If the EPA had not been there to catch VW lying, who would have?
It follows the company admitting last week it had cheated the emissions tests of vehicles in the U.S., leading to a free-fall in its share price and a crisis within the iconic brand. Seven years was too long to be hoodwinked by VW.
“We are dividing the work up with our partners”, he said.
“It’s not a question of equipment or technology or capability”.
“They don’t need to know”, Mr Grundler, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said of the manufacturers. The agency can also take cars directly off assembly lines for testing, he said.
The company attributed the study’s findings to technical issues or extraordinary driving conditions, but data from tests by the CARB that continued for more than a year did not match with the company’s suggested reasons, and it became clear that certificates of conformity for the 2016 diesels would not be forthcoming from regulatory agencies until VW could explain the anomalous emissions. The sophisticated piece of “defeat device” monitored steering, engine use and barometric pressure to determine whether the auto was being tested in a lab or was on road.
The company has admitted 11 million vehicles, including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands, were equipped to fool emissions tests but pump out harmful pollutants when driven.
Matthias Mueller replaced Martin Winterkorn who had been CEO since 2007 and quit the job this week over the scandal.
You can read the EPA’s notice to all vehicle makers here.
“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leading no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation”.
“We must continue to improve and adapt our oversight, and we will”, said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, according to the Washington Post.
The government’s ruling affects diesel models containing “defeat devices” – software able to change the engine’s performance and run cleaner during official testing. It then turned on pollution controls that reduced the output of nitrogen oxide, an ingredient in harmful ozone, the EPA has said.
“Europe’s most important automobile group faces a new beginning” while “the scandal is growing bigger and bigger”, German FAZ daily wrote Saturday. Neither the EPA nor the California Air Resources Board – which enforces separate state pollution rules – will allow cars on the market if there’s any doubt they meet the legal requirements, he said.
The EPA said the cars are safe to drive but VW will have to pay to recall and fix them.
The EPA is now investigating the full extent of the illegal software program and could ultimately deliver up to $18 billion in fines.
On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency informed automakers that the agency is broadening the Dieselgate investigation.
The bad news for Volkswagen just keeps on coming. The majority of diesel passenger cars are made by European marques, which (in addition to VW) include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Renault.