Volvo Emissions

This week, Volvo Group issued a warning that an emissions control component used in North American trucks “is degrading more quickly than expected.”

On Tuesday, Volvo Group issued a press release announcing that the company had detected a “premature degradation” in certain engine emissions control components, most of which are operating in the U.S. and in Europe. The emission control degradation could cause trucks to fall out of emission compliance. It isn’t clear at this time how many trucks are affected by this defect.

Volvo says that there is no risk to safety or vehicle performance.

From the press release:

The Volvo Group has detected that an emissions control component used in certain markets with stringent emissions standards is degrading more quickly than expected, reducing its ability to convert nitrogen oxides (NOx) as efficiently as intended, which in turn could cause the engines or vehicles to exceed emissions limits for NOx. The investigation so far indicates that the degradation does not seem to affect all vehicles and engines in the same way and to the same extent. The company is now in the process of informing the appropriate authorities in various markets, and beginning discussions regarding remediation plans.

The degradation of the component does not pose a product safety issue, nor does it negatively affect vehicle or engine performance in areas other than emissions control. The degradation is a result of a materials issue that occurs over time. All engines and vehicles equipped with the component meet emissions limits at delivery. The largest volume of potentially affected engines has been sold in North America and Europe. A full analysis of the issue and plans with regulatory authorities are not completed and the company is therefore not yet able to estimate the volume of engines or vehicles that may need to be addressed. Consequently it is not possible to assess the financial impact at this stage; however the cost to redeem the issue could be material.

This summer, Cummins Inc. issued a similar recall of approximately half a million trucks for a “faulty emissions control systems component that causes excess emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx)”. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called this the largest voluntary truck emissions recall to date. The recall cost Cummins Inc. about $400 million.