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EPA Plans To Review Its Methods For Detecting Vehicle Emissions Fraud

March 13, 2017 0 Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General said it plans to review whether or not the agency’s internal controls are effective at detecting vehicle emissions fraud, according to a report by Reuters.

In a memo last week, the inspector general said it will “begin preliminary research to determine whether the EPA’s existing internal controls are effective at detecting and preventing” light- and heavy-duty vehicle emissions fraud.

In 2015, the EPA said it would review all U.S. diesel vehicles following the admission from Volkswagen that it installed software in 580,000 vehicles that allowed them to emit up to 40 times the legally permissible level of pollution. That extensive review prompted a delay in the certification of some new diesel models last year.

In what became known as “Dieselgate,” VW sold vehicles with excess emissions for more than six years without the EPA detecting the illegal software. At that time, the EPA said it would conduct more spot checks of light-duty vehicles and submit them to real-world driving conditions. In 2015, the agency told automakers that the EPA would test “using driving cycles and conditions that may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal operation and use.”

As the EPA began to review other vehicles, the agency accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of illegally using undisclosed software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected. The automaker denied any wrongdoing, and Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the company was working to resolve the issue. The Justice Department, a group of state attorneys, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are currently investigating Fiat Chrysler’s excess emissions.

Although the EPA is still reviewing the emissions systems of some other automakers, including some Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles, it isn’t yet clear whether the agency has discovered any additional issues.


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