WASHINGTON - The Volkswagen emissions scandal widened Monday when the U.S. government accused the German automaker of cheating for a second time. Although VW denied the charge, it faced the prospect of steeper fines and lost sales, as well as more intense scrutiny from disbelieving U.S. lawmakers.
The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the California Air Resources Board, said Volkswagen installed software on thousands of Audi, Porsche and VW cars with six-cylinder diesel engines that allowed them to emit fewer pollutants during tests than in real-world driving. The previous revelations of cheating involved four-cylinder diesels in smaller cars.
U.S. regulators continue to tell owners of all the affected cars they are safe to drive, even as they emit nitrogen oxide, a contributor to smog and respiratory problems, in amounts that exceed EPA standards - up to nine times above accepted levels in the six-cylinder engines and up to 40 times in the four-cylinders.