Home / Cars / The Complete Guide to the VW Emissions Scandal



On September 2015, Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker and the global leader in car sales instantly turned from one of the most admired global companies to one of the ‘most hated’. The reason was the Notice of Violation that was issued by US Environmental Protection Agency or EPA over questionable emission tests covering more than a million Volkswagen diesel vehicles. Dubbed ‘dieselgate’ in reference to similar scandals that happened in the past, the company was found guilty of cheating the stringent emission tests made by US EPA that resulted in the approval of these diesel vehicles which shouldn’t have been approved in the first place due to high level of emissions that not only add to pollution but can also cause a number of diseases. The target of the investigation was VW diesel vehicles rolled out from 2009-15, and the culprit behind the plans to circumvent the existing emissions standards was software, a defeat device. With the installation of the software, vehicles easily pass emission tests, endangering the lives of drivers and pedestrians. Although the company has apologized for its lapse in judgment, this didn’t stop the deluge of complaints, cases filed and bad media coverage earned by the company.

VW Office

Brands affected, emission standards violated

Based on the Notice of Violation issued against Volkswagen, it was mainly Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars that were ‘certified’ to have passed the emissions tests but were actually prime violators. These cars tested was found to have passed at least one of two emissions standards, where the nitrogen oxide emissions should not exceed the acceptable level of 0.07 grams per mile for car engines at full useful lifespan, normally 240,000. But due to the use of software installed on more than 500,000 Volkswagen vehicles issued from 2009-15, the engines that emit 35 times more than the acceptable limit have passed, sold and used by consumers. Also, more than 2 million Audi cars were affected, with 13,000 of these units sold in the United States.

VW engine

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