Volkswagen emissions scandal: 'Winterkorn replacement lined up'
Volkswagen’s chairman of the board of directors Martin Winterkorn
Emissions cheating crisis surrounding VW deepens; engine type EA 189 at centre of controversy; German media claims Muller will replace Winterkorn
The Volksawgen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn’s position is usually under severe threat, according to reports inside German media, after the company admitted today which as many as 11 million vehicles could be affected in its emissions test cheating scandal.
The Berlin title Der Taggespiegel claims which the VW supervisory board will meet tomorrow (Wednesday), ahead of a further conference on Friday which’s required to ratify the replacement of Winterkorn by Porsche CEO Matthias Muller. Muller, 62, started out his career as an apprentice toolmaker with Audi in 1977 in addition to rose through the ranks to become product manager first for the A3, then for the overall brand.
If the VW supervisory board does indeed approve a change of leadership on Friday, the idea will be an astonishing change of direction; the officials had been lined up to meet in addition to approve an extension to Winterkorn’s contract (taking the idea through to 2018) on the same day.
Volkswagen has insisted, meanwhile, which all brand new European versions compliant with EU 6 emissions rules are fully legal.
In a brand new statement issued This kind of morning, the German producer explained which the engine at the centre of the controversy is usually the Type EA 189 four-cylinder diesel, in addition to VW has said which the notable deviation between emissions results in testing in addition to on-road driving were only for cars fitted with This kind of engine.
however the company also admitted which the engine management software at the centre of the scandal is usually also installed in various other Volkswagen Group diesel engines. However VW believed the idea doesn’t have an effect inside majority of cars in which the idea features.
The company moved to reassure consumers in Europe in addition to said: “brand new vehicles via the Volkswagen Group with EU 6 diesel engines currently available inside European Union comply with legal requirements in addition to environmental standards.” However, at This kind of point VW hasn’t definitively confirmed whether pre-EU6 cars in Europe are affected.
VW has put aside a fund of €6.5bn (approximately £4.7bn) to cover the costs of dealing with the issue, in addition to says the idea will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result.
The statement continued: “In addition to This kind of, Volkswagen does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever. the idea is usually the top priority of the board of management to win back lost trust in addition to to avert damage to our customers.”
Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn has apologised for “breaking the trust of our customers in addition to the public” following reports which the company manipulated emissions testing regulations inside USA.
Meanwhile, Michael Horn, CEO in addition to president of the Volkswagen Group of America, has admitted: “Our company was dishonest. We have totally screwed up. We must fix the cars to prevent This kind of via ever happening again in addition to we have to make This kind of right. This kind of kind of behaviour is usually totally inconsistent with our qualities.”
The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in addition to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed which while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations which violate American environmental standards.
Volkswagen Group share cost hit by the scandal
The cost of shares inside Volkswagen Group on the Frankfurt stock exchange fell sharply on Monday following the EPA’s announcement of its findings, in addition to about 15 billion euros was wiped off the value of the company. The share cost continued to drop on Tuesday morning as the idea emerged which various other countries in addition to regions are likely to check whether Volkswagen versions conform to their own tests.
Volkswagen in addition to Audi cars inside USA are fitted having a ‘defeat device’ which allows the vehicle to perform more efficiently inside official emissions test than in real-world driving conditions. The device is usually embedded inside software code which runs the ECU. the idea detects when your vehicle is usually being tested in addition to turns on full emissions controls, however the effectiveness of the device is usually reduced in normal conditions.
According to the EPA, This kind of means which the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is usually linked to asthma in addition to lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, in addition to VW Passats built via 2014-15.
Volkswagen is usually pausing sales of some Volkswagen in addition to Audi versions equipped with the diesel engine which is usually at the heart of the controversy. the idea is usually also likely to implement a recall of more than 482,000 cars already in customers’ hands because the EPA in addition to CARB has ordered your vehicle company to remedy the excessive emissions of the affected vehicles.
An EPA statement said: “EPA expects to compel VW to issue a recall inside future to reduce the emissions impacts of these vehicles. Owners will be notified of which recall once Volkswagen in addition to Audi have developed a remedial plan in addition to EPA has approved the plan. Manufacturers are given a reasonable amount of time to develop a plan to complete the repairs, including both the repair procedure in addition to manufacture of any needed parts.”
Volkswagen faces financial penalties in addition to possible legal action
the idea has been suggested which the recall could cost the producer up to £11.5bn, with the EPA saying: “VW may be liable for civil penalties in addition to injunctive relief for the violations alleged.”
In addition to This kind of, Volkswagen is usually already the subject of a lawsuit inside USA, filed by Keller Rohrback: “on behalf of consumers nationwide who purchased or leased Volkswagens with unlawful defeat devices.”
Lynn Lincoln Sarko of Keller Rohrback added: “Volkswagen’s decision to prey on environmentally conscious consumers who paid a premium of thousands of dollars for a supposedly cleaner-running car, in addition to who received a polluting vehicle instead, is usually despicable. Consumers nationwide are justifiably outraged, in addition to Volkswagen will have to answer to them.”
The EPA says which the cars in question do not prove a safety hazard in addition to are still legally okay to drive in addition to sell on.
Winterkorn has ordered an external investigation into the matter.
“The board of management at Volkswagen AG takes these findings very seriously,” he said.
“I personally am deeply sorry which we have broken the trust of our customers in addition to the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency in addition to urgency, to clearly, openly, in addition to completely establish all of the facts of This kind of case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of This kind of matter.
