Volkswagen cheated a second time on emissions tests, programming about 10,000 cars with larger diesel engines to emit fewer pollutants during tests than in real-world driving, according to the U.S. government.
The German automaker installed software designed to defeat the tests on VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles with six-cylinder diesel engines, the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board said Monday. While on the road, the cars emit up to nine times more nitrogen oxide pollution than allowed by EPA standards, the agency said.
The latest charges follow VW’s admission in September that it rigged emissions tests for four-cylinder diesel engines on 11 million cars worldwide, including almost 500,000 in the United States. The so-called defeat device in the six-cylinder engines was discovered by EPA and CARB with tests put in place in late September.
In a notice of violation sent to VW, EPA officials said the automaker “knew or should have known” that by employing the software, the cars were not in compliance with Clean Air Act emission standards.
Monday’s announcement makes the notion that only a limited number of people were involved in the deception appear “even more outrageous,” Brauer said.
Members of Congress reacted sharply. The House Energy and Commerce Committee said an investigation of VW will continue.
“The latest revelations raise the question, where does VW’s road of deceit end?” said a joint statement by full committee chairman Fred Upton of Michigan and senior Democrat Frank Pallone of New Jersey, along with oversight and investigations subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania and senior Democrat Diana DeGette of Colorado.
“It’s time for Volkswagen to fully come clean,” the statement said.
The new charges also suggest even more financial pain for VW. The company faces fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle, which means up to $375 million could be added to penalties already projected in the billions of dollars.