WASHINGTON -- As they prepare to haul Volkswagen officials before Congress, lawmakers are seeking evidence about how VW was able to cheat on emissions tests and how the German automaker was ultimately caught.
The bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Volkswagen's CEO on Tuesday requesting all documents and communications related to compliance with the Clean Air Act and federal emissions standards.
Committee leaders also want documents related to compliance with California's emission standards.
"There are many unanswered questions and we will get the facts and the answers that the American people deserve," said a joint statement by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who chairs the committee, and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., who chairs the committee's oversight panel.
Committee leaders sent a separate letter to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency seeking a detailed timeline of the how the agency discovered the violations by VW.
Both letters were signed by Upton, Murphy and two top Democrats on the committee, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, and Diana
DeGette of Colorado.
Volkswagen AG has admitted using a piece of engine software to cheat on diesel car emissions tests in the U.S., where authorities say there are 482,000 such cars.
The company says that up to 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the engine in question.
The energy committee announced last week that it would soon hold hearings on the scandal.
Committee leaders said they want the VW documents by Oct. 13. They requested a briefing from VW and the EPA by the end of the week.
"We will continue to investigate this deceptive activity on the part of Volkswagen to ensure that these blatant violations do not happen again and consumers can trust the products that they buy," Pallone and DeGette said in a statement.