It seems that the crisis at Volkswagen is deepening even further.
Regulators announced on Nov. 20 that the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker had confessed that emissions control equipment was installed on its 3.0-liter diesel-powered cars dating back to 2009.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Air Resources Board revealed that Volkswagen, along with its majority-owned subsidiary Audi, admitted during a meeting on Nov. 19 to installing "alternate exhaust control devices" in more vehicles.
The affected automobiles now involve all Volkswagen vehicles, including Audi U.S. cars, which come equipped with 3.0-liter V-6 engines from 2009 through 2016 model years, according to the regulators. This means that the impacted vehicles now cover 85,000 cars within the U.S.
Dave Clegern, California ARB's spokesperson, added that the alternate exhaust devices the company had admitted putting in their automobiles goes against the air-quality laws.
To date, the regulators are examining the vehicles to determine if the equipment should be regarded as "defeat devices."
In the meantime, Audi spokesperson Brad Stertz said the company has admitted that it failed to advise the EPA on the extra emissions control equipment. However, he would not acknowledge that the system could be deemed as a kind of a defeat device.
"So we agreed to take all of the 3-liter diesel engines, look at the software, recalibrate it and then we'll resubmit it to the agencies so they're comfortable with how it's performing and what it's doing," said Stertz.
The initial notice of violation was sent by the EPA on Sept. 18, accusing Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. of integrating the so-called defeat devices in 482,000 cars built with 2.0-liter diesel engines that have been marketed in the U.S. This is, so far, thought to be the largest scandal the company has gone through in its entire 78-year history.
Back on Nov. 2, the agency yet again issued a notice of violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Audi AG, Porsche Cars North America and Porsche AG, which accused the companies of disguising the true emissions of over 10,000 SUVs and cars. These vehicles, which are of the 2014 through 2016 model years, house 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engines.