Tue, Jun 26, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Diesel scandal rumbles on for embattled Volkswagen
柴油醜聞持續延燒 福斯汽車處境艱難

這也表示,在監管機構不知情的情況下,福斯汽車的車輛在現實生活的行駛狀態中,會排放出比測試時量測到更多的有害氮氧化物──程度遠遠超過美國與歐洲的排放標準。

氮氧化物可以穿過敏感的肺部組織,長久以來被認為與支氣管炎等呼吸道疾病有關,這類物質也會導致霧霾和酸雨。

「減效裝置」被環境保護局盯上,是因為國際清潔運輸委員會先前委託西維吉尼亞大學的研究人員對柴油車廢氣排放進行研究。研究人員原先進行測試,企圖證明柴油車較汽油車來得乾淨,沒想到卻發現兩輛受測的福斯汽車,排放出的廢氣比先前環境監管機構在實驗室測驗中量測到的結果高出八到四十倍,大感震驚。

福斯汽車後來坦承,該公司從二○○九年到二○一五年間在美國銷售的將近六十萬輛汽車上,都安裝了「減效裝置」,全球則有約一千一百萬輛汽車裝有此軟體。這間汽車生產公司被迫向美國消費者買回數十萬台「骯髒」的柴油車,估計花費一百億美元。

去年一月,福斯汽車對企圖詐欺美國政府的這起陰謀,以及妨礙聯邦調查等罪名認罪,並同意支付超過三十億美元的罰款。本月初,福斯汽車同意支付另一筆由德國檢察官裁定的十億歐元罰款。包括英國、義大利、法國、南韓,以及加拿大等共五十個國家也已開始對該公司分別展開調查。福斯汽車集團已經挪出一筆三百億美元的備戰基金,用以償付這次危機的惡果。

福斯汽車的子公司奧迪上個月也被捲入這起醜聞,因為該公司坦承還有另外六萬輛汽車也有廢氣排放的「軟體問題」,使得被召回的奧迪汽車總數超過九十萬輛。慕尼黑的檢察官表示,他們懷疑史塔德勒可能會企圖藏匿證據,遂將其逮捕。撼動德國工業核心的這起醜聞,在距離原事件爆發出來兩年半後的今天,看起來還有很長的一大段路要走。(台北時報章厚明譯)

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Reading Comprehension

Volkswagen

Volkswagen, which means “people’s car” in German, was founded in 1937 to produce the Beetle car, which was originally called the Volkswagen Type 1. The Beetle was commissioned by then-German chancellor Adolf Hitler to satisfy the need for a simple, cheap car for the masses to be used on the country’s new autobahn network of motorways. Lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche finalized the design in 1938, but the car was not manufactured in significant numbers until 1945, as civilian car production was halted after World War II broke out.

At the end of the war British army officer Major Ivan Hirst removed an unexploded bomb that had fallen through the roof of the Volkswagen factory, and in doing so prevented irreplaceable production equipment from being destroyed. Production was then re-started, initially to produce cars for the British army.

Through the following decade sales of the Beetle took off worldwide, with the one-millionth car rolling off the production line in 1955. VW went on to produce other iconic car designs including the VW camper van, officially known as the Volkswagen Type 2, which was released in 1950 and became closely associated with the 1960s “hippie” counterculture movement.

(Edward Jones, Taipei Times)

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