The EPA has hit Volkswagen with a far reaching violation of the Clean Air Act that can cost the German car maker billions.
As reported, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG with far reaching consequences.
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.
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 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.
About 482,000 Volkswagen Diesel cars are affected by this EPA notice. Under the Clean Air Act, the government can fine VW up to $37,500 per recalled car. This could cost Volkswagen about $18 billion in fees. Additionally Volkswagen has to fix the affected cars, which will add substantial cost as well.
On top of that Volkswagen is taking a big hit on their image. In a statement on Friday, Volkswagen issued a first reaction to the EPA investigation:
"Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Volkswagen AG and Audi AG received today notice from the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board of an investigation related to certain emissions compliance matters.
As environmental protection and sustainability are among Volkswagen's strategic corporate objectives, the company takes this matter very seriously and is cooperating with the investigation.
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Volkswagen is committed to fixing this issue as soon as possible. We want to assure customers and owners of these models that their automobiles are safe to drive, and we are working to develop a remedy that meets emissions standards and satisfies our loyal and valued customers. Owners of these vehicles do not need to take any action at this time."