A group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggested that 1,200 Europeans were more likely to die earlier than they would expect because of emissions of Volkswagen cars sold between 2008 and 2015.
The scientists came up with these worrying results after they looked at the excess emissions of the affected Volkswagen cars and the impact they might have on public health. They discovered that 60 percent of these deaths that the emissions might cause would most likely occur outside Germany, the place where Volkswagen vehicles are produced.
The report states that 2.6 million cars produced by Volkswagen might have excess emissions. These brands are, of course, VW, and Audi, Skoda, and Seat, and they are sold in Germany. Also, the scientists identified the countries that might be affected by these emissions. They include France, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that they fitted their 11 million cars sold between 2008 and 2015 with some “defeat devices”. This is a software that is specially programmed to cheat the environmental tests and make the cars appear in accordance with the standards.
This was known as the “dieselgate” scandal, and it was revealed after the Environmental Protection Agency found out that the Volkswagen cars sold in the U.S. were equipped with such cheating devices. The German company recalled the cars in question sold in the U.S. and Europe, but the emissions had already started affecting public health.
The MIT scientists warned that 500 of the 1,200 premature deaths they predicted would occur only in Germany. Pollution, however, knows no boundaries, so the emissions would spread all over the neighboring countries, so many people are in danger.
Thus, if Volkswagen does not recall the affected cars in Europe and does not comply in the allowed limits of emissions, there is the risk of 2,600 more deaths all over Europe. Also, if the German carmaker succeeds in performing the recall, they will be able to save $4 billion.
The scientists are not aware of other car manufacturers that use the same defeat devices, but they know of the usual practice of more emissions than the allowed limit. They announced that they will try to perform tests on all diesel vehicles.
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