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Volkswagen diesel scandal: 10 key dates

The fallout stemming from Volkswagen admitting cheating on diesel emissions tests became global news just a few short months ago, but the scandal has roots dating back several years. Read on for a timeline of what happened. 

2. May 2014

Ralf Hirschberger/AP/File
In this Oct. 23, 2015 file photo a worker touches the logo of Volkswagen AG on a Phaeton in Dresden, Germany. Volkswagen has admitted to installing defeat devices in some diesel vehicles.

May 2014: A university research group realizes that Volkswagen is cheating on emissions testing of its clean diesel vehicles. 

In 2013, a group of scientists at West Virginia University agree to a request to compare US diesel cars to European ones. The International Council on Clean Transportation wants the group to test diesel cars, including two Volkswagen vehicles.

Despite bold claims from Volkswagen that their diesel cars were  among the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly on the road, the scientists find that their results, based on road testing, did not match the numbers Volkswagen was promising.

“… we did so much testing that we couldn’t repeatedly be doing the same mistake again and again,” Arvind Thiruvengadam, one of the scientists that conducted the emissions tests on the Volkswagen vehicles told NPR. “It’s the sort of thing you just don’t go around accusing companies of doing unless you’re absolutely sure.”

The WVU group present their findings to the EPA in May 2014.

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