The ongoing Dieselgate crisis has been a major headache for Volkswagen employees, investors, vehicle owners, dealers, and diesel fans for nearly a year and a half. Though the scandal appears to be winding down–at least in the U.S.–a new study suggests that Volkswagen’s troubles could be far from over.
The study comes from scientists at the revered Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who’ve examined the atmospheric impact of additional nitric oxides (NOx) that Volkswagen diesels have illegally emitted. They project that that excess pollution from the 2.6 million affected vehicles registered in Germany alone will result in 1,200 premature deaths–and perhaps many more, unless Volkswagen acts quickly to fix the affected cars.
To reach that conclusion, the MIT team ran simulations that involved a complex array of data points, including the number of illegally rigged diesels registered in Germany and the distances those cars drive in a given year.