According to a senior official, the US Environmental Protection Agency regulators have not yet established if the newly found emission-control device used by VW AG’s 2016 diesel cars is legal or not.
The models in question have not yet been certified for sale by the agency and the automaker has withdrawn the certification requests on certain models. And the existence of the debated software was announced publicly last week by the German automaker’s main executive in the US during sworn testimony in front of a congressional subcommittee. The panel has been called to probe the German company’s admission it had deliberately installed illegal software designed to dupe diesel emissions testing in the country. Last month Volkswagen acknowledged it had used rigged software, called a defeat device that altered the running of the emission control systems to pass the testing procedures, with the tally of autos affected by the scandal being of 11 million worldwide.
So far the company has not yet detailed the new software nor confirmed reports the device was in the same “defeat” category as the one used before the global emissions scandal erupted on September 18. “We have a long list of questions for VW,” commented EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe. “When we have all of the answers, we will be able to make a determination” if the 2016 diesel software is legal or can be placed in the “defeat device” category that can dupe US emission standards. VW said the EPA was not investigating the newly designed software and the company was “working with the regulators to continue the 2016 certification process” for its models using the 2.0-liter diesel engine.