800px-VW_Jetta_(V)_–_Frontansicht,_6._Mai_2011,_VelbertThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of intentionally dodging air-pollution rules on almost 500,000 cars sold in the USA since 2008.

The agency alleged the automaker installed software on nearly half a million diesel passenger cars that allowed it to cheat emissions tests. The software, dubbed a “defeat device”, activates full emissions controls only during testing but reduces their effectiveness while driving. The result is that the vehicles emit nitrogen oxides up to 40 times the acceptable standard, potentially exposing people to harmful pollutants which increase the risk of respiratory conditions. More »