We’ve recently heard of the news that Volkswagen AG is in quite a bit of trouble in the United States, as it was selling diesel engines that weren’t as clean as advertised. In the US, diesel emissions are very strict, therefore requiring Volkswagen to add clean up its diesel engines even further before shipping them over here. As it turns out, Volkswagen was just slapping some sort of defeat device to its cars that trick emissions checks into thinking the engines are clean enough. Well, Volkswagen got caught and could now be fined by the US government up to $18 billion.
The cars involved were Volkswagen’s Passat, Jetta, Beetle and Golf TDI models as well as the Audi A3 TDI. Any Volkswagen product sold in the US with a 2.0 TDI engine had the defeat device installed on it, making them technically illegal to sell in the ‘States. Because of this, Volkswagen AG has issued a stop-sale on all violating models in the US. If you already have one of the aforementioned cars, they have yet to be recalled, but are sure to be sometime soon, and Volkswagen says they are safe to drive. It’s worth noting that the only thing technically wrong with these TDI models is that the give off a bit more Nitrous Oxides into the air, but nothing that would cause any damage as these cars are sold like this all over the world.
Regardless of the real-world damage, or lack thereof, that these violating TDI models would do, it’s still a violation by one of the largest automakers in the world. Volkswagen lied and that can’t be taken lightly. Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn recently releases a statement, saying “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public.” He also went on to say that Volkswagen “will cooperate fully” with authorities. Volkswagen has also opened its own external investigation into the matter. “We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of internal rules or the law,” said Winterkorn.
It’s yet to be seen to what extent Volkswagen will be penalized for the offense, but the EPA fines automakers around $37,000 per violating vehicle. As mentioned earlier, this could add up to $18 billion dollars, which is a massive hit even to a company as large and as wealthy as Volkswagen. For now, though, we know that the Audi A3 TDI, which we previously wrote isn’t quite up to Audi’s standards anyway, is currently no longer on sale. We’ll keep you updated as we get more information.Car and Driver]