Volvo Group sounds alarm on emissions control failure in unspecified number of trucks

 

The Volvo Group is warning that an unspecified number of its trucks in Europe and North America could be exceeding NOx limits due to the “premature degradation” of an emissions control component.

The manufacturer is refusing to identify the brands and numbers of of trucks in which this problem has been discovered until it has completed its investigations into the cause of the problem, which was first identified by Volvo in the North American market.

In a statement the Volvo Group said: “The Volvo Group has detected that an emissions control component used in certain markets is degrading more quickly than expected, which could cause the engines to exceed emissions limits for oxides of nitrogen (NOx). All products equipped with the component meet emissions limits at delivery; the degradation is due to a materials issue that occurs over time. A full analysis of the issue is not completed and it is not possible to assess the financial impact at this stage; however, the cost could be material.”

The group added that the degradation, which was detected through the company’s internal monitoring processes, “does not seem to affect all vehicles and engines in the same way and to the same extent”, that it does not pose a safety issue and does not affect engine performance in areas other than emission control.

Volvo Group said the largest volume of “potentially affected engines” has been sold in the North America and Europe.

A spokesman for Volvo Group said that the company was not prepared to identify the brands affected until it had carried out a “data collection” to ascertain the full scope of the problem.

He added that as the company did not want to rush the investigation it was “impossible to give an exact date or time” when Volvo group will identify those vehicles affected by the problem.

The spokesman added that the manufacturer is discussing “remediation plans with the relevant authorities in North America where the problem was first identified and would do the same with the relevant European authorities “once we know the extent of the problem in Europe”.

Asked if Volvo had identified the cause of the component’s premature degradation the spokesman said: “It has a lot to do with a lot of factors. It could be where the component was made, it could be caused by the climate or by the way the vehicle is driven. It appears to behave differently in different circumstances – there are a lot of different factors.”

The spokesman said any remediation “depends on the root cause of the issue and when we know how that effects the vehicle exactly then we will be ready to discuss a programme of remediation”.

Sales of Volvo trucks in Europe reached what the company described as an historic high last year. According to its annual report for 2017 sales of Volvo Trucks rose by 16.8% year on year.