Friday, September 18, 2015

Quick Thoughts on the EPA Enforcement Action Against Volkswagen

By now you may have seen and read the EPA/California announcement of an enforcement action against Volkswagen: 

We applaud EPA and the state of California for moving aggressively to enforce the Clean Air Act.  Enforcement is critical to the quest for cleaner air.  Emission reductions must happen in the real world — not just on paper.

The charges here are truly appalling: that Volkswagen knowingly installed software that produced much higher smog-forming emissions from diesel vehicles in the real world than in pre-sale tests.  In the process, it was cheating not just car buyers but the breathing public.  Indeed, EPA asserts that the vehicles actually may be polluting “40 times” the permissible level!  This is unacceptable and really undercuts all the “clean diesel” rhetoric.

This case is sadly reminiscent of the “cheater truck” scandal of the 1990s that some of us remember all too well:  

Let’s hope VW moves swiftly to clean up its act.  

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