Volkswagen could face penalties of up to $18 Billion. U.S. regulators are accusing the car maker of deliberately avoiding clean air rules in nearly half a million of its vehicles.
Volkswagen could be slammed with penalties of up to $18 Billion. U.S. regulators accuse the German auto maker of deliberately avoiding clean air rules in nearly half a million of its vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges Volkswagen used software in four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesels car models from 2009 and 2015 to rig clean air tests. The software known as a "defeat device" results in cars emitting as much as 40 times of what is allowed under clean air rules. Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA said "put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test." The cars are still safe to drive. But EPA officials said they will require Volkswagen to fix the cars for free, indicating a recall is likely. The maximum Clean Air Act violation is $37,500 per vehicle, meaning Volkswagen's fine could be as high as $18 billion. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE WHITE, REUTERS TRANSPORTATION EDITOR, SAYING: "Volkswagen rivals can say 'look they have an unfair advantage' that shouldn't be allowed " The automaker said in a statement it is cooperating with investigators but wouldn't comment further.