The German federal government wanted to use hardware retrofits for older diesels to combat urban air pollution. But despite the grant, hardly anyone accepts the offer.
The hardware retrofits for older VW diesel cars have so far met with little response. This is reported by the Stuttgarter Zeitung (German daily newspaper). As a VW spokesman said, nine months after the approval of the first retrofit systems for Euro 5 diesel, the Volkswagen Group was not aware of a single case of retrofitting. Although VW is funding the conversions with up to 3,000 euros, the customers do not accept the offer.
“We didn’t believe in hardware retrofitting from the start,” said the VW spokesman. When it comes to nitrogen oxide emissions, new vehicles are superior to the retrofitted old diesel cars. In addition, there are doubts about the long-term durability of the retrofit systems. Experts from the Institute of the Automotive Industry also questioned the effectiveness of hardware retrofits in a November study. They assume that this will only reduce the level of nitrogen dioxide emissions by 3.4 to 3.6 percent by the end of 2023 compared to 2018.
The modifications to the engine are planned as part of a package of measures by the federal government for better air and more environmental protection. The retrofits are intended to exempt vehicles from the Euro 5 emissions standard in Germany from driving bans. It was only after a long debate that German automakers agreed to subsidies for hardware retrofitting.