German automaker Volkswagen is in hot water with the EPA after allegedly cheating on emissions testing.
The EPA accused automaker Volkswagen of intentionally violating clean air regulations during testing last week. According to an Associated Press report, the automaker allegedly included software in 500,000 of its diesel vehicles that allowed them to emit fewer pollutants during testing, but was shut off once the test was complete.
The EPA called for Volkswagen to repair the vehicles so that they comply with smog regulations at their own expense. The company could also face billions of dollars in fines for the violations.
The automobiles were all constructed over the course of the past seven years, and include Jetta, Beetle, Golf, and Passat models. The Audi A3 also allegedly included this software during testing.
The software allowed the emissions control system to be engaged only during an official test, and was shut off after the test was complete.
The EPA claims that the company’s use of the “defeat device” violated clean air regulations and posed a risk to public health. While the automaker will be responsible for repairs to the emissions systems, car owners will not be held liable for driving a car they had already purchased.
The software allowed Volkswagen to market their cars as environmentally friendly, will maintaining a high performance engine. They will likely face fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle.