The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday charged Volkswagen used software that reported false emissions data in all vehicles with 3-liter diesel engines from 2009 to 2016, USA Today reported. The EPA had previously accused the company of installing the defeat-device software on nearly 500,000 smaller cars with 2-liter engines as well as 10,000 3-liter models made from 2014 to 2016, but this news applies to even more vehicles.
The German automaker told EPA officials Thursday the emissions violations the agency previously found applied to “all” Volkswagen and Audi vehicles sold in the United States in the last seven years. It was unclear Friday how many cars were implicated or whether the issue extended outside the United States.
Since the EPA first disclosed in September that Volkswagen had been deceiving diesel emissions testers for years, the company has drawn criticism around the world. The defeat-device software allows cars to perform better in emissions tests than they do when driving normally on actual roads. Volkswagen has stopped selling all of the diesel cars that have been accused of including defeat devices, which include the 2015-16 Volkswagen Touareg, 2014-16 Porsche Cayenne and the 2015-16 Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q5, among other models.
The company faced a deadline Friday for announcing how it would fix the nearly 500,000 cars that were already known to contain the defeat devices. It also announced Friday it would cut capital spending by $1.1 billion annually, delay the next-generation of its Phaeton electric car, pause building a new German design center and potentially alter plans for a paint shop in Mexico, USA Today reported.
Volkswagen was also expected to discuss initial plans for recalling vehicles in meetings Thursday and Friday with U.S. and California regulators, the Wall Street Journal reported. The California Air Resources Board, which has been working with the EPA to investigate the company, said it would take additional action after the EPA’s announcement regarding the additional emissions violations.