MORGANTOWN, WV (WBOY) - Before the EPA investigated Volkswagen for violating the federal Clean Air Act, researchers at WVU found the first signs of the scandal.

During diesel engine testing at the WVU Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, researchers found two Volkswagen models produced emissions 10-to-35 times higher than EPA standards during road testing.

The EPA announced Friday that certain Volkswagen models use software in these engines to meet EPA standards only during testing, not during all driving situations.

Researchers at WVU said their testing did not directly lead to the $18 billion fine Volkswagen now faces, but the data did prompt the EPA to look more closely at Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles.

“We would never make any kind of conclusion based off of two vehicles," said Dan Carder, director of the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions. "I think what we did is we presented what we saw. This led to an independent investigation by the EPA and by the California Air Resources Board and that’s led to the announcements that came out on Friday.”

The research at WVU was funded by the International Council on Clean Transportation to measure the emissions of light duty diesel vehicles. Of the three vehicles tested, two were Volkswagen models. 

In light of the EPA's investigation, Volkswagen has ceased sales of its new diesel models in the U.S. The EPA said its allegations against the company cover roughly 482,000 diesel cars sold in the U.S. since 2008.

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn issued a statement this weekend in wake of the growing allegations.

"I am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public," said Winterkorn. "We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies with transparency and urgency to clearly, openly and completely establish all of the facts in this case." 

Read more at WBOY’s website.