Volkswagen Meeting With EPA To Discuss Diesel Emissions Program

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

More by Aaron Cole

Join the conversation
3 of 6 comments
  • Car-los Car-los on Nov 05, 2015

    The photograph in this article couldn't have been better. What a big deal it's been that VW cheated it's way around the environmental efforts of the government to keep our air clean. Yet if you look at this photograph of a culprit VW you will see in the background at least three chemtrails on the sky. Who do you think is polluting more? The effect of the VW's dieselgate on the environment it's nothing compere with the hidden government's chemtrails are doing all over the world. Citizens of the world wake up...

  • Sirwired Sirwired on Nov 05, 2015

    If this was the ONLY issue VW was facing, then all this might make sense. When you are in such hot water with your regulators that people are raising questions on if your company can even SURVIVE the trouble you are in, it's not the time to be making semantic arguments. The EPA (and DoJ) have an IMMENSE amount of leeway into how much pain they can inflict on VW. Given that the EPA is already furious at them for being treated like incompetent fools for an entire year, the proper course of action here would have been: A) A less belligerent press release. The one from a couple days ago scolding the EPA and denying everything was a terrible idea. B) An immediate stop-sale. C) Simply agree with anything not utterly outlandish that the EPA suggests. Similar to how after a big recall scandal, automakers go through a phase where they just about recall the radio knobs for the paint wearing off. D) Beg for mercy. Seriously. VW and the Feds both know that in addition to the serious fines available, the mighty tiger of the DoJ can be unleashed, and the sky's the limit there, as far as financial penalties go.

    • Deckardk Deckardk on Nov 06, 2015

      You have no idea what you're talking about. Throw themselves at the mercy of the EPA? Are you effing kidding me? The EPA is as rotten as VW. Probably more so. Trusting them to act in the best interests of consumers is absurd and naive.

  • Alan Like all testing and analysis work you need a good set of requirements. If you don't you'll find or end up with gaps.
  • Alan In aviation there is more vigourous testing, well, until Boeing changed things.
  • Alan This outcome was certain.The US, Australia and Canada need to approach this differently. A policy towards plug in hybrids should of been a first step. As in CAFE gradually tighten FE from there.There's no reason why you can't have a 2 litre F-150 with electric motors putting out 400-500hp. A 2 litre turbo is good for 200hp more than enough to move a pickup.Also increase fuel tax/excise every year to fill the void in loss of revenue.
  • Doug brockman hardly. Their goals remain to punish us by mandating unsafe unreliable unaffordable battery powered cars
  • Lorenzo It looks like the curves are out and the boxy look is back. There's an upright windscreen, a decided lack of view obstructing swoop in the rear side panels, and you can even see out of the back window. Is Lexus borrowing from the G-Class Mercedes, or the Range Rover?