The crimes of Volkswagen are far worse than I could have ever possibly imagined:
The Volkswagen scandal got a whole lot bigger on Tuesday, when the German car company admitted that emissions-test-cheating software might have been installed in as many as 11 million cars worldwide. Regulators — who noticed that the company’s diesel cars looked like they complied with Environmental Protection Agency rules regarding nitrogen oxide, but only when the car was being tested — previously thought only about 500,000 cars were affected.
When the car wasn’t being tested for air pollution, it produced as much as 40 times the nitrogen oxide allowed by the EPA, although the car also got better mileage. Nitrogen oxide is a pollutant that can lead to asthma and emphysema — and these cars were pumping it right into the atmosphere without anyone noticing.
“We have totally screwed up,” Volkswagen’s top executive in the U.S., Michael Horn, told the audience at the launch event for the 2015 Passat in Brooklyn on Monday, an event that was probably less exciting than usual thanks to context and despite the presence of German beer and Lenny Kravitz.
Fuller must have meant “as reflected by,” not “despite.” At any rate, this surely has substantially increased the leverage of federal prosecutors.