Volkswagen of America CEO to testify before House Subcommittee next week on emissions affair; request for all related documents
As part of its ongoing investigation into Volkswagen’s emissions issues, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, 8 October. The hearing is entitled, “Volkswagen’s Emissions Cheating Allegations: Initial Questions.”
Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn and the Environmental Protection Agency are scheduled to testify as the subcommittee investigates Volkswagen’s alleged efforts to circumvent emissions requirements for certain models of diesel engine passenger vehicles. Members are working to understand the facts and circumstances surrounding Volkswagen’s reported Clean Air Act violations and what they mean for consumers and the general public.
The very notion of a carmaker intentionally violating our environmental laws is beyond belief. Those of us from Michigan take great pride in having a hand in many of the cars on the road today and we appreciate the challenges automakers face to meet consumer demands year after year. But reports of Volkswagen selling cars with devices aimed at skirting the law cannot, and will not be tolerated. Attempting to deceive regulators and customers is a double whammy of betrayal. We will get to the bottom of this.—Full E&C committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)
On Tuesday, Upton and Murphy along with full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and subcommittee Ranking Member Dianna DeGette (D-CO) wrote to Volkswagen and the EPA requesting information about these issues. From Volkswagen, the letter (dated 29 September) from the House requests a large document dump:
All documents, including communications, relating to compliance with the Clean Air Act, EPA emissions standards and regulations, or testing of diesel emissions for all makes and model year vehicles associated with the alleged violations.
All documents, including communications, relating to EP and California Air Resource Board requests to explain potential noncompliance with EPA or California standards or with EPA’s certificates of conformity applications.
All documents, including communications, relating to VW efforts to respond to EPA and CARB requests to explain potential noncompliance with EPA or California standards and emissions test requirements, including, nut not limited to, VW deliberations concerning any and all recalls and technical solutions initiated or considered to address EPA or CARB concerns.
All documents, including communications, relating to any anomalies or discrepancies concerning actual on-road performance of VW models and the performance of those models under EPA or other testing conditions since January 2010.
All documents, including communications, relating to the development, testing, approval and use of the software installed in the electronic control modules of diesel model passenger vehicles that EPA alleges acts as a defeat device. This includes any documents, including communications, with any suppliers involved in the development of the electronic control module and any associated software.
A detailed timeline of events related to the alleged allegations.
The documents are due by 13 October; the Subcommittee requested an initial briefing by 2 October.
From the EPA, the Subcommittee requested a briefing addressing:
How and when the violations were discovered.
VW’s efforts to respond to EPA and ARB requests to explain potential noncompliance with EPA or California standards and emissions test requirements.
Previous deliberation concerning and recalls and technical solutions initiated or considered to address EPA and ARB’s initial concerns prior to the notice of violation.
Current deliberations concerning recalls and technical solutions to address the violation.
An overview of EPA process to recall vehicles found to be in violation of CAA with respect to emission systems.
The process by which EPA communicates with state clean air agencies, auto manufacturers and consumers regarding vehicles suspected to be violation of the CAA.
A detailed description of all testing EPA requires and reviews prior to granting a certificate of conformity, EPA’s process of evaluating this information, and what review or testing is conducted by EPA, or on its behalf, to validate information provided by manufacturers.