19th October 2015 | By Ray Tyler
The story so far
VW has been embroiled in a storm after US emissions bodies discovered 2.0-litre diesel engines used a hidden special ‘cheat cycle’ when placed on a laboratory testbed (the cars can tell because the front wheels are spinning on a rolling road while the rears are stationary).
A simple recall story in the US has rapidly escalated into a full-blown global scandal, with American authorities threatening an $18 billion fine. VW shares have plummeted by a third, Switzerland are banning sales of affected diesels and the Italian VW Group dealers are following suit. Volkswagen are committed to the recall of nearly half a million vehicles in the US, and probably more elsewhere in the world.
What is VW accused of?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) found a ‘defeat device’ embedded in the engine management systems on the modern Volkswagen 2.0-litre diesel engine described as EA189. The device is designed to lower exhaust levels of certain pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) whilst the vehicle is being emissions tested. When released back to the road, the engine would then pump out normal, higher levels – in tests the EPA found that NOx was 40 times higher when running in normal mode. VW admits ‘while testing diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they have detected manipulations that violate American environmental standards.’ Volkswagen has now admitted the ‘dual-mode software map’ on affected diesel engines.
What does the EPA say?
‘Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,’ said Cynthia Giles, an EPA enforcement officer. ‘We intend to hold Volkswagen responsible. VW was concealing the facts from the EPA, the state of California and from consumers. We expected better from VW. Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health.’
Audi admitted 2.1 million of its cars, Skoda has 1.2m, Seat 700,000, VW have 1.8m vans along with the 5m VW cars that have originally been identified to be using the ‘defeat device’
To check if your vehicle is affected go to one one of these car manufacturer sites:Back to news articles