It became known that Volkswagen Group has been cheating with fraudulent emission tests for diesel engines over the last six years, resulting in on-road emissions vastly exceeding legal standards for nitrogen oxides in Europe and the United States.
Volkswagen has been labelled responsible for the loss of over 45,000 healthy years of European lives, in a study by Dutch researchers. Researchers warn that the total could rise to 72,000 years if the affected vehicles aren't recalled. The study, 'Valuing the human health damage caused by the fraud of Volkswagen', is published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
From 2009 to 2015, approximately nine million fraudulent Volkswagen cars, as sold in Europe and the US, emitted a cumulative amount of 526 ktonnes of nitrogen oxides more than was legally allowed. These fraudulent emissions are associated with 45 thousand disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and a value of life lost of at least 39 billion US dollars, which is approximately 5.3 times larger than the 7.3 billion US dollars that Volkswagen Group has set aside to cover worldwide costs related to the diesel emissions scandal.