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EPA found undocumented “auxiliary emission control devices”
Volkswagen faces a class-action lawsuit over its role in causing the pollution problem. In a recent ruling, the U.S. District Court ruled that consumers may join the suit even if they no longer own or lease a clean diesel car. Audi and VW increased the price of their vehicles by installing the TDI technology, which also led to a steeper depreciation curve. Although many owners of these vehicles were not harmed by the car emissions scandal, they may still be eligible to receive compensation.
Volkswagen admitted it lied to consumers
A German court has ruled that Volkswagen is liable for cheating on diesel-emission tests, and has awarded damages to tens of thousands of Volkswagen owners in the country. The company, which controls more than 70 percent of the passenger-car diesel market, promoted its “Clean Diesel” model as a cleaner alternative to hybrids and electric vehicles and marched on Washington with Audi TDI models. But now it’s stewing in toxic vapors.
In 2006, VW engineers began developing a new diesel engine to comply with stricter emissions standards in the United States. These new regulations would go into effect for model-year 2007, and Volkswagen intended to sell diesel cars in the U.S., marketing them as “clean diesel.” As a result, millions of these cars emitted pollution at levels that were higher than the legal limit for diesel vehicles in the U.S.
Software installed in cars is a “defeat device” meant to fool emissions testers
Volkswagen Group executives discovered the defeat device software in September. It is a “defeat device” which tricked emissions test authorities by turning on performance-sapping emissions controls when the car is subjected to an emissions test. The software allowed the company to sell tens of thousands of cars in the United States. Despite their legal risks, Volkswagen continues to manufacture the cars.
The EPA issued a Notice of Violation on September 18, 2015, in connection to the defeat device. The company admitted to installing the software in the vehicles of certain owners to trick emissions test authorities. These cars were able to emit up to 40 times the permitted amount of nitrogen oxide. This was a violation of the Clean Air Act. Volkswagen is now facing fines of up to $20 billion, plus $1.7 billion in penalties.
Several European regulators have said that Volkswagen’s defeat device has made it impossible for cars to pass emissions tests. Volkswagen has been facing lawsuits over the defeat device, which allowed its diesel cars to emit 40 times more pollution than they should have. The German auto giant is now under investigation in the United States and Europe. The automaker has set aside 6.7 billion euros to pay for the recalls and repairs and has warned that it will face civil penalties and other punishments if it does not comply.
VW agrees to remove the defeat device
Volkswagen agrees to remove a defeat device from some of its diesel cars. VW was already facing a lawsuit because of a defeat device found in some of its diesel vehicles. The EPA said the software is illegal and it has issued a notice of violation for six more cars. These cars are part of the Volkswagen Group and include the 2016 Audi TDI. A new defeat device is not needed to meet emission standards, but the fix could still cause a crash.
The deception began in 2006 when engineers at VW decided to install the defeat device on the 3.0-liter TDI engine in the European market. The defeat device was designed to evade emissions testing, but it was so effective that Volkswagen and Audi engineers were urged to use the technology. This technology is called SCR and requires a separate urea tank. VW engineers also considered using liquid urea in place of the defeat device, but they were not given the proper licenses from Mercedes-Benz.