Wednesday, September 30, 2015

VW scandal highlights long history of emissions cheating by car manufacturers. The AP (9/30, Biesecker, 344K) reports that Volkswagen is not the first car company to attempt to circumvent required emissions testing, noting that since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, “major manufacturers of cars, trucks and heavy equipment have been busted for using what regulators call ‘defeat devices.’” According to Donald Steadman, a chemistry professor at the University of Denver “who specializes in testing the real-world emissions of cars and trucks, the economics of the automotive industry could encourage carmakers to cheat the testing process.” Steadman contended, “Every car company has an incentive to do this,” noting, “Some of them get caught.” The AP notes that in past years GM, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen again “have been forced to pay hefty fines and recall vehicles after getting caught using defeat devices.” 

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