US accuses Volkwagen of illegal pollution control device

Updated 18 September 2015

US accuses Volkwagen of illegal pollution control device

NEW YORK: US regulators charged Volkswagen with manufacturing autos designed to evade government pollution controls and said the German auto should fix nearly 500,000 cars with the defect.
Volkswagen designed software to meet clean-air standards during official emissions testing, but that turned off during normal operations, US and California regulators charged. As a result, the diesel cars emit greater-than-allowed quantities of pollution linked to smog and various health ills.
“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Both the EPA and the California Air Resources Board have launched investigations into the illegal actions.
The cars employed a sophisticated software algorithm to detect when the car was undergoing official emissions testing and turn on full emissions controls only on that time. When EPA and California demanded an explanation this month, Volkswagen admitted that cars contained defeat devices, the EPA said.
“Our goal now is to ensure that the affected cars are brought into compliance, to dig more deeply into the extent and implications of Volkswagen’s efforts to cheat on clean air rules, and to take appropriate further action,” said Richard Corey, executive officer at the California Air Resources Board.
Volkswagen said it had received notice of the investigation from the EPA, the California board and the Department of Justice.
“VW is cooperating with the investigation; we are unable to comment further at this time.”
The allegations cover 482,000 diesel models of Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle and Golf for 2009-2015 and the Audi A3 for the same years. The action also affects the Volkswagen Passat for 2014-2015.
The EPA said it “is incumbent on Volkswagen to initiate the process that will fix the cars’ emissions systems.” The cars do not present a safety hazard, the agency said.


Beijing ponders support for petrol-electric hybrids

Photo supplied
Updated 13 July 2019

Beijing ponders support for petrol-electric hybrids

  • Hybrid cars sold in China include versions of Toyota’s Corolla, Levin and Camry sedans, and versions of Honda’s Accord and CR-V

BEIJING: China is considering re-classifying petrol-electric hybrid vehicles so they get more favorable treatment than all-petrol or diesel counterparts under clean car rules, making it easier for automakers to meet environment quotas and offer more choice.
Global hybrid leaders Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. would be among the biggest beneficiaries of such change, which could allow them to make more hybrids and less of the more costly all-electric vehicles, experts said, after reviewing the draft policy proposal published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
China has some of the world’s strictest rules regarding the production of greenhouse gas-emitting vehicles, as it battles unhealthy levels of air pollution in its crowded cities.
In the draft proposal, hybrids would still be considered fossil-fueled but re-classified as “low fuel consumption passenger vehicles.” Significantly, the number of negative points incurred for making hybrids will be less than for traditional vehicles.
The proposed change came as a surprise, some experts and industry officials said, because the government has never given any preferential treatment for hybrid technology. Previously, the government offered subsidies for, for instance, the purchase of all-electric cars.
Hybrid cars sold in China include versions of Toyota’s Corolla, Levin and Camry sedans, and versions of Honda’s Accord and CR-V. Beijing-based spokesmen for both Japanese automakers declined to comment.