One of the biggest scandals in the auto industry was Volkswagen’s concealment of the real amount of emissions produced by their diesel cars which have sold in large number in the US and Europe. Now, a new study conducted by MIT researchers is revealing the impact of the excess emissions on the public health.
The Volkswagen emission scandal revolved around the fact that the automaker decided to go around the environment protection rules by successfully concealing the amounts of emissions caused by their diesel cars by using a type of software. In light of this discovery, the company agreed to pay a massive fine and recalled their vehicles sold in the United States. However, Volkswagen does not face any charges in Europe or a serious inquiry.
For their study, the researchers analyzed the normal emissions of around 11 million diesel cars sold around the world between 2008 and 2015. In the United States, Volkswagen was found to have sold 482, 000 diesel vehicles which produce excess emissions. The researchers found that this can lead to 60 premature deaths across the country.
However, MIT researchers believe that the highest impact on public health will be felt in Europe. More specifically, in countries such as Germany, Poland, France, and the Czech Republic, due to the fact that those countries saw the largest sale numbers of Volkswagen diesel cars with fake emissions data. Overall, the excess emissions can lead to 1200 premature deaths across Europe.
However, it is worth noting that the recent study only takes into account the excess emissions caused by Volkswagen. There have been an increasing number of reports stating that the other car companies have also faked their emissions. However, this issues has not yet been investigated in detail and no other company has yet been charged.
Nonetheless, the Volkswagen emissions scandal has led European authorities to take drastic measures and impose stricter emissions rules for automakers. They also have announced the decision to implement higher environmental protection standards and implement ways to make sure that companies comply with the new rules.
Governments around the world have also started to promote electric cars more aggressively in recent years. However, the adoption rate of environmentally-friendly cars is still quite low, a UE report from 2015 revealed that only 1.2 percent of all vehicles sold that year were electric.
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