Volkswagen intentionally evaded clean air laws said the U.S Environmental Protection Agency on Friday. They further explained that Volkswagen had been using software that enabled emission of fewer smog causing pollutants during test conditions of about 500,000 cars. These would in fact be much higher in the real world driving conditions.
The German automaker is expected to be penalized with billions of Dollars as fine apart from the expense going to be spent on fixing the cars. The exact amounts of fine are yet to be determined.
These cars include some leading models built in the last seven years by the German automaker such as VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat, and the most popular Audi A3. The emission control devices which most of these cars had been fitted had been programmed in such a way that they were “on” during official emission tests, however, when they were driven on the road these devices went off, allowing the cars to emit more smog creating pollutants that clearly exceeded the legal limits, said the EPA.
The EPA added that this ‘defeat device’ as the EPA chooses to call it, is obviously illegal to use and a threat to the health of global citizens.
Cynthia Giles, assistant EPA administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance said,
“EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules,”
Disappointment regarding such deliberate actions has also been expressed by Chris Grundler, director of the office of transportation and air quality at the EPA. He stated that although they have come across a manufacturer error or malfunction in a part in the past, a deliberate action as the Volkswagen’s case, “the facts before us today paint a very different story.”
Grundler recalled a similar incident involving General Motors using “the famous hood switch’ that gave false emission readings during testing. He added that the newer technologies have evolved with time, enabling the implant of computer codes by the VW vehicles into their vehicles to achieve same results.
Clearly pointing fingers to the VW management rather than the employees Grundler said
“I’m 100 percent certain that none of the hard-working of people of Tennessee, who are building these vehicles, had anything to do with this,” “This is a software design issue, embedded within the engine control unit.”
EPA mentioned that, the owners should not react immediately to the result made by them. In fact, driving the cars is legal, and they can even sell them, until or unless the company comes with a new plan to rectify their problems.
Despite the seriousness of the violation, the EPA said,
VW will be given “a reasonable amount of time to develop a plan to complete the repairs, including both the repair procedure and manufacture of any needed parts”
The Audi Owner has come out and stated that they are cooperating with the investigation, however, no further comments were given on any of the issues.