The world's No. 1 automaker is in big trouble with the Obama Administration, which is forcing it to recall some 492,000 vehicles. The automaker has been intentionally deceiving its customers since model year 2009, and has been putting everyone's health at risk.
The car maker Volkswagen intentionally installed software, called a defeat device, that made it appear its cars met the Clean Air Act standards that are enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. This Act is intended to keep harmful pollutants out of the air.
The deception worked this way. Volkswagen's software could tell when you were having your car tested, or inspected for emissions. During that test, it would ensure the car did not violate the EPA's standards for nitrogen oxide emissions.
However, once on the road, that same software would turn off those controls. By some estimates, Volkswagen's cars were emitting up to 40 times the allowed amount of nitrogen oxide.