Volkswagen cheats in emission tests held in the US by installing a software that reduces the vehicle’s emissions when it undergoes testing.

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The affected vehicles are producing 40 times more pollution than specified by the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States has accused German automaker Volkswagen of cheating emission tests and has filed a violation against the company for the same. Apparently, Volkswagen had installed a software in its cars that detected when the vehicle was undergoing emissions testing and hence the software would activate the car’s emissions control systems to their full state to make sure that the car passes the test easily. These control systems get turned off during normal driving conditions and thus the vehicles emits 40 times as much pollution as allowed by the EPA.

The company finally agreed that they had installed this software but refused to comment further and just said that they are cooperating with investigators. The models that have been affected are from years 2009-2014 and involves 4-cylinder cars from Volkswagen and Audi. The software was designed to conceal the vehicle’s actual emissions of nitrogen oxide that result in the formation of smog. These pollutants can cause a lot of health-related problems like asthma, premature death and respiratory diseases. By deactivating emission control systems in a car, the vehicle generates better performance.

The emission control systems are inversely proportional to performance. With the systems switched on completely, the torque and power figures do get affected a bit. The discrepancy was first noticed when the International Council on Clean Transportation noticed that Volkswagen cars are emitting lesser fumes in laboratory tests as compared to their emissions on the road. After a detailed investigation, California, the EPA and the Justice Department served a notice to Volkswagen. The German automaker will now be recalling 4.82 lakh cars which include the Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Audi A3 models from 2009-2015 and Jetta models from 2014-2015. Talking about irony, the violation comes to light days after Volkswagen displayed an array of plug-in hybrid models at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Not only Volkswagen, many other automakers seem to have cheated in various tests