From Bloomberg: Volkswagen Admits to Cheating on U.S. Emissions Tests
Volkswagen AG admitted to systematically cheating U.S. air pollution tests, leaving the automaker vulnerable to billions in fines and possible criminal prosecution.Bloomberg's followup story: VW `Clean Diesel' Scheme Exposed as Criminal Charges Weighed
The company sold diesel versions of Volkswagen and Audi cars with software that turns on full pollution controls only when the car is undergoing official emissions testing.
During normal driving, the cars pollute 10 times to 40 times the legal limits, the Environmental Protection Agency said. EPA called the technology a “defeat device.”
Violations of the Clean Air Act could be referred to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, the EPA said. The potential financial liability is unclear. The EPA could fine the company $37,500 per vehicle, said Cynthia Giles, the agency’s assistant administrator for enforcement. With 482,000 autos part of the case, the total could be $18 billion. The VW investigation involves model years 2009-2015.
Volkswagen AG’s admission that it cheated to make its diesel cars appear cleaner-burning than they are leaves the automaker facing billions in fines, its executives risking criminal charges and its U.S. expansion plans in tatters.A Jalopnik story "EPA Says Volkswagen Cheated On Emissions With 482,000 Diesel Cars (Updated)" lists the car models and years involved:
VW admitted systematically cheating on U.S. air pollution tests for years, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday in citing violations that could add up to $18 billion in fines. The company said it has also heard from the Justice Department, which the EPA said could pursue criminal prosecution.
The vehicles affected are the 2009-2015 diesel Jetta, Beetle, Golf, Passat and Audi A3.Another Jalopnik story notes that Volkswagen has deleted its diesel ads from YouTube:
The ads were a pretty big campaign from Volkswagen USA, and accordingly weren’t just covered by business magazines like AdAge and Fast Company, but were even touted by automotive publications like Car And Driver, which touted them as “hilarious,” while noting their “excellent viral mileage.”I wonder if (how many?) other car companies have been doing this, and whether VW Group has also tried to game emissions testing elsewhere.
But for all the praise and publicity the ads generated, Volkswagen USA seems to be trying to now scrub them from the Internet. A quick check of Volkswagen USA’s YouTube page shows a record of the ads being there, but now all that’s returned is a big “Deleted Video” sign.