When Anniken and I moved out of the city center in 2013, we realized we had to get a car. After doing a lot of research and test driving, we eventually settled on an estate model from Škoda, the Superb. The car is a pleasure to drive, very roomy with Vilde’s stroller fitting easily in the back, and the four wheel drive means we can get around pretty much everywhere. In general, the car is, as its name implies, superb, and I’ve recommended it to pretty much everyone who has bothered to listen.
But then Škoda’s parent company, Volkswagen, decided to fuck everything up.
On September 18th this year, it was revealed that Volkswagen had deliberately equipped some of their turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engine models with computer software designed to activate certain emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing – a so-called “defeat device”:
“The programming caused the vehicles’ nitrogen oxide (NOx) output to meet U.S. standards during regulatory testing, but produce up to 40 times higher NOx output in real-world driving.” — NPR: Volkswagen Used ‘Defeat Device’ To Skirt Emissions Rules, EPA Says
Long story short: It turned out Volkswagen was using the same computer software in a lot of car models, and not just Volkswagen cars. The software surfaced in models from many of their subsidiaries, including Audi, SEAT, and – Škoda.