VW admits that more vehicles may be in violation of air pollution laws
The emission control scandal for Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche continued to get worse today with an announcement by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) that even more vehicles may have been illegally operating in violation of air pollution laws. The latest information was revealed by company officials during a meeting with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ARB yesterday.
The companies, all part of Volkswagen, were first charged by ARB and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 18, 2015, with installing emission control defeat devices on certain so-called “Clean Diesel” engines. The charges applied to VW and Audi vehicles from model years 2009 through 2015 that were equipped with 2.0 liter diesel engines. The devices were programmed to shut down required emission controls unless the vehicle was undergoing an official emissions compliance test.
Subsequently, on November 2, 2015, EPA charged VW with installing similar devices on certain VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles from model years 2014, 2015, and 2016 that were equipped with larger, 3.0 liter diesel engines.
Although VW has not admitted that the problems raised by EPA in November were the result of defeat devices, company officials said during yesterday’s meeting with EPA and ARB that those same problems also extended to all 3.0 liter diesel engines from model years 2009 through 2016.
As a result of this admission, EPA and ARB will continue to investigate and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate under the enforcement authority that they have.
Use of the defeat devices resulted in excess emissions of nitrogen oxides, a harmful air pollutant and precursor to photochemical smog. The control of NOx is critical to reducing air pollution, particularly in areas such as Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley, whose ambient air consistently exceeds state and federal limits for smog.