German Volkswagen Hit By EPA For Violation Of Emission Rules

Posted: Sep 18 2015, 1:55pm CDT | by , Updated: Sep 19 2015, 4:13pm CDT, in News | Cars & Vehicles


German Volkswagen Hit by EPA for Violation of Emission Rules

How can a German car maker in the United States be violating emission rules? The EPA is saying just that and issued a notice of violation.

Volkswagen is a German car maker with a squeaky clean image. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just changed that with a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG.

The EPA says that the four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. This means even the newest models are in violation of EPA rules.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”

The EPA accuses the German carmaker of using a sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles that detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test. 

The effectiveness of these cars’ pollution emissions control devices is greatly reduced during all normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard. 

The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to certify to EPA that their products will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution, and every vehicle sold in the U.S. must be covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity. 

Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices, which reduce the effectiveness of the emission control system during normal driving conditions, cannot be certified. 

In September, after EPA demanded an explanation for the identified emission problems, Volkswagen admitted that the cars contained defeat devices.

NOx pollution contributes to nitrogen dioxide, ground-level ozone, and fine particulate matter. Exposure to these pollutants has been linked with a range of serious health effects, including increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses that can be serious enough to send people to the hospital. 

Exposure to ozone and particulate matter have also been associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. 

Children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk for health effects of these pollutants.

VW may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged in the NOV.

The allegations cover roughly 482,000 diesel passenger cars sold in the United States since 2008.

Affected diesel models include:

• 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)

Volkswagen is now forced to initiate the process that will fix the issue in the cars listed above.

Owners of affected cars should know that although these vehicles have emissions exceeding standards, these violations do not present a safety hazard and the cars remain legal to drive and resell. 

Owners of cars of these models and years do not need to take any action at this time.

It iooks like the storm has started to hit Volkswagen. The site is down.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at




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