(CN) – Amid a growing Volkswagen emissions scandal, the Environmental Protection Agency told car manufacturers Friday that new testing will look for cheating devices.
The news comes a week after the EPA ordered the automaker to recall nearly 500,000 diesel cars. Regulators found that, through a sophisticated algorithm, “defeat-device” software in several Volkswagen models kicks into full emissions-control mode only when it detects the vehicle is undergoing inspections.
While the cars meet standards under laboratory settings, they spew nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the limit on the road, the EPA said. The agency claims nitrogen oxide pollution has been linked to increased asthma attacks and deadly respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.
In a letter Friday, the EPA said testing for defeat devices will be added to standard emissions test cycles. “Manufacturers should expect that this additional testing may add time to the confirmatory test process and that additional mileage may be accumulated” on emissions data and fuel economy data vehicles, the letter states.
Last week’s notice of violation of the Clean Air Act sent by the EPA to Volkswagen has spawned a flurry of class action lawsuits. More than 60 such actions have been filed since Monday, according to the Courthouse News database.
Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday, but said he was not aware of any wrongdoing on his part. The company named Porsche chairman Matthias Mueller as Winterkorn’s successor on Friday.
“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation,” Mueller said in a statement.
- Tribune Goes After Rahm Emanuel’s Emails
- Amy Joseph v. Monster Inc.; Best Buy Co. Inc.