The world’s largest carmaker is in trouble.
The German carmaker now admits that 11 million of its diesel cars were equipped with software that was used to circumvent emissions tests. Previously, Volkswagen had said that the problem only affected 500,000 vehicles in the US. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that it will ask the company to recall 500,000 vehicles sold in the US between 2009-2015. These vehicles include Golf, Passat, Jetta, and Beetle; some Audi models also affected.
“It is not clear, though, how fully Volkswagen might be able to correct the problem on the 11 million vehicles. The company could presumably alter the engines, so that the cars on the road begin actually meeting the required emissions standards. But doing so would probably degrade the vehicles’ fuel economy and performance, and might cause the engines to wear out sooner.”
Volkswagen has set aside roughly $7.3 billion to cover the cost of fixing these cars in order to comply with emissions standards
The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly taken the preliminary steps to open a criminal investigation. Several law firms also have taken initial steps to bring a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen on behalf of owners.