Basically, the EPA is alleging Volkswagen installed software that engages a vehicle’s emissions control system while an emissions test is being performed, cheating the test to make it look like the automobile is in compliance with environmental standards. However, according to an article that appeared in The New York Times, during normal operation these cars emit pollutants up to 40 times allowed by the EPA’s Clean Air Act.
Volkswagen announced it is stopping sales of 2015 and 2016 VW and Audi models with the software, and recalling approximately 500,000 cars in the U.S. that have it. Some reports show that as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected. The models that will be recalled include the Audi A3 and the VW Beetle, Jetta, Golf and Passat built between 2009-2015.
According to CNN, the EPA recommends people who have these cars continue to use their vehicles as normal. It is too early to know the details of the VW recall or how it will play out.
But the Chicago Tribune painted a fairly disturbing picture of how consumers who purchased these cars may be affected. Consumers are claiming the value of their vehicles has been diminished, and their cars may suffer degraded fuel efficiency and horsepower once they are made compliant with Clean Air Act standards. Owners could also be substantially inconvenienced if they live in a state that requires an emissions test as part of a vehicle inspection.