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EU Court: Automaker May Not Install Anything That Affects CO2 Measurement

Car manufacturers are not allowed to install equipment that makes a car appear to emit less CO2 and can therefore be sold, according to the European Court of Justice.


Even if a system protects the engine against wear, there is no excuse for manipulating CO2 emissions, the court said in a case about a “company X that produces cars in France”. It is an open secret that it is about Volkswagen.

Company X used an exhaust gas recirculation valve that reduced nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in its laboratories to measure emissions from its cars.

The goal, according to X, was to prevent blockages in the engine and to slow down engine wear. According to the car manufacturer, the EU law would leave room for interpretation about emission control systems.

But the court does not agree with that. Any cheating equipment is against EU law.

Car group Volkswagen was discredited in 2015 when it turned out that the nitrogen emissions of its diesel cars due to “cheating software” were much higher than anticipated. During the tests in laboratories, the measurements, therefore, showed lower values than on the road.

According to Stichting Car Claim driver Guido van Woerkom, the ruling will give car owners an essential weapon in the legal battle against cheating car manufacturers. “The Foundation feels strengthened by the positive final verdict. It underscores that Volkswagen’s actions cannot be justified so far.”

Since 2018, the Foundation has litigated against Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda, SEAT, importer Pon, software supplier Bosch and the official Volkswagen dealers, among others.

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