We've got another possible "who-knew-what-when?" detail for VW's ongoing diesel scandal. European Union officials may have known about Volkswagen's so-called cheat software for its diesel vehicles as far back as 2011. But EU leadership apparently didn't act on the information. So some of the EU's officials passed on the tip for the scandal to the US-based International Council on Clean Transportation.

The ICCT, in turn, gave a heads up to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Phys.org says, citing comments California Air Resources Board chief Mary Nichols made to German publication WirtschaftsWoche. Nichols would appear to be both a good source of information and an interested party because of California's longstanding leadership (at least in the US) in pushing for stricter greenhouse-gas emissions standards in the name of air quality. As it is, the EPA is looking to be more vigilante about preventing further scandals by enacting real-world testing standards (as opposed to laboratory-based tests) on 2015 and 2016 model-year light-duty vehicles. Such real-world testing is currently practiced primarily on heavy-duty diesel trucks.

Volkswagen has said that as many as 11 million of its diesel-powered models may have included software that cheats emissions-testing systems. The German automaker has set aside $7.3 billion and lines up another $21.5 billion in financing to address the issue, which affects millions of vehicles worldwide.

CARB, which represents the most populous US state as well as the state with easily the highest number of the country's vehicles, last month said Volkswagen had until November 20 to specify how it would repair the affected diesels to eliminate the emissions-cheating issue. So far, that has been no public statement on what that fix will be.

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