After being embroiled in the diesel emission cheating scandal which saw the Volkswagen Group lose a third of its market capitalisation and face lawsuits worth billions of dollars, the German carmaker has embarked upon a complete overhaul to mend its reputation. In line with this transformation, the carmaker will now sell its petrol engine vehicles with gasoline particulate filters, to trap and reduce harmful particulate matter emissions and hopes to equip up to
7 million VW vehicles every year with this technology by 2022.
“We are continuing our intensive efforts to enhance the environmental compatibility of our diesel and gasoline models,” Mathias Muller, CEO, Volkswagen AG said while addressing shareholders at the company’s 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Hannover yesterday. Muller said that the first vehicles to feature the gasoline PM filters would be the new VW Tiguan and the new Audi A5 to be launched in 2017.
“We will successively equip the Group’s new TSI and TFSI engines with gasoline particulate filters. This initiative will begin with the 1.4-litre TSI engine in the new VW Tiguan and the Audi A5 in June 2017,” Muller revealed.
The filters are designed to collect leftover particulate matter created by internal combustion and are used extensively on diesel vehicles sold by the VW Group since 2008. Petrol engines are already known to emit less particulate matter than diesel motors, but research indicates that even minuscule levels of this matter can have serious damaging effects if inhaled.
VW claims that these filters will reduce particulate emissions of the Group’s petrol cars by up to 90 percent. The CEO of Volkswagen AG, made these revelations while presenting the group’s ‘Together – Strategy 2025’, at the AGM on Wednesday. At the same time, he reaffirmed that the company would invest billions over the coming years in a major “electrification initiatives” as well as in autonomous driving, digitalisation and new business fields such as mobility services.
Independent emission tests for VW cars in future
Muller also outlined that VW Group will now get all future emission tests evaluated by third party independent bodies to promote an environment of trust and transparency. “I strongly believe that our industry requires more transparency, courage and openness in dealing with this issue. And this is why we firmly support political initiatives in this area,” said Muller.
Future tests will also incorporate real-world random testing of vehicle emissions and on-road behaviour as well, he added. The VW Group, which held its first AGM since admitting to the rigging of emission tests in September, was met with angry investors who lashed out at the management for ‘withholding information’ about the scandal for weeks. Matthias Mueller had to apologise to investors and was quoted as saying, “On behalf of the Volkswagen Group and everyone who works here, I apologise to you shareholders for your trust in Volkswagen being betrayed. This misconduct goes against everything that Volkswagen stands for.”
Meanwhile, German prosecutors are investigating the roles of former VW Boss Martin Winterkorn, and current chief of VW Passenger Cars, Herbert Diess, over violation of disclosure and market manipulation, by withholding information on the scandal to shareholders in a timely manner. Commenting on the matter, Muller said: “The external, independent investigation is receiving the wholehearted support of the Board of Management.”
Source by autocarindia…