However VW denies the vehicles have software designed to cheat tests.
Instead the company says that cars with the 3.0 litre diesel V6 engines "had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process".
If VW wants to get past this scandal, they really need to adopt a full-transparency, maximum mea culpa stance right now, and this kind of statement does not appear to be helping. If there's a software function that seems to the EPA to be cheating on emissions tests, well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
The defense they appear to be using goes like this: The law says the cars must pass this specific test, but it doesn't say the cars have to perform according to those emission standards the rest of the time. Therefore, our actions (or the actions of our rogue engineers) are morally wrong, but not legally wrong. We're sorry, and will fix our reprehensible (but not illegal) actions without opening ourselves up to criminal liability.