupert Stadler
will be sacked shortly after being arrested in the course of
German "dieselgate" investigations more than nine weeks ago, the
newspaper "Handelsblatt" reported on Monday night.
"Handelsblatt" cited an insider on the Volkswagen Group
supervisory board, Audi’s parent company, who said that the
senior figures at the carmaker wanted to prevent further
reputational damage to the luxury brand by firing the currently