Volkswagen EPA Regulation Recall Likely to Expand
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the expansion of a safety recall based upon claims that the emission problem is broader than initially thought.
In September, the EPA launched an investigation into the German automaker after a University of West Virginia study claimed that several late model Volkswagen vehicles were designed with a “defeat device” that would turn on air filtering processes in the engine so the vehicles would pass emissions standards tests with flying colors. However, once out of emissions testing, the device would disable the filter, and the vehicle would resume the release of large amounts of nitrogen oxides into the air. This chemical compound has been found to increase allergies and serious asthma in many sufferers, and has been inconclusively linked to other breathing problems.
The original safety recall, initiated by Volkswagen, rather than the federal government, covered vehicles in model years 2009 through 2015.
The EPA now seeks to increase the number of vehicles in the recall, adding 10,000 more 2014 through 2016 model vehicles to include the following:
- 2014 VW Touareg
- 2015 Porsche Cayenne
- 2016 Audi A6 Quattro
- 2016 Audi A7 Quattro
- 2016 Audi A8
- 2016 Audi A8L
- 2016 Audi Q5
Until recently, Volkswagen promoted their 2016 model cars and SUVs as approved for sale in the US, insisting that the newest model cars did not utilize the defect device, a device which broke Clean Air Act regulations in the US, and violated several UN standards in European countries as well.
“VW has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “All companies should be playing by the same rules. EPA, with our state, and federal partners, will continue to investigate these serious matters, to secure the benefits of the Clean Air Act, ensure a level playing field for responsible businesses, and to ensure consumers get the environmental performance they expect.”
At the end of October, a peer-reviewed study suggested that at least 60 people have died prematurely because of the dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions released by the Volkswagen vehicles. “If the cars are not recalled, turned in, and adequately fixed, about 140 people will eventually die in the United States as a result of the car manufacturer’s malfeasance,” added Robinson Myer, a tech writer for The Atlantic who is covering the Volkswagen safety recall scandal.
Brad Stertz, spokesman for Audi, said that “Our engineers need to find out more information about” EPA’s testing and the data “and how they came to their conclusions.” Porsche also released a statement that they were surprised the EPA included their vehicles in the new recall notice.