Great to have you along for this Thursday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS.
My name is Carl Azuz.
Taking off our 10 minutes of current events coverage, Volkswagen is a big brand facing a big problem.
It owns VW, Audi and Porsche, and just past Toyota as the world's biggest carmaker.
Its chief executive officer has apologized and resigned amid a growing scandal.
It has to do with emissions.
The U.S. government has limits on the kinds and the amounts of pollutants that cars may give off.
That's why most cars in the U.S. have to get annual emissions test.
Instead of using technology to meet U.S. standards,regulators say Volkswagen use technology to cheat on the tests and the problem goes well beyond U.S. shores.
The EPA recently announced that Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests, allowing almost half a million baldy polluting diesel cars onto America's roads, and there are millions more of them around the world.
It's a scandal that's rocked the German automaker, sending its stock plummeting, and angering some of VW's most loyal customers.
Lawsuits have been filed, apologies have been issued.
But how exactly did one of the world's top-selling automakers get away with cheating on such a gigantic scale?
And can it ever undo the damage?
About 480,000 diesel-powered VW cars don't meet federal emissions.
In fact, they don't even come close.
They release 10 to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, dangerous pollutants linked to asthma and other health problems.
But for years, no one knew. That's where the cheating comes in.
Volkswagen installed software in diesel cars that detects when the vehicle is undergoing emissions test.
When the software recognizes that inspection is underway,it automatically switches modes, reducing emissions below the legal limit.
As soon as testing is over, though, it's back to dirty driving.
Why did VW do this?
When it comes to emissions, diesel engines are a challenge.
They're fuel efficient but they tend to burn dirty.
Automakers have spent millions on research to figure out how to maintain that efficiency,but cleanup diesel emissions, so their cars can get good fuel economy without releasing nasty pollutants.
Apparently, VW couldn't find a way to do that, nor did it want to.
Either way, somewhere inside VW, someone decided to cheat.
The questions now are, how high up the corporate leader did this decision go?
And how much in fines, recall costs and damage reputation is it going to cost VW?