Over 480,000 Volkswagen vehicles have been kitted with "sophisticated software algorithm" that fools emissions tests into reporting that the automobiles are not spewing mass amounts of nitrogen oxides into the earth's protective trioxygen layer, the Environmental Protection Agency asserted Friday.
The EPA sent Volkswagen a NOV (Notice of Violation) of the CCA (Clean Air Act). The software algorithm employed by Volkswagen greatly reduces the emission output, but the vehicles can really emit nitrogen oxides up to 40 times the standard, the agency stated.
The software inside of the electronic control module "senses whether the vehicles is being tested or not based on various inputs including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine's operation and barometric pressures," stated the EPA in the NOV. "These inputs precisely track the parameters of the federal test procedure used for emission testing for EPA certification purposes."
Usage of systems designed to circumvent emissions testing is a crime and threatens public health, states Cynthia Giles, an assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
"Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters," says Giles.
In the EPA's NOV, the agency states that roughly 482,000 diesel passenger vehicles have been fitted with the crooked kit.
The cars accused of containing the deceptive software, all four cylinder vehicles, include Jetta (Model Years 2009 through 2015); Beetle (Model Years 2009 through 2015); Audi A3 (Model Years 2009 through 2015); Golf (Model Years 2009 through 2015); Passat (Model Years 2014 through 2015).
Owners of the listed vehicles need not worry. The EPA says it won't attempt to confiscate the accused cars.
"These cars are safe and legal to drive. Owners do not need to take any action at this time," says the EPA.
The EPA first learned of the suspect violations in May last year. Around that time, the University of West Virginia's Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions publishes finding from a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation.