Representatives of General Motor’s Opel division are scheduled to meet with a German government commission investigating allegations that the European manufacturing arm has been using engine software to circumvent emissions regulations.
The meeting follows a request by Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt to have the nations automotive regulator reexamine Opel’s testing models after an investigation conducted jointly by ARD television’s Monitor program, the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmentalist group and Spiegel magazine claimed that Opel is manipulating its pollution controls. In a story published last week, Spiegel and ARD reported that software deployed in Zafira minivans and Insignia sedans is capable of selectively deactivating emissions controls, including situations where the vehicles are travelling in excess of 145 km (90 miles) an hour.
Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has emphatically denied the claims, maintaining that the results of the Spiegel-ARD report are the result of “oversimplifications” and “misinterpretations” of diesel engine emissions control systems. For its part, Spiegel and ARD maintain that the story is accurate and Opel has failed to specifically respond to their findings.
The allegations against Opel come at a time when the automotive industry is still reeling from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and Mitsubishi’s recent admission that it falsified test data for its fuel economy ratings.