Volkswagen fined for breaching Brazilian environmental regulations

Brasilia, Nov 13 (IANS) German automaker Volkswagen was fined 50 million reais ($13.1 million) by the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) for modifying vehicles to falsely pass environmental regulations, the government announced on Thursday.

The company was notified on Thursday and will have to present a plan on how it will fix its vehicles to comply with Brazilian norms, Xinhua reported.

Vehicles needing to be recalled in order for this fix to take place will only see a particular piece changed, in order to register accurate emissions, with no change being done to the function of the engine.

On September 18, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America had all flouted the country’s environmental regulations.

The violation concerns Volkswagen’s diesel-power, four-cylinder vehicles manufactured between 2009 and 2015, which used a piece of software which falsified emissions data generated by the exhaust.

Volkswagen will also now have to share detailed information about the production and sales of vehicles in Brazil, which are concerned by the violation, similarly to actions taken by the US government.

So far, Volkswagen has recognised that its Amarok line of vehicles, manufactured in 2011 and 2012, did carry the same illicit software as that found in the US.

The 50 million reais fine is the highest amount permitted for such violations by the country’s Environmental Crimes Law.

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