EPA Requires Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen to Correct Fuel Economy Labels for a Number of 2013-2017 Gasoline Powered Vehicles
WASHINGTON (August 30, 2019) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising estimates for a number of 2013-2017 Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles to ensure consumers are given accurate fuel economy values. EPA is also requiring the Volkswagen Group to forfeit emissions credits under the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for light duty vehicles to account for under-reporting emissions.
In the course of the investigation concerning defeat devices in Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles, the EPA and the California Air Resources Board discovered that the company employed software to manage vehicle transmissions in gasoline vehicles. This software causes the transmission to shift gears during the EPA-prescribed emissions test in a manner that sometimes optimizes fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during the test, but not under normal driving conditions. The company employed this software in roughly one million gasoline, light-duty vehicles from model years 2013 through 2017 sold by Volkswagen in the United States under the brand names Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Bentley.
The EPA required Volkswagen to estimate the emissions and fuel economy impact of the software through extensive testing and other methods. Based on these investigations, Volkswagen found that, deactivation of the software resulted in an impact to fuel economy on roughly 98,000 vehicles of approximately one mile per gallon.
Just as Volkswagen over-stated the fuel economy of these vehicles, the company under-stated greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 220,000 metric tons. To account for these discrepancies Volkswagen will forfeit approximately 220,000 GHG emission credits under EPA’s light duty GHG emissions standard program. Volkswagen will also forfeit credits in the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy program. The exact amount of credits will be subject to approval by EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory conducts fuel economy testing on vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data automakers submit to EPA. These audits are part of the oversight program that helps ensure all carmakers are following the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates. The oversight program also helps the EPA verify that vehicles on the road meet national tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment.
More information on today’s update including a list of the specific changes to fuel economy labels for each affected vehicle may be found here: https://www.epa.gov/recalls/fuel-economy-label-updates