Opel CEO: listen again, we don't have illegal emissions software

Sebastian Blanco
·3 min read

Ever since the VWdiesel emissions scandal broke last September, other automakers have had to answer questions about their own emissions strategies. Opel has repeatedlymade it clear that it has not used any sort of "illegal defeate devices," but new allegations from the environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DU) and the German media are forcing the automaker to say it again. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann issued a statement today that says, "we at Opel do not have any illegal software. Our engines are in line with the legal requirements. We anticipate the authorities to share this point of view." That should clear things up, right?

"We at Opel do not have any illegal software." - CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann

The allegations claim that software in Opel's engines might not be quite legal. The German government said last week it wants Opel's emissions rechecked, specifically from the Zafira van and Insignia sedan when going over 90 miles an hour. Neumann said that the testing method DU and the media organizations used were not shared with Opel, but Bloomberg says that a media representative claims that detailed results were shared.

Opel executives are going to meet with the German Transport Ministry tomorrow to discuss the situation.

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Statement by Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann on the Current Diesel Discussion


"Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Monitor and Spiegel create the impression that they found new facts suggesting Opel uses unprecedented illegal defeat devices. These allegations are wrong!

As we have stated before, we at Opel do not have any illegal software. Our engines are in line with the legal requirements. We anticipate the authorities to share this point of view. We have always cooperated transparently with the authorities in Germany and Europe and we will continue to do so. Opel already provided the KBA in October 2015 with the details regarding the company's engine software, engine calibration and engine emissions strategy. We will provide the public with more information after we have talked to the authorities.

The recent accusations based on findings of hacker Mr. Felix Domke are misleading oversimplifications and misinterpretations of the complicated interrelationships of a modern emissions control system of a diesel engine. Emissions control devices are highly sophisticated integrated systems, which cannot be broken down into isolated parameters.

As methods and protocols of the activities by DUH, Monitor & Spiegel were still not shared with Opel, the company is not in the position to evaluate this part of the allegations. Based on our own and independent measurements and on the experience with experiments published by DUH before, we have to repeat that we do not believe that these results are objective or scientifically founded.

We have naturally learned our lessons from the recent discussions with the authorities and in the public. With every new engine, we strive to be the benchmark. We will further improve the efficiency of emissions after-treatment of our SCR diesel engines, wherever we can and as far as the laws of physics allow. This includes a voluntary service action for cars already on the road, starting in June."