Ontario to investigate Volkswagen in wake of emissions scandal

Published: October 11, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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While Volkswagen is embroiled in the diesel emissions scandal in the United States, the fallout will affect the industry across the globe and already Canadian authorities have said they will also investigate the issue. As the first company in the firing line Volkswagen is taking a lot of the proverbial heat and the result is likely to dramatically damage the company in the short term.

However, the company is not the only one seemingly in trouble because of effectively falsifying emissions output. Both regulatory bodies and other outlets are now turning their attention to other manufacturers to see if this was an industry wide conspiracy. The Guardian Newspaper in the United Kingdom tested models from numerous major brands and found that all manufacturers have emissions over the stated amounts.

Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi, Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Fiat, Volvo, Jeep, Citroën, VW, and Audi were all found to have NOx levels that are four times higher than the expected limit. It is definitely worth mentioning that while these results are negative towards the companies in question, none of them are actually breaking any law (although Volkswagen did).

The reason the aforementioned brands are within legal limits is because their cars produce required NOx levels in the lab, but cannot reproduce them on the road it seems. That by itself is not illegal, whereas Volkswagen was including software to purposely hide the emissions the so called environmentally friendly diesel motors put out.

Earlier in the week the province of Ontario revealed that it will be investigating Volkswagen’s cars and is seeking assurances from the company as to how it will fix this problem. The Environment Ministry in Ontario said that it wants the German giant (which also own brands such as Audi, Seat, and Skoda) to explain how it will fix cars already sold that do not meet emissions guidelines. A tentative estimate by the government shows that there are some 35,000 Volkswagen or Audi diesel vehicles operating amongst Ontario’s 9.3 million drivers.

As other brands admit they will unlikely meet upcoming changes to emission limits, the damage for Volkswagen has been much worse. Market trust has been damaged and the company says it expects to lose as much as $10 billion because of the scandal.