More woes for the embattled German auto manufacturer as its recent electric car–the much-heralded e-Golf–comes under close scrutiny from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The vehicle aroused suspicion from the Agency when regulators began to investigate two key differences in the Volkswagen’s design compared to other similar cars. Their first question related to the fact that, unlike competitors’ electric or hybrid models, the e-Golf does not require regular charging of its battery. In fact, the Owners Manual recommends that users “only recharge the VolkenBatterie prior to services and emissions tests”.
The second feature that piqued the Agency’s interest is the the “special coolant”–VolksKoolunt–which needs to be added frequently to “cool the environmental reaktor”. There is a small filling cap at the rear of the vehicle to add VolksKoolunt and a gauge on the main dashboard to indicate its level. Specifications in the User’s Manual instruct drivers to “replenish the VolksKoolunt by adding truck-grade diesel fuel to the filling Kapp”. Further it advises that the coolant circuit should be disabled by pressing on the red “Kut Koolunt” button prior to any factory service or emissions test.
Volkswagen declined to comment to The Tribune on this developing story. The EPA would only say that investigation will probably be discontinued as “nothing overtly suspicious has been found”. A spokesman added that they are strongly considering Volkwagen’s offer to supply free e-Golfs to all EPA employees as a symbol of joint commitment to protecting the environment.