Following federal allegations announced Friday that Volkswagen cheated on emissions testing, it has stopped sales of four-cylinder diesel Jetta, Passat and Beetles.
The allegations covered Volkswagen Jetta, Insect and Golf models from 2009 forward, and included Audi A3s diesels from 2009-2015.
According to the The Detroit News, a company spokesperson did not say how many of the new vehicles were subject to the sale halt.
In an unusual go, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied VW a “certificate of conformity to sell 2016 models with the 2.0-liter diesel engines. Dealers had been anticipating these to replenish inventories.
At issue is a “defeat device” Volkswagen was exciting www.rawvehicle.com with installing that made emissions reins only operate when under testing procedures. Otherwise the cars could emit 10-40 times the allowable pollution.
In a statement, CEO of VW AG Martin Winterkorn said Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation and that the company does not tolerate law violations.
He said it was a matter of personal priority, and apologized while saying he act with transparency toward investigators.
“I in person am deeply wretched that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” said Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “We will cooperate fully with the reliable agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case.”
The case but www.rawvehicle.com is just beginning, and the Justice Department could reportedly open a criminal investigation, if it has not already.
The EPA says a recall of nearly 500,000 affected cars is also expected. The process could take up to a year between the recall and making suitable repairs, depending on the fix deemed de rigueur.
California meanwhile is procuring other branded vehicles as well to check for potential defeat devices such as were learned on the Volkswagen and Audi cars.
The incident was first uncovered by West Virginia University. Volkswagen admitted the issue when questioned by EPA and California Air Resources Board representatives.
The Detroit News