US lawmakers are getting ready to field questions on Thursday to Volkswagen Ag’s top official in the country, interested in finding how the German carmaker cheated on diesel emissions testing.
The carmaker was accused last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of rigging emissions tests for diesel-powered cars and the company swiftly admitted to the illegal endeavor while also acknowledging the cheating was widespread in 11 million cars around the world. The US lawmakers will be keen to find out exactly how the carmaker evaded the pollution standards and whether other peers are also involved. They will also grill the EPA for its failure to see how VW had been cheating the rules for years. According to aides, if issues with EPA’s operations are found, the Congress could seek independent government inquiries of the agency by the watchdog Government Accountability Office and the EPA Inspector General. “The first thing is to look at the Volkswagen issue, in and of itself. Second is to ask the same question of other carmakers and see if there is any such activity taking place,” comments U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn, vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
If there is any evidence that any other carmaker has also used the so-called “defeat” devices to dupe EPA emissions rules could make lawmakers deliver legislation that would strengthen the EPA testing methods. Naturally, the proceedings will primarily focus on the VW AG case, with the company’s America President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Horn called to testify alone and under oath before the oversight and investigations subcommittee.