Last week the Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of using software to avoid meeting emissions standards. U.S. officials ordered the company to recall almost half a million cars.
According to federal officials, the automaker illegally installed software in its diesel-power cars to evade standards for reducing smog. The software allegedly detects when the car is undergoing its periodic state emissions testing. Only during such tests are the cars’ full emissions control systems turned on. During normal driving situations, software turns the controls off, which allows the cars to spew a great deal of pollution. The software was designed to hide the cars’ emission of nitrogen oxide, which creates ozone and smog. It also can cause a wide range of health problems, including asthma attacks.
Agency officials issued Volkswagen a notice of violation, and announced that Volkswagen admitted to using a “defeat device”. The recall involves 4-cylinder Volkswagen vehicles from model years 2009-15, and covers 482,000 cars sold in the U.S. It’s unclear what penalties Volkswagen could face. Under the Clean Air Act, it could face fines of up to $37,500 for each vehicle, for a total of $18 billion.
Although this behavior from Volkswagen is not a direct danger to the driving public, other than the potential for respiratory diseases because of the increased pollution, it illustrates the lengths to which car companies will go to trick both regulators and consumers. There have been many cases through the years of automobile manufacturers making a dangerous product and hiding those dangers from the public in order to avoid issuing a recall.
If you have been injured because of a defective automobile, call the personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges. Our attorneys have experience in helping consumers receive the compensation to which they are entitled after an accident. Call us today at 855-947-0707 to learn more, or connect with us on Google Plus.