Volkswagen AG needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions and lower fuel economy rating of 98,000 vehicles after US Environmental Protection Agency said auto software exaggerated performance in the real world.
Bookmark  WASHINGTON: Volkswagen AG needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions and lower fuel economy rating of 98,000 vehicles after US Environmental Protection Agency said software for much of the program overestimated the real world.
On Friday, Volkswagen said it had agreed to $ 96.5 million, without penalty, to reimburse affected customers.
The software was about 1 million 2013-2017 model y ear Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles, the agency said. It caused the transmission to shift gears in a way that sometimes optimizes fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions during the EPA-prescribed emissions test, but not under normal driving conditions, the agency said.
The lower-ranking vehicles include versions of the Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. Not all five model years are covered by the settlement.
EPA said that Volkswagen has determined that the software lowered its fuel economy rating of about 98,000 cars by about a mile per gallon.
The problem was discovered during an investigation by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board on excess diesel emissions in hundreds of thousands of US vehicles.
The German carmaker admitted using illegal software to cheat US pollution tests in 2015, triggering a global setback against diesel cars that have so far cost € 30 billion ($ 33 billion) in fines, penalties and repurchase costs. In May, it put a further € 5.5 billion in contingent liabilities.
EPA said that Volkswagen underestimated greenhouse gas emissions by around 220,000 tonnes and that it would lose EPA credits and credits in the federal average fuel economy program. The exact amount of credits will be subject to approval by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The problem reduced the fuel economy by about 3.5 percent on impacted vehicles, VW said, adding that customers will receive payments of $ 5.40 to the United States $ 24.30 for each month the vehicle is owned or rented.
"Volkswagen is committed to providing customers with transparent fuel economy data for our vehicles, in line with US brand requirements," said VW spokesman Pietro Zollino.
The company added the settlement "removes the uncertainty surrounding protracted litigation and does not include any liability or injustice from Volkswagen."
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang)