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VW Had Previous Run-In With EPA Over “Defeat Device”

Maker has four-decade history of cheating.

by on Sep.23, 2015

Looking a little tarnished?

Special Report by Richard Gardella and Mike Brunker

Volkswagen has had a previous run-in with U.S. authorities for selling vehicles that used so-called “defeat devices” to disable pollution-control systems in four models of its vehicles produced in 1973.

News reports archived by the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety show the German automaker, then known as Volkswagenwerk AG, and its American subsidiary, Volkswagen of America, paid a $120,000 fine in March 1974 to settle a complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency over the use of so-called “defeat devices” that disabled certain pollution-control systems. The complaint said the use of the devices violated the U.S. Clean Air Act.

The Journal of Record!

According to ) published in the Wall Street Journal, the complaint stated that VW didn’t report to U.S. regulators that it had included temperature-sensing devices on certain models of “bus-like panel trucks, station wagons, combination vehicles and campmobiles” that disabled systems that controlled emissions and the flow of fuel and oxygen to the carburetor at low temperatures.