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Diesel Scandal: Hyundai, Kia Being Investigated in Germany

Volkswagen's diesel engine scandal came to light in September 2015. The company paid a heavy price for it. Recall that the vehicles it offered were fitted with a device that ensured they were compliant during regulatory testing. However, in real-world use, those vehicles polluted much more than the standards allowed.

Followed lawsuits, fines and changes in the company's direction. One result is that we no longer find Volkswagen diesel engines here in Canada, while elsewhere in the world, it’s hit-and-miss.

And, as if by chance, diesel engines have disappeared from the offerings of several manufacturers since then. Without pointing any fingers at specific automakers, there was much suspicion that other companies had employed similar tactics with their diesel-engine vehicles.

These days, electrification has taken over the conversation and diesel is not a top concern, so much so that it tends to be forgotten. But that’s more so here in North America. Elsewhere in the world, this type of engine is still offered in some markets by some automakers. A new report by Reuters reveals that German authorities have just opened an investigation concerning possible cheating by the Hyundai/Kia group.

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Specifically, investigators have conducted searches at Hyundai and Kia. The firms are suspected of having put on the road more than 210,000 diesel vehicles equipped with allegedly illegal disabling devices, the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.

The engine software is believed to have come from OEMs Bosch and Delphi, which is now part of the Borgwarner Group, according to a statement on the story. It’s not known at this time what that software would allow or the precise nature of the reasons that prompted authorities to investigate.

Authorities have searched the business premises of eight properties in Germany and Luxembourg as part of an operation coordinated by the European Union agency Eurojust.

A Hyundai spokesman confirmed the searches and said the company was cooperating with authorities.  

We will of course be monitoring the case closely. And before jumping to conclusions, let's remember that we’re talking about an investigation for the moment. No accusations have been made, no charges laid.