It’s entirely possible that the Environmental Protection Agency could levy the largest ever civil penalty for Clean Air Act violations against Volkswagen after the automaker lied about emissions from their diesel engines.
In 2014, the government agency fined Hyundai and Kia $100 million for spewing 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases above what they reported for 1.1 million cars.
For Volkswagen, using the EPA’s own penalty worksheet (which is apparently a thing), the fine may be substantially more than that levied against the Korean automakers — about $3.15 billion more.
Here’s how we got that number.
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency said this week that they’ll change regulations to hopefully catch carmakers who cheat on emissions tests in the future.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters at a Wall Street Journal forum Tuesday that the agency would be “upping its game” to stop automakers like Volkswagen from creating two dramatically different emissions cycles for its cars — a cleaner “testing mode” and a dirtier real-world mode. The agency said it would also crack down on automakers who lie about real-world fuel economy.
“Writing regulations takes time,” EPA’s director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality Chris Grundler told the Detroit News. “When you are working in the rapidly changing environment that we’re in right now, we want to make sure that we are agile enough and flexible enough to change with those times.”
Back in July, TTAC reader Stephen told us that his recently ordered 2016 Audi A3 TDI was sitting at port for an unknown reason and his dealer and Audi couldn’t give him much of a reason why.
“(The cars) are being held at the port as they have not been cleared by Quality and Logistics to be released for port processing yet,” a distribution advocate for Audi wrote in July.
As weeks wore on, Stephen alerted us to the varied responses he received from Audi, which ranged from “quality review” to “government certification.” We reached out to Audi on his behalf and heard from a spokesman that the cars were sitting at port awaiting a certificate of compliance from the Environmental Protection Agency, despite being identical to 2015 models that had already been certified. (Read More…)
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 the Environmental Protection Agency, the auto industry outperformed national greenhouse gas emissions standards for a second consecutive year.
Hoping for diesel power in the new Toyota Tacoma? You can breathe now.
The $360 million settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Hyundai and Kia for overstating fuel economy figures was approved Tuesday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Those shopping for a small, fuel-efficient crossover can now add the 2016 Honda HR-V to the list, thanks to its EPA-certified 31 mpg combined rating.
Six years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency set the acceptable level of ground-level ozone to 75 parts per billion. That level is about to come down.
Being an asterisk regarding fuel economy numbers isn’t the only penance Hyundai and Kia must pay: The U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board dropped a collective $300 million penalty on the South Korean brands for mistating fuel economy numbers on their respective 2011-2013 lineups.