October 2, 2015 — USA Today reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin testing vehicle emissions on the road.
The announcement came just days after Volkswagen (VW) admitted using sophisticated software to cheat emissions tests.
The EPA will test all new vehicles and light vehicles currently on the road. The agency has not ordered a recall, but says one is likely to occur: “EPA will require VW to remedy the noncompliance. It is likely that there will be a recall of affected vehicles.”
Meanwhile, leaked documents indicate that the software was developed by the German engineering firm Bosch, according to the The Telegraph.
Bosch was aware that the software could be used to cheat on emissions tests. In 2007, documents show that Bosch specifically warned VW that doing so would be illegal.
It is not clear who at VW decided it would be a good idea to start using the software to bypass emissions tests. In 2008, tough anti-pollution laws capping nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions were passed. In 2009, VW started installing the software on new diesel cars.
In 2013, researchers at West Virginia University found discrepancies between emissions on the road and during testing. The EPA opened their own investigation in May 2014. After more than a year of dialogue, VW finally admitted using the software to cheat on emissions tests. About 500,000 cars in the United States are affected, and up to 11 million worldwide.