EPA catches Volkswagen cheating, could face $18 Billion in fines
The Environmental Protection Agency ordered Volkswagen to fix nearly 500,000 diesel cars on Friday that the agency said are in violation of clean air laws by using software that cheats on EPA emissions tests.
The cars, all built in the last seven years, include a device programmed to detect when they are undergoing official emissions testing, the EPA said, adding that the cars only turn on full emissions control systems during that testing. The controls are turned off during normal driving situations, the EPA said.
The 482,000 cars affected could bring a fine of up to $37,500 per car coming to almost $18 billion in penalties.
- Jetta (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Beetle (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Audi A3 (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Golf (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Passat (Model Years 2014-2015)
The U.S. government is not requiring a recall as there are no safety concerns and the cars can continue to be bought and sold.
It could take at least a year for Volkswagen to re-engineer the engines to pass emissions without the cheat device installed.
Once the remedy is available, Volkswagen and the EPA will have to come to an agreement on a plan to “fix” the cheating diesel cars already on the road.
The proper title should read “EPA trolling for $”
Here it seems likely the EPA is changing the rules for how emissions are measured after the fact, sort of like looking at the tapes of a season worth of football games after the season is over and redoing the outcomes based upon replaying the game videos.
It’s highly unlikely that the vehicles were really set up to turn on all their emissions stuff during testing, rather the conditions when emissions controls are most needed match those when the testing occurs. There’s also no mention of how far off the emissions are from ‘ideal’ outside of the normal testing range — could be near or within the margin of error.
Looking out from the trees to the surrounding forest, what may really going on is the EPA is testing a plan on how they may coerce all manufacturers to retrofit emissions systems to match new more stringent EPA testing standards or face big fines, even for the smallest of infractions. Cars bad, EPA good…