In the wake of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, Opel is being proactive. Even before Volkswagen was outed, though, Europe had already passed its latest, more stringent fuel efficiency and emissions regulations. Opel announced last December it would begin this process ahead of the September 2017 schedule.
Now, Opel has provided the details, as it pledges to publish WLTP test cycle numbers, which reflect a more real life, everyday driving scenario in regards to fuel economy. From August onward, Opel will implement SCR (selective catalytic reduction) in select diesel models, beginning with the 2016 Opel Astra. This technology will be standard by 2018. Finally, the brand will implement a voluntary customer satisfaction field for current customers who own Opel diesels.
The steps arrive over a year ahead of schedule to comply with the RDE (real driving emissions) legislation. Opel has also offered European authorities its engine calibration strategies, which may serve as a basis for a proactive design.
“We at Opel strongly believe that the industry has to regain trust by increasing the transparency with customers and authorities. Opel takes this step towards RDE to show it can be done”, said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “We announced in December in which direction we are going; now we are delivering the details. I ask the European Union as well as the EU member states and other European countries to accelerate alignment on test set-ups and test interpretations on real-driving-measurements to stop the existing uncertainty caused by test results that are hardly comparable.”
Opel had been accused of cheating in its emissions testing, following Volkswagen, in Europe, but the brand was proved innocent over its Zafira MPV diesel. Now, it looks to capitalize on the low consumer morale, and hopefully court more consumers into Opel’s transparency.