VW used a sophisticated scheme in which a hidden bit of software in its diesel cars allows emissions-control equipment to function normally when being tested in laboratory conditions – but disables that equipment during normal driving conditions.
“But technologies evolve and circumstances change, and we are continuously looking at ways to improve our compliance oversight programs”, says Christopher Grundler, director-Office of Transportation & Air Quality at the EPA. In addition, EPA uses portable emissions-level testing devices to evaluate vehicles on the road.
“We are not going to tell them what these tests are; they do not need to know”, Grundler said of automakers.
Meanwhile, VW appointed the head of its Porsche division, Matthias Mueller, as the replacement for formed chief executive Martin Winterkorn who resigned amidst the scandal on 25 September. “It the steering wheel wasn’t moving, they kicked in their emissions standards meeting control system”.
EPA officials insisted on a call with reporters Friday that the previous testing procedures were sophisticated and sufficient to accurately detect the emissions from the diesel cars as long as a manufacturer is not deliberating trying to cheat the process. His appointment was part of a larger restructuring plan the vehicle maker announced Friday.
But VW has admitted that about 11 million cars worldwide are fitted with the so-called “defeat device” – 2.8 million of them in Germany – and further costly recalls and refits are possible. It’s “actively recruiting light-duty diesel” vehicles for testing. The EPA began investigating, with VW’s cooperation, eventually gaining a confession from VW in early September 2015 that the company had cheated on the emissions tests.
He said after being appointed to the job that “we stand by our responsibility”, but added that “carefulness is even more important than speed”.
The chairman of the Commons Transport Committee, Louise Ellman, said Mr Baker’s claims raised serious questions over the effectiveness and the independence of the whole testing regime. The automaker eventually did a recall late past year, without much improvement, the EPA said.
The EPA announced the violations a week ago and said VW could face billions in fines.
For 482,000 US owners of certain Volkswagen and Audi models, clean diesel seemed like a good idea. But Emeryville Amyris says all it did was pour it’s fuel into the vehicle provided to it by Volkswagen and keep a mileage log. But it did not have access to the computer VW attached to the auto to gather data.