Volkswagen’s system to “defeat” pollution emission tests, which the company admitted installing in millions of vehicles globally, “is not a forbidden defeat device” under European rules, a company spokesman said in a statement to the The New York Times. The company’s determination made by its board runs counter to regulatory findings in United States and Europe, where the majority of affected vehicles were sold.
VW executives have already admitted to using the illegal software to cheat on emissions testing in the United States, where regulations are tougher. While 500,000 affected diesel cars were sold in America, Europe is home to more than 8.5 million affected vehicles, making the risk of litigation and regulatory sanctions potentially costly.
Europe’s regulatory system, which allows manufacturers to control and manipulate emissions tests for their own benefit, has not been free of controversy. While this will likely stir up more questions about the system, European states and the European Union’s central government in Brussels remain in a contentious battle to overhaul these regulations.
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