Norwegian officials have joined their counterparts all over the world in expressing profound disappointment over Volkswagen’s “trickery” regarding deceptive emissions levels. A total of 147,130 VW, Audi and Skoda cars sold in Norway were installed with the programming that incorrectly shows emissions far lower than the levels of NOX actually released, which may have been as much as 40 times the legal limit.
“There are many people affected, also in a small country like Norway,” Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said after the numbers were revealed locally. As many as 11 million VW cars are affected by the scandal worldwide.
“This is trickery on a grand scale,” Solvik-Olsen said. “For some customers, the environmental aspect was an important part of their decision over what car to buy, and they have good reason to feel deceived.”
The scandal may also prompt Norwegian politicians to postpone implementation of new vehicle taxes that favour low-emissions vehicles. “It’s clear that we can’t rely on the emissions numbers that car producers deliver,” Hans Olav Syversen, leader of the Parliament’s finance committee, told newspaper Aftenposten.
Some VW owners were taking the scandal calmly, and claimed they were still happy with the cars they bought. “It’s bad for the reputation of Volkswagen, though,” said motorist Per Bernhardsen, who bought his VW Golf used last year. Leif Sinkstad told Aftenposten that emission levels weren’t the central factor in his own purchase of a VW. “I also thought about space, comfort and price,” he said.
The family that controls the company that imports Volkswagen cars to Norway, Harald A Møller, has worked with VW since 1948 and was said to be “enormously disappointed” by the scandal. “This is completely against the work standards we stand for,” Terje Male, chief executive at Harald A Møller, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). VW’s Passat and Tiguan models are most affected and Male claimed the problems would be addressed through recalls and repairs at no cost to customers.