A German court has found that updated software applied to VW diesels still doesn't bring emissions to acceptable levels in all circumstances.
The Dusseldorf district court found that the update applied to the plaintiff's turbodiesel Tiguan still only allows the emissions control equipment to function properly between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The court agreed with the plaintiff's claim that, given the temperature window, the car continued to operate illegally, in violation of emissions laws, even after it received the software update, according to a report in the German publication Wallstreet-Online (in German.)
Volkswagen TDI diesel vehicles owned by Phil Grate and family, Seattle, Washington
More troubling for Volkswagen is that the finding could reopen the entire diesel scandal in Germany, because it resets the clock on the statute of limitations for damages against the company.
Volkswagen was forced to recall more than 11 million vehicles worldwide in 2015 after regulators in the U.S. found that the cars emitted nearly 40 times the level of nitrogen oxide emissions that the law allows. The emissions control system on VW's diesel cars contained "defeat device" software that operated emissions equipment fully only when the cars were being emissions-tested, but allowed far greater emissions as they were being driven on the road.
Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)
The company recalled more than 400,000 diesel cars in the U.S. with inline-4 and V-6 turbodiesel engines. The scandal also touched off recalls of other diesel-powered models such as the 2014-2016 Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models.
In June, VW introduced a new diesel engine, which it says is now "fully-compliant" with emissions laws, according a post by the company's head of diesel engine development, Sebastian Willmann, pointing to what the company claims as very low nitrogen oxide emissions.