Volkswagen Meeting With EPA To Discuss Diesel Emissions Program
Officials from Volkswagen will meet Thursday with the Environmental Protection Agency to explain to regulators how a “temperature conditioning” mode isn’t illegal, Reuters reported ( via Automotive News).
“(Auxiliary Emission Control Device) software does not alter emissions levels, but it ensures after a cold start (of the engine) that the catalytic converters quickly reach their working temperature and emissions cleaning takes effect,” VW said, according to Reuters.
In its notification to the automaker Monday, officials from the EPA specifically outlined how a “temperature conditioning” mode, specifically timed to the length of the EPA’s initial tests, reduced emissions up to nine times in cars equipped with VW’s 3-liter diesel engine.
According to Reuters, Volkswagen in Europe admitted that the software U.S. regulators alleged cheated emissions tests was installed in models sold in Europe. Although the EPA said that roughly 10,000 cars in the U.S. could be illegally polluting — above the initial 482,000 small cars — that number is likely larger.
In Europe, where Volkswagen is the biggest automaker, the number could be exponentially higher. Analysts at Barclays told Reuters that the number of affected cars in Europe could be 20 times higher than the number in the U.S.
Volkswagen may face an uphill battle in explaining how the software program isn’t an illegal “defeat device,” designed to fool emissions test. ( They may have a problem with credibility right now.)
California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols told Reuters that testing officials routinely saw Volkswagen vehicles cycle into modes to reduce emissions, only to pollute more seconds later.
“It’s almost impossible to explain something like that in any way other than something about the software that controls the operation,” Nichols told Reuters.
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