In the USA, VW agrees to pay US$ 14.7 billion. In Brazil, it fights not to pay US$ 18 million

As you are already aware, VW has agreed to pay up to US$ 14.7 billion in compensations due to Dieselgate. And that amazing amount of money is only for the USA, with the almost 500,000 diesel cars sold there with the EA288 engine. There are at least 11 million of them in Europe and at least 17,057 in Brazil, where VW sells the Amarok. The Brazilian law forbids diesel passenger cars, what restricts them to commercial vehicles such as pick-up that can carry more than 1 ton of cargo. The Brazilian EPA, called IBAMA (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis, or Brazilian Environment and Renewable Natural Resources Institute), has fined the company in R$ 50 million. Procon, an equivalent to the Bureau of Consumer Protection on the Federal Trade Commission, has fined Volkswagen in R$ 8.3 million. The total sum, or R$ 58.3 million, or US$ 18 million, is being contested by VW in Brazilian courts.

Second class lives. Again.

Volkswagen-Amarok-V6-TDI-3

That comes after the official confirmation that the South American Amarok will also be restyled and receive the 3.0 V6 in place of the 2.0. Obviously an industrial decision, since the 2.0 EA288 will probably cease to exist. And Volkswagen is probably denying any problems in the EA288 engine in order not to pay the fines. What would be the legal basis, if not that, in order to avoid the punishment? Would Volkswagen say it complies with the Brazilian NOx regulations? Would that be an excuse for the engine to emit 40 times more NOx than its tests say it does due to the cheating software it uses? This is a sad example of a reality MotorChase has denounced lots of times: some lives are worth less than others for most automakers. Whether it is by selling a totally unsafe vehicle, or by supressing safety features from a car in order to make it cheaper, all of that comes as evidence that you are valued by where you live.

If NOx is related to serious pulmonary diseases, why can it be emitted above the safe levels in Brazil, or Argentina, and not in the USA or in Europe? The answer is that countries with legal systems that do not properly punish wrongdoings stimulate them to continue. Or to be fought as if the wrongdoing was just an innocent attitude, of the sort that does not deserve sanctions. But it does, as the US government has clearly stated. Even if some countries do not make their best efforts to do the same.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.