You are here

US to test all diesel car models after VW scandal

[WASHINGTON] The US environmental regulator said Friday that it will test all diesel car models for pollution "defeat devices" in the wake of the scandal over Volkswagen's vehicles.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it would test cars under actual driving conditions rather than just newly produced cars, after Volkswagen vehicles were shown to have software that overrides pollution controls once they are on the road.

Christopher Grundler, Director of EPA Office of Transportation & Air Quality, said the agency would partner with the official Environment Canada agency to more rigorously test diesel cars in the lab and on the road.

"Today we are putting vehicle manufacturers on notice that our testing is going to include additional evaluation and tests designed to look for potential defeat devices."

Market voices on:

"We're not going to tell them what these tests are, they don't need to know."

Mr Grundler said the agency had not focused on testing the pollution performance of passenger diesel cars in the past because they account for barely 0.2 percent of all vehicles on the road in the United States.

Instead, the agency had focused on commercial trucks "because that's where diesel emissions are." The auto industry has been shocked by the Volkswagen scandal, in which the world's largest automaker was shown to have programmed its four-cylinder diesel cars to perform well in official anti-pollution testing in the lab, but then override the pollution controls for better road performance when out in the real world.

The German company is facing a potential US$18 billion in EPA fines and has cost the job of chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who resigned Wednesday.