This is hardly the most severe fallout from Volkswagen admitting that it installed “defeat devices” on some of its diesel models to help pass emission tests, but it’s the first of many.
Consumer Reports announced Friday that it was stripping the models of its “recommended” rating until recall repair work was complete on those cars. The publication had bestowed the ratings on Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI and Passat TDI models.
On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would force VW to recall nearly 500,000 diesel cars for the illegal “defeat device” that could detect when it was being tested for emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 10 to 40 times beyond its normal operations. The EPA could fine VW up to $37,500 for each car that violates its standards, which could tally up to $18 billion in fines.
According to reports, VW issued a voluntary recall in 2014 for the emissions flap, but subsequent testing showed limited improvement.
The unusual action by the EPA of recalling cars could be followed by an unprecedented penalty for the automaker as the government cracks down on automakers.
According to the EPA, the cars can still be driven on U.S. roads and dealers may still sell the cars as new or used, but owners may not be able to register or renew registrations for the cars until the recall repair work is complete.
Pass the popcorn.