Volkswagen pushes back against latest EPA allegations

German Automaker Says It's Not Cheating This Time

Volkswagen has disputed new allegations that it installed software that circumvented emissions testing on several small SUV models sold in the United States. In a written statement released Monday evening, the company said "no software has been installed in the 3-liter V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner."

The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that 10,000 more Volkswagen vehicles contain defeat devices that enable the cars to detect federal emissions testing and alter their performance to stay within standards set by the Clean Air Act. But in normal operations, the EPA says the cars spew pollutants at nine times the threshold.

Fresh accusations of cheating seemed to have caught Volkswagen off-guard. Officials at the global automaker said they were informed of the EPA's notice of violations late Monday morning, and a spokesperson for VW brand Porsche said they were "surprised to learn this information." Models affected by the latest accusations are the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, 2014 Volkswagen Toureg, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5.

The charges, of course, come on top of widespread cheating announced in September that has roiled VW, one of the world's largest automakers, led to the dismissal of high-profile executives and sparked investigations from the EPA, Federal Trade Commission, and Department of Justice and Congress. And that's just in the United States.

Volkswagen confessed to installing defeat devices in certain diesels equipped with 2.0-liter engines. Roughly 482,000 cars in America and 11 million worldwide were affected by that initial notice of violation, which came after protracted meetings between the EPA, California Air Resources Board and VW. But this time, Volkswagen says there's no defeat device.

EPA officials said there was ample evidence of the new cheating during a conference call earlier in the day. In its notice of violations, the EPA says, "Volkswagen knew or should have known that the software described above bypasses, defeats or renders inoperative elements of the vehicle design related to compliance with the CAA emissions standards. This is apparent given the design of these defeat devices."

Volkswagen says it will "fully cooperate" with the ongoing investigation.

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