Emission standards are one of the components that every automaker considers in producing their respective vehicle lineup. In a nutshell, emission standards are legal requirements governing the amount of pollution released into the atmosphere.

With that in mind, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accused Volkswagen and Audi of using an illegal “defeat device” software to bypass emissions tests.

In a report by Automotive News, Volkswagen and Audi used a “defeat device” which reduces nitrogen oxide (Nox) at up to 40 times in order to fulfill emissions standards during lab testing. The EPA said that around 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles used the “defeat device” to register cleaner emissions during the official tests.

The software was reportedly used on the 2009-2015 model year Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Jetta and Audi A3 as well as on the 2014-2015 model year Volkswagen Passat. All these vehicles are equipped with a four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine.

The EPA explains that these vehicles have a software that automatically detects if the vehicle is undergoing emissions testing. Then, the software switches off during “real-world” driving.

With this, the EPA can apply a maximum possible fine of USD 37,500 per vehicle which means that Volkswagen and Audi could face a fine of up to USD 18 billion.

Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement that the company takes the findings seriously and has already ordered an external investigation.

“The Board of Management at Volkswagen AG takes these findings very seriously. I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter,” Winterkorn said.  

Source: Automotive News