Seems like “cheating” is something we just can’t get away from. Whether it’s professional athletes, extramarital affairs, or standardized testing scores, people have an urge to “get over.” And it appears the automotive industry is no different than anything else. Volkswagen has admitted to deliberately deceiving the EPA’s emissions tests for its TDI diesel engines.
When Volkswagen was performing its own emissions tests to prove that its TDI diesel engines were better than gas-powered engines, they were surprised to find they actually weren’t. Meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards is the least that Volkswagen needed to do, but they were consistently falling short. The International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) revealed that “rolling road” emissions were different than real world emissions.
Certain Volkswagen vehicles were producing an excessive amount of Nitrogen Oxide. The Jetta was producing 15 to 35 times the U.S. legal limit while the Passat produced 5 to 20 times the limit. Volkswagen’s response was to perform ICCT’s tests and claim that it had identified the source of the problem and fixed it. Almost 500,000 vehicles were recalled and given a software update.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) continued its independent testing and found the vehicles were still not following U.S. law. They let the EPA and Volkswagen know its findings, and Volkswagen was forced to admit that it created a way to cheat the emissions testing device.
This will affect millions upon millions of cars. Since the vehicles were not compliant with U.S. emissions standards, any sale of the vehicle is illegal. Volkswagen has already issued a stop-sale order and all vehicles with 2.0-liter TDI engine models. None of the options moving forward seems all that good for VW or VW owners. Changing engine software will negatively affect engine power, and new treatment systems will cost thousands of dollars per car.
All VW drivers can do now is wait, but they should expect a buy-back program from Volkswagen. Although, the offer will surely be much less than market value. Class-action lawsuits have been filed in 20 states.