Volkswagen isn't having a good week.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that VW was manipulating US diesel car emission figures. In short, the manufacturer admitted to installing a device in its diesel cars that gave more positive results when tested.
The company's chief executive Martin Winterkorn (pictured above) has since resigned, claiming he was "shocked" by the news, and that he was "not aware of any wrongdoing on my part".
The scale of that wrongdoing has now come to light, with the Guardian reporting that the rigged emission results of 11 million cars would produced an extra (unreported) 1 million tonnes of annual air pollution. That's the equivalent UK’s combined emissions for power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture.
The figure was calculated by estimating how much pollution the 482,000 VW and Audi cars recalled in the US would put out, should they have covered the average annual US mileage. Rather than their listed figure of 1,039 tonnes of NOx each year, the cars would actually produce between 10,392 and 41,571 tonnes of toxic gas.
If the Guardian's numbers are correct, that means this fleet of 'cheating' VW cars are responsible for between 237,161 and 948,691 tonnes of NOx emissions each year - 10 to 40 times the pollution standard for new models in the US.
VW is yet to formally fess-up as to why it installed devices that would only kick in to cheat emission figures under test scenarios, but it could well be that the company couldn't match the performance (acceleration etc) of its fleet to a competitive emission output.
With the US considering legal action against VW, it could be a long road to the end of this mucky affair.
[Via: The Guardian]