Responding to the recent revelation that Volkswagen may have used illegal software to cheat emissions testing, the German automaker has told its U.S. dealers to halt sales of remaining 2015 TDI diesel models.
Volkswagen of America told its dealers to stop selling remaining 2015 model year cars with the 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder engine. There is no official statement yet on which cars or how many are affected, but VW has also been barred from selling 2016 diesel models until the government gets answers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleged on Friday that Volkswagen used a device that made it easier for its diesel-powered cars to pass official emissions tests. As many as 482,000 Volkswagens could be affected. The result of this software is that the affected cars actually produce up to 40 times more harmful nitrous oxides while driving than the amount recorded during the testing.
Independent analysis at West Virginia University uncovered the issue. After being questioned by the EPA and CARB, Volkswagen admitted its fault. VW also removed videos from its YouTube channel touting their “clean diesels.”
This stop-sale is likely the first step before a full-blown recall for Volkswagen. Although the cars are safe to drive and no injuries have been reported, VW could be fined up to $18-billion if the EPA leverages its maximum fine of $37,500 per car.
So far, models affected by the issue include the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle and Golf. The 2009-2015 Audi A3 is also affected, along with the 2014-2015 Passat.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
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