Dieselgate’s latest drama: claims of increased fuel consumption after emissions ‘fix’

VW logo
Volkswagen just can’t catch a break, but at this point, the real question is: does it deserve one?

The automaker’s latest setback comes in the form of news from Germany that the planned recall of its emissions-cheating vehicles has been halted due to an increase in fuel consumption. Automotive News Europe states that the “fix” Volkswagen has been applying to 160,000 of its Passat models has been paused, though the company calls claims of greater fuel consumption “speculation.”

Still, the Volkswagen spokesperson has acknowledged that German authorities are investigating these reports. “We have to guarantee that noise and especially CO2 emissions are exactly the same as before the fix,” said the company representative. The Germany Federal Motor Transport Authority was expected to have its investigation wrapped up by March 27, but it appears the issue required further time. A final “yes” or “no” to VW’s resolution will be announced this week or next.

When the agency does approve the fix, Volkswagen will finish the remainder of Passat models before turning to the Audi A4, A5, and Skoda Superb vehicles that also feature the 2.0-liter diesel motor. There are a total of about 2.5 million vehicles in Germany alone that will need modifications before Volkswagen can address the rest of Europe.

Vehicles with 2.0-liter, 1.6-liter, and 1.2-liter Euro 5 diesel engines used manipulated software. Of these, the 2.0- and 1.2-liter engines will get a software upgrade that only takes about 30 minutes, but the 1.6-liter engine will also require installation of a piece of mesh to regulate air flow. This will increase labor time to about an hour.

As a reminder, in the U.S. where Volkswagen’s problems began, the automaker has until April 21 to find a fix that will address about 600,000 vehicles. For VW, the struggle is obviously managing time constraints and finding a fix that won’t create further issues down the road.

Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.