Economy, Sci & Tech

Opel Denies Fiddling Emissions

Opel Denies Fiddling EmissionsOpel Denies Fiddling Emissions

General Motors' Opel division denied violating European pollution standards after green activists claimed the automaker's Zafira minivan had excessive NOx emissions.

With a 1.6-liter diesel engine, Zafira had NOx emissions up to 17 times higher than the Euro-6 limit, Germany's environmental lobby group DUH said, citing tests carried out by the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland, Auto News Europe writes.

Zafira met a Euro-6 limit of 80 mg/km of NOx when its emissions were measured on a test bench with two wheels running. But with the rear wheels also turning along with the front wheel,s the car exceeded the NOx limit by a factor of 2 to 4, DUH said.

DUH said it did not have "a technically plausible explanation" for the huge emissions difference. It said it has handed over the testing results to the German motor transport authority (KBA) with an urgent request to re-test the vehicle. Opel said the results were "false and unfounded".

It added its engineers have retested a Zafira with a 1.6-liter Euro-6 diesel engine on a two- and four-roller test bench and complied with the legal limits in tests with two- and four-wheel setups. Opel reiterated that GM has not developed software that detects whether a vehicle is undergoing an exhaust emissions test.

DUH said the emissions-testing site at the Bern school mainly performs tests for Swiss authorities. It said it planned to examine other diesel models of German and other carmakers designed to meet the latest Euro-6 emission standards.