Agency seeks information from automaker on new process in diesel models
The EPA plans to evaluate a different type of emissions control device in 2016 model year Volkswagens that feature the 2.0-liter TDI engine, but it has not made a decision about the legality of the device, according to a report from Reuters.
Volkswagen revealed last week that new diesel models slated to go on sale in the U.S. also contained software that the EPA classifies as an “auxiliary emission control device” that is part of an engine warmup strategy. The software itself is reportedly part of a “a warmup strategy” for an emissions control system, as they are more effective when the engine has reached an optimal operating temperature. The new device is believed to accelerate the warmup process of the emissions control system.
The software in question has yet to be approved by the EPA, though it should be noted that Volkswagen has withdrawn its application for certification for 2016 diesel models.
The fear is that this new software could potentially be determined to be a “defeat device” (along with the other software which VW admitted to using) designed to achieve better emissions results in a testing environment. EPA officials, for their part, have so far voiced skepticism about the new software, indicating that they have questions for the automaker about this type of system, and that they were in the process of receiving information from VW about it. Still, it should be noted that the agency has not yet indicated how it plans to classify the device one way or the other.
Either way, the issue could almost be said to be moot: VW has reportedly withdrawn its application for certification pending its upcoming proposal to remedy some 482,000 cars in the U.S. affected by separate emissions-cheating software. The 2016 models that have already been shipped to the U.S. would receive modifications regardless. But the disclosure of this new type of software once again raises the possibility of more fines for the automaker.
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