Meter of ground-level ozone in Fuenlabrada (Madrid)
If you do not want to accept a punishment, the first move is to deny that which would justify. Is the strategy of Volkswagen to avoid an avalanche of lawsuits in the continent for the owners of cars in the VAG Group with engines 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 TDI CR, of the family EA189 (Euro 5). The affected are models of the brands Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Skoda.
at The same time, in the united States supported the malpractice and deception to the consumers. Strategies are different to systems different legal. In the american case is clear, it has violated -among others – the environmental regulations federal, Clean Air Act. In Europe the legal texts are not equivalent, lack of community rules and depends on the regulations of each country.
according to the opinion of a Volkswagen (and their lawyers) no one can speak technically of a device to cheat, or in English, defeat device. He asserts that as written the law, you can not apply such a definition. In the end, this would have to be decided by a judge.
There is a huge difference between having used devices cheats or not, as in the case of having done so, one can speak of fraud, intent to break the rules, and that would bring the weapon to the judges for the judgments go against the manufacturer. The EU tolerates the temporary disconnection of systems, anti-pollution, but if it is to protect the mechanical parts, not for being outside of a bank of rollers.
In Spain we have an interesting precedent, the owner of an Audi Q5 has won a compensation equivalent to the depreciation that has suffered from your vehicle as a result of the scandal, some 5,000 euros. From the European Union is pressed to Volkswagen to compensate their customers, but there is a community regulation applicable in that sense.
The hot potato is passed to the different member states, where if you do not act the authorities ex officio, are the individuals or groups of consumers who must litigate to achieve a compensation. In the united States have not achieved compensation for science infused, but through courts and lawsuits. Volkswagen has accepted an impact in their accounts of more than 15,000 million dollars, and for a few of 480,000 cars, not for 8.5 million.
But there is a much more murky in all of this, and it is the relationship between the excessive emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and the public health. According to experts, these gases are related to the increase in tropospheric ozone, that is to say, at low altitude. The ozone damages the health and causes respiratory conditions -mainly. Above 150 micrograms/m3 is dangerous to humans.
according to the version of the manufacturer, “a reliable relationship of mortality or serious illness for certain demographic groups, based on our degree of knowledge, it is not possible from a scientific point of view”. The Reuters news agency has picked up these words.
Stated another way, Volkswagen suggests that you can’t relate the NOx with the deterioration of the public health of some vulnerable people such as the elderly, children, or with previous episodes of disease cardiorespiratory. Fortunately, the scientific community does not think the same. Is more, ground-level ozone is regulated by the Directive 2008/50/EC.
The very World Health Organization qualify the emissions from diesel engines as cancer since may of 2012, but relate primarily to particulate matter, no oxides of nitrogen. But let’s look at another fact, the WHO considers that the “bad” ozone negatively affects 82% of the Spanish population. How can you hold Volkswagen to the contrary?
In the united States, one of the implications of the judicial agreement reached is to make a lot of money to environmental policies. Is a form of admission of guilt… in a legal system different. In Europe there has to be a judicial process in which the experts can provide numbers that will undoubtedly link the role of Volkswagen to the deterioration of the health of thousands of europeans.
it is No coincidence that several european cities are thinking about shielding their historic centres to the vehicles the most polluting. The diesel are in the spotlight, and Volkswagen also. Regardless of the lawyers from Wolfsburg have become holocaust deniers to drain the lump, the judges will not have why to agree.