The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has spoken - and commented on switching devices in diesel engines. But little new came of it. Professor Thomas Koch from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) explains the facts. It becomes clear: the judgment is not suitable for a renewed campaign against the diesel engine.
Professor Koch, the ECJ has just passed a judgment on the subject of diesel exhaust. Does this now affect all diesel vehicles?
Thomas Koch: “The ECJ specifically assessed the case of the VW EA 189 engine and specifically the issue of the switchover logic. This case had long been assessed and closed by the authorities and national courts. This is basically cold coffee. "
What is the key message of this ECJ ruling?
Thomas Koch: "In essence, this is a judgment that focuses on the individual case of the so-called switchover logic and contains several statements: First of all, a pure test stand detection, for example via a steering angle function, is digitally between an emissions strategy only for road operation and only for the Test bench operation differentiated and only complies with the emission limit values in test bench operation, not legal. This has always been the position of science. Other functions that contain, for example, a time trigger and use emission-increasing maps after approx. 25 minutes, i.e. immediately after the end of the test, are clearly illegal in my opinion. "
However, the judgment also goes into greater detail on the issues of engine protection, which have also been discussed in recent years.
Thomas Koch: “This is absolutely correct. Like Advocate General Sharpston, the ruling on the engine protection criterion stated that there is a risk of sudden and extraordinary damage and that the mere avoidance of aging or contamination of the engine is not sufficient to justify a defeat device that serves to protect the engine. In essence, it is now a question of shedding light on the possibility or probability of extraordinary vehicle damage. This includes the sudden stop of the engine, which can pose a risk to road users. "
Does the judgment also address the issue of the legality of thermal windows?
Thomas Koch: “In the judgment, the ECJ said nothing about temperature-dependent regulation, for example of exhaust gas recirculation, the so-called thermal window, because the case was not about a thermal window. But if you look at the general statements of the ECJ on the criterion of engine protection and transfer them to the temperature-dependent exhaust gas recirculation, which has been common since the early 2000s, it becomes clear that thermal windows have exactly this purpose of protection against sudden and extraordinary damage and not just that Avoid aging or soiling of the engine. They are therefore also permissible according to the new ECJ ruling. "(Ampnet / Jens Meiners)