On September 18, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of using software to falsify the emission test results of its diesel-fueled cars. The US Department of Justice opened an investigation into the case in response to a complaint filed by the EPA against the company. The EPA initially estimated that Volkswagen could face up to $18 billion in fines.
The Clean Air Act, which came into force in the United States in 1970, included an exemption concerning the emission requirements for car manufacturers due to their importance to the country's economy. No criminal case has ever been pursued against car makers for violating emission standards ever since, The Wall Street Journal said, citing legal experts.
According to the company, 11 million Volkswagen vehicles worldwide have been fitted with software allowing them to downplay their true emission results.
Volkswagen also said that it would set aside about 6.5 billion euro ($7.35 billion) to cover the necessary service measures and perform public relations damage control for projected losses to its reputation.