Diesel Gate: What You Need To Know...

First of, what is "Diesel Gate"? This is the name given to Volkswagen's emissions scandal. Since 2009 diesel engines that have been produced by the manufacturer have been cheating emissions tests.

Discovered by US officials, the diesel engines have been rigged with software, dubbed the 'defeat device', that detects when it's being tested and switch to a lower emissions mode. Now the emissions that we're talking about here is NOx.

What is NOx and how does it affect us? It is a name given to a collection of nitrogen oxides, in this case we are looking at NO2. This gas is responsible for the reddish/brownish fog that we can see around cities and is also the cause of acid rain. Our concern here is that this is also a major contributor to respiratory problems and even lung cancer.

As far as the car is concerned there is no impact to fuel economy and performance. The tally of vehicles that are affected to date sits at around 11 million vehicles worldwide, this includes Audi, Skoda, Seat and most recently included in the list is Porsche.

VW face numerous fines and law suits throughout the world, however their demand in new sales has not dwindled. The manufacturer has put in place a plan to recall the affected vehicles and resolve the issue. The question we have to ask is, what happens to those models that are now out of warranty and are now sitting in the second hand market? Will those owners even bother to bring their cars in? In my opinion, a simple recall is not a likely going to work.

There are claims that there are other manufacturers that are also manipulating the system, which consists of Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi. But they claim that the flaw is not with their vehicles but with the actual test itself. The results yielded in a test environment differ from what actual driving conditions give you. But then again, how come the rest of the motor industry is not producing higher than recommended NO2?

There's a lot to be uncovered here and this is an eye opener for the automobile industry and environmentalists as well. It's good to see that recently revealed concept cars at the Detroit Motor Show and Tokyo Motor Show, are pointing the future at electric cars, most of which are already planned to go into production, such as the Porsche Mission E. On the other hand there are other electric variants available now such as BMW's i3, as well as the Nissan Leaf. But as fate would have it, pricing puts this solution a bit out of the average buyers grasp. But as more electric vehicles start to compete with each other, these clean, silent cars will become affordable.

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