The US auto regulator has decided to introduce stricter auto emissions tests after they discovered German automaker Volkswagen AG had used rigged software to cheat diesel emissions tests.
Now the tougher standards enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency adopted in the wake of the “dieselgate” scandal are here to stay and could be followed by even more regulations if other issues arise, according to a senior official. Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said the new emission test procedure introduced on Septemebr 25 would be used “indefinitely” in a bid to show the agency’s resolve to counter the so-called defeat devices similar to those employed by VW when it admitted it rigged EPA laboratory emission tests for diesel vehicles. The company’s software only turned on the full array of diesel vehicles’ emission controls when it detected the laboratory conditions and kept them off during real-world driving.
“We are permanently changing the oversight system,” commented Grundler. “We are integrating new tests and evaluations that we will be applying to both production vehicles and pre-production vehicles, as well as in-use vehicles.”
The new procedures also has on-road emission tests, the procedure that first allowed the detection of VW’s cheating during independent testing. The massive VW scandal and the numerous reports that other automakers could face issues if put through the paces have increasingly led to speculation the EPA could make a more crucial switch. That means not limiting the tougher paradigm to software cheating probes but also make them mandatory for automakers aiming to certify new models for sale in the US.