Another day and more bad news for Volkswagen and their diesel engines.
Let's begin with the latest. Automotive News is reporting that about 11 million Volkswagen vehicles equipped with diesel engines worldwide have the illegal software. Also, Volkswagen is planning to set aside 6.5 billion Euros ($7.3 billion) in the third quarter to cover the costs of addressing the issue. Volkswagen says the amount could change as the investigation continues.
Also, France, Germany, Italy, and South Korea have announced today they will open investigations to see if Volkswagen rigged vehicles to pass their emission tests.
The Detroit News has learned the EPA will be expanding their Volkswagen diesel investigation to the 3.0L V6 diesel engine used in a number of Audi vehicles, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg. This engine was certified for 2016, but in light of the mess with the 2.0L diesel-four, the EPA wants to check the V6.
They were certified well before we knew what we know now,” said Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
Bloomberg has learned from sources that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into Volkswagen after the German automaker admitted it had cheated on the EPA tests. This comes days after the Department of Justice announced a $900 Million fine for GM on the ignition switch mess. When asked about the investigation into Volkswagen, Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle declined to comment.
Next is a report from the Detroit Free Press that says the U.S. Congress' Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will be holding a hearing into Volkswagen's emission standard violations.
“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health. We will follow the facts. We are ... concerned that auto consumers may have been deceived — that what they were purchasing did not come as advertised," said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mi and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., said in a joint statement.
A date hasn't been set for the hearing, but the statement does say it will happen in the new few weeks.
Finally, we might have an answer as to how Volkswagen gamed the system in the EPA tests. Consumer Reports explained that the vehicles had two modes; "Dyno” and “On Road”. These modes are necessary as testing is done dynos and could cause the stability and traction controls to turn on. Once the testing is done and the vehicle is turned out, the vehicle goes back to the On Road mode. Somehow, Volkswagen's 'Dyno' mode was programmed to cut emissions.