The EPA is cracking down on car emissions testing following the Volkswagen scandal in which VW used a “defeat device” that allowed almost 500,000 of its diesel-engine cars to cheat emissions testing for certain air pollutants.
On Friday, the EPA sent a letter to vehicle manufacturers notifying them that the agency is adding to its confirmatory testing additional evaluations designed to look for potential defeat devices.
VW admitted that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 included software that circumvents EPA emissions standards. These cars contain software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally, and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emission test. Known as a “defeat device,” this design feature results in the cars emitting up to 40 times the amount of NOx emissions that the standards allow.
Last week VW said it ordered an external investigation into the defeat device and CEO Professor Dr. Martin Winterkorn resigned from his post, which he had held since 2007. Winerkorn is now facing a criminal investigation; German prosecutors today launched an investigation into fraud allegations against Winterkorn, according to news reports.
The VW board has appointed Matthias Müller CEO and announced a new management structure for the Group and the brands as well as for the North America region.