Innocent Car-Owners Killed by VW Fraud

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Emission controls of diesel cars | Comments Off on Innocent Car-Owners Killed by VW Fraud

Innocent Car-Owners Killed by VW Fraud


In an analysis carried out by the Associated Press, results find that Volkswagen’s rigging of emission controls on their diesel cars may not be a scandal that is fatality-free.

The analysis found that rather, the cars which produced up to forty times the amount of permitted nitrogen oxides currently permitted by U.S. law could be held accountable for five to twenty deaths per year.

Calculating the Figures
aab4b242b616e62eb119b0022aae3c196426d954In the analysis, the Associated Press attempt to calculate how much extra pollution from the cars once known as ‘clean diesels’ could have contributed to fatal lung diseases and other health problems. The AP then ran these figures past a panel of around a dozen scientists, who confirmed the method as a valid one for determining the extra pollution levels which contributed to deaths.

Emissions Software
Volkswagen has admitted to writing software into almost 500,000 diesel cars in the U.S. which rigs the car’s pollution controls, allowing them to easily pass emissions tests. The equipment is then switched off when it comes to normal everyday driving, resulting in emission and pollution levels much higher than permitted. Without the software, VW admit that these cars would never pass an emissions test, and the CEO of Volkswagen released an apology when these results were found by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Over seven years, this software has resulted in 16-94 fatalities, the Associated Press finds. However, the analysis is still filled with caveats, such as pollution levels varying by location and other questions raised about the level of pollution which was actually emitted as a direct result of the cars. The smog caused by the cars in question, however, is likely to have had an impact on or directly resulted in complications and even deaths of those with asthma, or even caused asthma in children.

Clean Diesel?
There is no doubt that diesel cars are very efficient, as they burn less fossil fuel and therefore reduce greenhouse-gas emissions per mile in comparison to most gas-powered cars. However, it’s unlikely that they will ever be as clean as hybrid or electric cars, especially when it comes to quality of local air. With the components included in ‘clean diesel’ technology they can certainly come closer, however the VW scandal has revealed that in order for this to be achieved, some reduction in performance may be necessary.

VW's Clean Diesel Technology

Carnegie Mellon environmental engineer professor Peter Adams stated that statistically, it is difficult to point out who has died as a result of this policy, but some people have certainly died as a result of this.