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German authorities said Friday that 2.8 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles sold in that country “are affected” by the maker’s rigging of emissions tests. But that may not be the end of it.
The suspect diesel engine used by Volkswagen also was sold to other manufacturers, including Chrysler and Mitsubishi, for use in some of their European models, sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com.
It’s not clear if the Volkswagen diesels sold to other manufacturerscame with the secret software that enabled the VW vehicles to pass emissions tests with flying colors, then switch off the emission controls for increased performance and better mileage. The latter mode also produced up to 40 times the permissible level of noxious emissions.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt revealed new details Friday about Volkwagen’s rigging of emissions tests there.
“It's now clear that (VW) vehicles in Germany are affected by these manipulations. Based on our current knowledge they are vehicles with 2.0 litre and 1.6 litre diesel engines," he told the German parliament.
The EA 189 engine was used in a variety of models through both the Volkswagen and Audi brands in the U.S. But the 2.0-liter package, as well as a 1.6-liter variant, also went into models sold by other Volkswagen AG brands, such as the Seat Leon and Toledo models.
TheDetroitBureau.com has learned that VW supplied the engines to at least two other manufacturers, Chrysler and Mitsubishi, which used them for models sold in the diesel-centric European market.
Chrysler went to Volkswagen because, prior to its 2009 tie-up with Italy’s Fiat, it didn’t have a small diesel of its own.
The engines supplied by Volkswagen were apparently used in the European versions of such models as the Chrysler Sebring and Jeep Compass, as well as the Dodge Avenger introduced at the 2006 Paris Motor Show.
It is unclear if what was then known as Chrysler Corp. also used Volkswagen-supplied engine control systems and, if so, whether they contained the rigged software.
Asked for details, a Chrysler spokesman declined comment. An insider reached by TheDetroitBureau.com added that as so many engineers and executives have left the company since its 2009 bankruptcy it could be difficult to track those with any knowledge of the diesel program to answer that question.
Fiat Chrysler now has a number of its own diesel engines, including a larger six-cylinder version that it offers in the U.S. in the popular EcoDiesel variant of its big Ram pickup.
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