Prosecutors in Europe have raided the offices of Suzuki over allegations that the manufacturer has been using a defeat device to fraudulently pass emissions tests.
Suzuki has reportedly been using software to cheat emissions tests, with prosecutors from Germany, Hungary and Italy raided their offices this week.
Reuters have reported that prosecutors are conducting investigations relating to the use of illegal means and defeat devices used by Suzuki to evade the emission norms of the European Union. They have stated that the investigation is currently going on and the concerned parties are Suzuki, Stellantis, and component manufacturer Marelli
A Suzuki spokesperson told Reuters that the company was cooperating with European investigations. A spokesperson for Stellantis, meanwhile, said that it was cooperating with the investigation and that its subsidiary, FCA (Fiat Chrysler) Italy, had been asked to provide information and documents “regarding the use of allegedly impermissible emissions control software in diesel engines supplied to Suzuki.”
What is the Suzuki Emissions Scandal?
Suzuki first made the news in January 2020 when the Dutch road authority found that they were breaching EU emission rules. Their Vitara model had used “prohibited emission strategies” that led them to emit much higher levels of the harmful NOx on the road compared to testing conditions, the RDW regulator stated.
Now, a £5billion class action lawsuit has been filed over the alleged use of defeat devices in some of Suzuki’s diesel engines. Suzuki uses Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) engines, a group which has become embroiled in a dieselgate scandal of its own. There are estimates that about half a million Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Iveco, and Suzuki models that are “dirty” in England and Wales.
The models are thought to have been produced between 2008-2020, and use software known as a “defeat device” which limits emissions while being tested. Real-world emissions, however, are much higher.
We are now watching the latest developments in Europe with a very close eye.
What is a defeat device?
Suzuki are accused of installing a “defeat device” into their vehicles. This is a bit of software that is installed into the vehicle that is specifically programmed to turn on when the car is being tested. When the software is on, it limits the emissions output in order to pass regulatory tests.
The software recognises when the vehicle is being tested in a laboratory by calculating certain aspects of the test like the speed, the acceleration rate, and the temperature of the room. Once it realises it is being tested in a lab, the defeat device kicks in and alters the diesel emissions.
In real-world testing, however, emissions can be anywhere from six to twelve times that of testing. This means the vehicles would not have passed UK or EU regulation. In the case of the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal, some models emitted up to 40 times the permitted US levels of nitrogen oxides.
Can I claim Suzuki Diesel Emissions Compensation?
As investigations are still ongoing, there is no current legal claim or Group Litigation Order for Suzuki diesel emissions compensation. The panel of expert diesel emission solicitors are preparing to launch this action very soon, however. We will await the results of the investigation.
Our panel are, however, currently bringing forward mis-sold car finance PCP claim. If you bought your car on finance/PCP, you may have been mis-sold. Find out more information here.
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