Das Dieselauto – Eine Geschichte von Illusion und Betrug
In May 2020, the German Federal Court found Volkswagen guilty of
fraud. Over many years, the car producer had manipulated diesel engines
so they would pass emissions tests. Under real-life conditions,
however, the NOx emissions of these cars far surpassed the legal limit.
And yet these diesel engines are still in use in Germany. In the USA,
Volkswagen has had to buy back hundreds of thousands of cars. The
article describes the history of the diesel car as one of illusion and deception
– particularly with regard to the diesel car’s ecological impact.
From the mid-1970s onward, German car producers repeatedly tried to
conquer the American market. From the 1990s onward, they succeeded,
in Germany, in presenting their new TDI diesel engines as clean and
economical. In the USA, Volkswagen’s 2007 “clean diesel” campaign
was only moderately successful. The complacency of Germany’s Transport
Ministry and the Federal Office for Motor Vehicles can help explain
why no effective measures for emissions reduction have been
implemented to this day.
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