VW, “The People’s Car” scrutinized for tampering with testing

22News discovered how the VW emissions scandal is affecting drivers.

(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP)- Volkswagen, the world’s top-selling carmaker, is under scrutiny after admitting they rigged their diesel cars to pass emissions tests in the U.S, and this has some VW owners wondering what to do now.

The Environmental Protection Agency found that Volkswagen programmed more than 480-thousand diesel cars sold in the U.S., and some 11 million worldwide, to turn on emission controls only during testing.

The Volkswagen Jetta, the Gulf, the Passat, the Beetle, and the Audi A3 are among the cars in question.

The scandal has forced VW to set aside $7.3 billion dollars to cover the costs, tear up their profit forecast for the year, and halt some U.S. car sales.

They face a possible criminal investigation and as much as $18 billion in fines in the U.S. The class action lawsuits from car owners are also flooding in.

Volkswagen first started selling in the U.S. in 1949. It wasn’t that popular at first, but then models like this 1972 Volkswagen Beetle became a hot classic, and VW enthusiasts say it’s a shame that newer models from 2009 to 2015 aren’t all that they said they would be.

Bruno Parotta, a mechanic and the owner of Parotta’s Auto Repair in Agawam has worked on VW’s for years, “Volkswagen is a great car, but they got busted trying to sneak around claiming that their cars could be cleaner than they are.”

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn apologized and stepped down.  Now the head of the Porsche division has taken over.

“It depends on how badly it burns because if the emissions are gross then yea I can see them having a recall on it. They have to come up with something to fix the problem,” Scott Hauser, a mechanic a Parotta’s Auto Repair said.

The EPA says it will now have road tests of all new and used vehicles to examine their emissions claims.

22News made calls to the local VW dealerships in West Springfield and Northampton, but no comment has been made about what their customers can do.

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