Volkswagen emissions scandal spreads to more vehicles

Volkswagen emissions scandal spreads to more vehicles
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The rigged emissions control systems discovered on Volkswagen Group vehicles are more widespread than previously thought, federal officials said.

Volkswagen officials told the Environmental Protection Agency and California officials on Thursday that “defeat devices” are installed on all Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brand vehicles sold in the United States from 2009 to 2015 with a 3.0-liter diesel engine.

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“EPA and CARB will continue to investigate and will take all appropriate action,” EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said in a statement on Friday, disclosing the admission.

The new admission adds about 85,000 new vehicles to the hundreds of thousands in the United States — and millions internationally — subject to the ongoing Volkswagen emissions scandal.

After a year-long investigation by the EPA and California, Volkswagen admitted in September that a number of its diesel-fueled vehicles had been programmed to cheat air pollution tests by emitting lower volumes of nitrogen oxides during tests than during regular driving.

Some Volkswagen vehicles emit as much as 40 times the allowable air pollutants, testing found.

While the problems were first associated with 2.0-liter engines, the EPA announced earlier this month that certain 3.0-liter engines had problems as well. The Friday announcement greatly expands the number of 3.0-liter vehicles covered.

Volkswagen faces up to $37,500 in Clean Air Act fines for each vehicle sold that violates standards, and it is also responsible for fixing the problems.