It should be no secret by now: automaker Volkswagen is indeed on the hot seat. Now, it seems that the Volkswagen emissions scandal is growing as the days go by.
Volkswagen has recently admitted that its 2016 diesel models incorporate an extra suspect software, enhancing pollution emissions results during government tests. It enables the exhaust systems to run cleaner.
Over the past month, Tech Times has delved into Volkswagen's admission of employing "defeat devices" in nearly 500,000 diesel cars in the U.S. and possibly 11 million Volkswagen and Audi automobiles around the globe to cheat emissions tests.
Recent reports say the German automaker has confirmed to U.S. regulators the 2016 diesel cars are fitted with the so-called "auxiliary emissions control device" — this is different from the controversial "defeat devices."
This newly disclosed software makes a pollution control catalyst, diminishing the amount of pollution the engines produce and boosting the ability to limit smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions.
A spokeswoman from the company said this particular issue with the 2016 models was divulged to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California regulators.
"Volkswagen has disclosed, in the application process for the model year 2016 2.0 TDI models, an auxiliary emissions control device," said Jeannine Ginivan of Volkswagen. "This has the function of a warmup strategy which is subject to approval by the agencies. The agencies are currently evaluating this and Volkswagen is submitting additional information."
Regulators have yet to determine, however, if the software fitted in the new models is specifically built to cheat on emissions tests. If an automaker wishes to receive its much-needed certification to be allowed to sell cars in the U.S., it needs to disclose such devices to regulators.
Janet McCabe, acting assistant EPA administrator for air quality, said on Tuesday, Oct. 13, the agency has a "long list" of queries for the German automaker, but it has yet to receive all of Volkswagen's answers.
On Oct. 8, Michael Horn, chief executive of Volkswagen's American division, apologized for the emissions scandal on behalf of the company before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
He, however, blamed some software engineers for allegedly devising the cheating scheme.