The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its intention to step up its emissions testing of diesel vehicles in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal.
During a call with the press on Friday, the EPA said it would be adding more testing specifically to catch defeat devices, the method that was used by Volkswagen to fool diesel emissions tests. It consists of specific code that can detect when an emissions test is being performed and automatically modify the engine emit less pollutants.
The new emissions tests will take place on-road, a method that was previously used only for checking vehicle’s gas mileage estimates and for testing emissions for diesel pickup trucks. The vehicles being tested will come from rental fleets and from personal owners, to make sure automakers cannot tamper with the emissions of the vehicle being tested.
Automakers also won’t know exactly what the testing will consist of. “We aren’t going to tell them what these tests are,” said the EPA. “They don’t need to know.”
The EPA also reiterated that Volkswagen’s 2016 2.0-liter TDI-equipped models have not yet been approved for sale. The agency needs to ensure that these cars are not fit with the cheating software before they are made available to the public.