EPA could have caught Volkswagen early on

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Emissions defeating software found in Volkswagen’s light-duty diesel engines would not have passed a heavy-duty diesel engine test administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, the EPA reports that instead of more closely examining the smaller light-duty diesel market, of which VW had been a star player, the agency concentrated on heavy duty vehicles, which underwent more definitive tests, according to The Detroit News.

At the recent Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Christopher Grundler, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the EPA, said the agency learned a lesson in missing VW’s emissions defeating software.

“Had we tested it using our on-road test cycles or using it in different types of configurations, we would have found it,” Grundler explained.

“At the time and still today, diesel makes up less than 1 percent of the fleet, so we made a priority decision to focus on heavy-duty vehicles and trucks. That’s why we didn’t catch it. So that’s a lesson learned.”

In the wake of the VW diesel scandal, the EPA says it will now test all diesel vehicles the same.