Frankfurt, Germany — On June 29, European authorities raided multiple Hyundai and Kia buildings in Frankfurt and Luxembourg. This operation was coordinated by Eurojust under suspicion that the South Korean companies were equipping vehicles with illegal diesel defeat devices.
This device analyzes different inputs such as steering and throttle to identify whether a vehicle is being tested or driven. Under ‘test conditions,’ the device will adjust injection timing, fuel pressure and similar controls to comply with emission regulations.
Conversely, vehicles ‘under driving conditions’ would prioritize fuel efficiency and power with significantly more emissions. Effectively, the two South Korean automakers misled regulatory bodies and consumers about the true fuel efficiency of the vehicles.
This is not the first instance of automakers evading environmental regulations – in 2015, Volkswagen was caught programming diesel defeat software into vehicle engines. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 11 million of these modified vehicles could emit 40 times the regulatory limit of greenhouse gases.
A Hyundai spokesperson confirmed that the company is cooperating with German authorities on the matter.