As you can imagine, Volkswagen is already suffering from heavy losses in sales due to the scandal. November sales have plunged 25 percent to 23,882 units for the Volkswagen brand compared to last year. Small cars involved with the scandal have been the hardest hit. For example, sales of the Passat Sedan down by 60 percent. However, luxury models seem to be completely unharmed by the scandal.
However, the Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal is far from over. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has said that Volkswagen has been cheating on emission level tests on more vehicles than originally thought.
Volkswagen has told the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board that the software is on about 85,000 Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles going back as far as 2009. Earlier, regulators have accused Volkswagen of also installing this cheating device on 10,000 more cars from the 2014 through 2016 models in a clear violation of the Clean Air Act.
This could mean that even more vehicles will need to be recalled and Volkswagen could be facing steeper fines and more intense scrutiny from U.S. regulators and lawmakers.
What Is The Clean Air Act?
The Clean Air Act is one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws as well as one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world. This federal law was designed to control air pollution on a national scale. Since the Clean Air Act had been put into place, it has been shown to greatly decrease pollutant levels and the amount of pollution related health complications. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these laws have already prevented thousands from heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and asthma exacerbation.
This law refers to many different causes of air pollution, including motor vehicles. By law, all motor vehicles must remain at a certain level or lower of nitrogen oxide and other harmful gases in order to be allowed on the road.
The emission levels of these Volkswagen cars are somewhere between 10 to 40 times the level allowed by the Clean Air Act. These vehicles alone are responsible for adding to the ground level ozone pollution and even worsening the physical health of anyone in contact with these vehicles. According to a study, Volkswagen's emission cheating cars have been responsible for the deaths of several Americans due to bronchitis and other respiratory diseases.
Are There Any Plans To Fix These Vehicles?
Currently, Volkswagen is meeting with the agencies about how it plans to fix over 400,000 diesel cars that have been equipped with the emissions cheating software. However, there is no solid plan currently. U.S. regulators are continuing to tell owners that the cars are safe to drive despite their incredibly high nitrogen oxide levels..