The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly is expanding its search into the so-called “defeat devices” in all diesel engine cars in the country. Industry Week is reporting that the scandal surrounding Volkswagen’s deception regarding its diesel engine cars may impact 11 million cars worldwide, according to The New York Times in a story today (Sept. 22, 2015). And industry reports are saying that the EPA may be expanding its emissions probe to other car makers of that type of engine. That would include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet, Jeep and Dodge Ram diesel cars that also may be subject to the EPA’s investigation, according to reports.
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The expanded investigation by the EPA, partnered with the California Air Resources Board, as well as separate investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and Volkswagen itself, according to reports, is looking into software that the automaker installed on diesel engine cars that turn off emissions controls when the car is being driven and turns them back on only when the car is undergoing an emissions test. Some half million cars with four cylinder, two liter VW and Audi diesel engines built since 2008 are affected. The emissions of the vehicles actually can spew out up to 40 times beyond the legal limit allowed under the Clean Air Act of the pollutant nitrogen oxide that can contribute to respiratory problems including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Today (Sept. 22, 2015) the German automaker, the second largest car manufacturer in the world, said that it was setting aside about $7.3 billion (or about a half year of its’ profits) to cover the cost of fixing the VW cars to comply with pollution standards, according to The New York Times.