Volkswagen has announced that more than 11 million of its diesel cars were involved in the recent emissions scandal, a number far more than previously acknowledged. The cars were equipped with cheating software that enabled the vehicles to trick regulators into believing that they were compliant with emission standards when in fact they were not.
The car company has stated that it plans to fix the cars so that they are compliant with the emission standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fixing the cars will cost an estimated $7.3 billion.
By admitting that 11 million cars were involved in the scandal, the German car company revealed that cars outside of the United States also cheated environmental guidelines. The car manufacturer stated previously that only 500,000 vehicles were affected and that all of them were in the United States. Volkswagen has not confirmed where the other affected vehicles have been sold, but it is speculated that most were sold in Europe.
The engines that were tampered are known as Type EA 189 diesel engines.
Volkswagen has said that it intends to make a strong effort to recover public trust. The company has stated that other diesel engines produced by the company are not affected by the situation, despite having the same engine-management software.
However, the sheer number of vehicles affected by the scandal suggests severe damage to both Volkswagen’s reputation in the automotive industry and its financial standing.
The scandal shows the importance of government regulations in order to keep the automotive industry in check. White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated that the administration was concerned about the reports.
These reports detailed how the cars were programmed to sense when emission testing was taking place. At that time, equipment would be activated to reduce emissions. When the reduction equipment was not activated, the cars had stronger performance and better fuel economy, but they produced up to forty times the EPA’s allowable amount of nitrogen oxide.
The pollutant nitrogen oxide can contribute to respiratory issues, such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Volkswagen has, thus far, been mandated by the EPA to recall nearly 500,000 vehicles that were sold in the United States. The vehicles include diesel-equipped Volkswagen Golfs, Jettas, Passats, and Beetles. Certain Audi models are also affected. Meanwhile, the company has temporarily stopped the sales of vehicles with the offending engine.