Chris Grundler, the head of transportation and air quality unit of U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that they are planning to make changes the way they test to find diesel emissions. EPA has been duped by Volkswagen for seven years using clandestine software which showed reduced emission rates while testing.
According to Grundler, EPA would include on-road testing for emissions in its test regimen. The sophisticated software used by Volkswagen made the diesel vehicles pass the tests conducted in the lab, but caused high level polluting emissions while on the road.
When the news of cheating by VW came out, the testing procedure of the EPA also got criticized. Many feel that the testing procedure of EPA is outdated and easily predictable and this helped Volkswagen to easily cheat EPA.EPA was not able to recognize the cheating going on, it was the researchers from the West Virginia University uncovered the problem while doing an on-road testing.
The new method of testing will be designed to identify any software or any other technique that might be used by auto manufacturers to manipulate a test.
Grundler said that the engineers from EPA and Air Resources Board of California (CARB) are developing cleverer ways to detect these things. He added that diesel engines make up only 15 of the vehicles in the US and hence testing the diesel engine wasn’t their main priority for pollution control. Though EPA had the equipment for on-road testing, it was allotted for monitoring gas mileage by automakers and emissions from heavy duty trucks where cheating has been reported earlier.
Volkswagen has confirmed the allegations of cheating against them. The company has admitted that they have installed software on four-cylinder Audi and Volkswagen diesel engines which switched the emission control when the vehicle is being tested.
The software used by Volkswagen is called “defeat device” and this device turned off the emission con trolls when they are on the road. According to EPA more than 500,000 cars in U.S, which includes models like the Audi A3, Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Golf were fitted with this cheating software. Volkswagen has admitted that more than 11 million cars around the world are having this software.
EPA has tested the cars on a device called dynamometer and didn’t use the real road testing equipment. Volkswagen has used the software for manipulation since 2009. EPA and CARB didn’t approve the 2016 diesel models of Volkswagen and then the company admitted the mistake.