“We do not in addition to will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law. The trust of our customers in addition to the public is usually in addition to continues to be our most important asset.
“We at Volkswagen will do everything which must be done in order to re-establish the trust which so many people have placed in us, in addition to we will do everything necessary in order to reverse the damage This kind of has caused. This kind of matter has first priority for me, personally, in addition to for our entire board of management.”
Sales of many diesel Volkswagens have been suspended in Canada, which shares similar emissions testing procedures as its neighbouring nation.
inside UK, a spokesman for the Volkswagen Group said which he is usually “not aware of any recalls in Europe or the UK,” in addition to pointed out which the emissions testing procedure is usually different in Europe to North America. The spokesman added which the ‘defeat device’ was not something which the UK arm of VW was aware of. Volkswagen in addition to Audi inside UK have yet to issue any specific statement on whether cars are affected over here.
US government sets up hearing into emissions scandal
The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight in addition to Investigations Subcommittee.
“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy in addition to Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton in addition to Oversight in addition to Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.
“Manufacturers throughout the United States, in addition to across the planet, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA in addition to state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations which certain Volkswagen versions contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.
“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned which auto consumers may have been deceived – which what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers in addition to assurances which This kind of will not happen again. We intend to get those answers.”
A date for the US Congress hearing has yet to be set.
Earlier, the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers in addition to Traders had moved to quell concerns which similar practices are in place in Europe, saying there was ‘no evidence’ of cheating in Europe.
“The EU operates a fundamentally different system to the US – with all European tests performed in strict conditions as required by EU law in addition to witnessed by a government-appointed independent approval agency,” said Mike Hawes, the CEO for the SMMT.
“There is usually no evidence which manufacturers cheat the cycle. Vehicles are removed via the production line randomly in addition to must be standard production versions, certified by the relevant authority – the UK Centeng being the Vehicle Certification Agency, which is usually responsible to the Department for Transport.
“The industry acknowledges, however, which the current test method is usually outdated in addition to is usually seeking agreement via the European Commission for a brand new emissions test which embraces brand new testing technologies in addition to is usually more representative of on-road conditions.”
How the ‘defeat device’ works in addition to why the idea broke the rules
The EPA’s official notification issued to Volkswagen on 18 September sheds light on how Volkswagen managed to influence the emissions tests with some clever software.
“VW manufactured in addition to installed software inside electronic control module (ECM) of these vehicles which sensed when the vehicle was being tested for compliance with EPA emission standards,” the agency explained.
The EPA refers to what the idea calls a ‘switch’ which enabled your vehicle’s ECM to know when the idea is usually being tested on a rolling road: “The ‘switch’ senses whether the vehicle is usually being tested or not based on various inputs including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine’s operation in addition to barometric pressure. These inputs precisely track the parameters of the federal test procedure used for emission testing for EPA certification purposes.
“During emission testing, the vehicles’ ECM ran software which produced compliant emission results under an ECM calibration which VW referred to as the ‘dyno calibration’.
“At all various other times during normal vehicle operation, the ‘switch’ was activated in addition to the vehicle ECM software ran a separate ‘road calibration’ which reduced the effectiveness of the emission control system. As a result, emissions of NOx increased by a factor of 10 to 40 times above the EPA compliant levels, depending on the type of drive cycle (e.g. city, highway).”
All US vehicles must be issued having a certificate of conformity which proves they adhere to environmental standards.
To obtain a certificate of conformity, a producer must submit a list of all auxiliary emission control devices (AECDs) present on the vehicle. The EPA’s definition of an AECD is usually “any element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine RPM, transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any various other parameter for the purpose of activating, modulating, delaying or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system.”
The issue facing Volkswagen is usually the switchable system inside ECM was not declared.
“Due to the existence of the defeat devices in these vehicles, the affected Volkswagen vehicles do not conform in all material respects to the vehicle specifications described inside applications for the certificates of conformity which purportedly cover them,” said the EPA.
A defeat device is usually an AECD “which reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be required to be encountered in normal vehicle operation in addition to use. Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices cannot be certified.”
How Volkswagen’s emissions scandal unfolded
May 2014 The West Virginia University’s (WVU) Centre for Alternative Fuels, Engines in addition to Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation which found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions via two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta in addition to a 2013 Passat. A BMW X5 also tested passed the tests. WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the issue.
Summer 2014 Over the course of the year following the publication of the WVU study, VW continues to assert to CARB in addition to the EPA which the increased emissions via these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues in addition to unexpected in-use conditions.
December 2014 VW issues a voluntary recall of approximately 500,000 vehicles to address the emissions issue.
6 May 2015 CARB, in coordination with the EPA, conducts follow-up testing of these vehicles both inside laboratory in addition to during normal road operation to confirm the efficacy of VW’s recall. Testing shows the recall has had only a limited benefit. None of the potential technical issues suggested by VW can explain the higher test results consistently confirmed during further testing by CARB.
Summer 2015 CARB in addition to the EPA make the idea clear which they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold inside USA – for VW’s 2016 type year diesel vehicles until the producer car adequately explain the anomalous emissions in addition to ensure the agencies which the 2016 type year vehicles would likely not have similar issues.
3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits the idea has designed in addition to installed a defeat device in these vehicles inside form of a sophisticated software algorithm which detects when a vehicle is usually undergoing emissions testing.
18 September 2015 CARB in addition to the EPA make their findings public, stating which Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles which did not comply with their certificates of conformity, in addition to second by manufacturing in addition to installing into these vehicles an electronic control module capable of switching its calibration to beat the emissions tests.
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