The EPA also said that the software which they dub as “a defeat device” hides the correct level of emissions during checking.
The cars were all built over the course of the last seven years, and include Jetta, Beetle, Golf, and Passat models.
According to the November , a sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles results in cars meeting emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but emits nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard during normal operation. It could hold VW responsible for civil penalties that could amount to billion, said the agency in a call with reporters on Friday. The pollutants are linked to a range of health problems, including asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases. More than 480,000 of its diesel-powered vehicles are under scrutiny from the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for allegedly polluting the air.
The notice of violation was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and accused VW of breaking the law through installing software referred to as defeat device, in Audi and Volkswagen 4-cylinder vehicles from the years 2009 to 2015.
California, the EPA, and the Justice Department are working together on the investigation.
Prior to issuing the violation notice, the EPA said it worked with the California Air Resources Board and would continue to investigate “these very serious matters”. It is estimated that 482,000 diesel cars under the Volkswagen and Audi names are affected in the matter. However, owners are able to keep their cars; they remain legal to drive and sell.
Volkswagen said it is cooperating with the investigation.
“Our goal now is to ensure that the affected cars are brought into compliance, said Richard Corey, the executive officer for California’s Air Resources Board”.
The New York Times reports that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi 2009-2015 diesel models were actually spewing more pollution than official testing revealed.