TT Archives: EPA Fines Engine Makers
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Volkswagen cheated on air-pollution rules for its diesel cars with a defeat device, reminiscent of 1998 when heavy-duty truck manufacturers were doing the same thing.
Seventeen years ago, EPA said engine manufacturers were designing their engines’ computers specifically to circumvent federal standards. With the software, the engine would run cleanly for the five minutes it would take for an emissions test but begin emitting illegal levels of nitrogen oxide soon after.
“So basically what happens is the computer system senses the timing and other things like speed and temperature, so that as long as you’re under conditions similar to the federal test procedure you’re fine, but otherwise NOx doubles or triples,” Margo Oge, director of EPA’s Office of Mobile Sources, said at the time.
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