23:16 GMT21 October 2020
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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is forcing German-based automaker Volkswagen to recall 500,000 models due to a device that masks pollution levels.

    The recall affects 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Audi A3s and Golfs, as well as 2014-2015 Passats.

    According to the BBC, the device allows these cars to detect when they are going through smog-emission tests and lowers the pollution rate. These emission controls are then turned off during regular use.

    "Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

    The move, which could cost the automaker up to $18 billion, comes as the EPA takes a more aggressive stance on targeting the auto industry to enforce the Clean Air Act.

    In 2014, the EPA fined Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors $300 million for misrepresenting the fuel economy in 1.2 million of their cars. So far, that is the regulator’s highest settlement with an automaker. 


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    environment, pollution, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Volkswagen, Cynthia Giles, United States
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