The Volkswagen Group is reportedly recalling 500,000 cars on the orders of US regulators because of emissions.
The cars are allegedly fitted with a ‘defeat device’ that allows the vehicle to perform more efficiently in the official emissions test than in real-world driving conditions. It detects when the car is being tested and turns on full emissions controls, but the effectiveness of the device is reduced in normal conditions.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based in California, this means that the cars under investigation emit up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide, which is linked to asthma and lung illnesses. The cars in question are four-cylinder models, and is said to affect 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s and VW Passats built from 2014-15.
It has been suggested that the recall could cost the manufacturer up to £11.5bn, with the EPA saying that: “VW may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged.”
The EPA says that the cars in question do not prove a safety hazard and are still legally OK to drive and sell on. It is not yet known if cars outside of Europe are affected.
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