VW emissions scandal: Winterkorn faces board enquiry
Source : VW emissions scandal: Winterkorn faces board enquiry
Dieselgate cheating crisis could force CEO out of his job; engine type EA189 at centre of controversy; VW shares down by 35%
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn faces a fight to continue as the company’s leader today, as a select group of board members meet to decide whether he should be replaced within the wake of the emissions test cheating scandal.
Winterkorn had been scheduled to have an extension to his contract ratified by the VW Supervisory Board This specific coming Friday. However, an even more select group of board members – known as the presidium – is actually meeting today to decide whether the 68-year-old should be replaced instead. Winterkorn will be answering questions coming from the panel – which comprises interim chairman Berthold Huber, Stephan Weil, the prime minister of Lower Saxony, Wolfgang Porsche along with along with works council representatives Bernd Osterloh along with Stephan Wolf.
In a video address released on the VW media website yesterday, Winterkorn did not discuss his own future yet he admitted, “I don’t have answers to all the questions as This specific moment. We are going to clarify the background unsparingly, along with at This specific very moment, everything is actually being put on the table as quickly, thoroughly along with transparently as possible.”
Winterkorn added, “The irregularities with these engines contradict everything for which Volkswagen stands. We want to continue to work closely with the relevant state departments along with authorities.” along with in a clear hint at VW’s approach to tracking down the departments along with staff who knew about the software in which allowed VW engines to perform better than expected in US NOx testing, he added, “I am well aware in which much is actually right now questioned. I understand in which. yet the item could be wrong if the hard along with honest work of 0,000 people comes under general suspicion because of the bad mistakes of a few. Our team does not deserve This specific.”
The VW CEO also stopped short of saying in which the crisis could cost him his own job – despite intense speculation within the German media in which the VW supervisory board is actually planning to replace him by the end of This specific week. The Berlin title Der Taggespiegel has claimed in which Winterkorn could be replaced by current Porsche CEO Matthias Muller, although Volkswagen has dismissed the rumour as “stupid”.
Muller, 62, started off his career as an apprentice toolmaker with Audi in 1977 along with rose through the ranks to become product manager first for the A3, then for the overall brand.
Volkswagen has insisted, meanwhile, in which all brand new European products compliant with EU 6 emissions rules are fully legal. The UK transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has called for the EU Commission to investigate the issue, backing up similar calls coming from Germany along with Italy.
In a brand new statement issued This specific morning, the German producer explained in which the engine at the centre of the controversy is actually the Type EA 189 four-cylinder diesel, along with VW has said in which the notable deviation between emissions results in testing along with on-road driving were only for cars fitted with This specific engine.
yet the company also admitted in which the engine management software at the centre of the scandal is actually also installed in different Volkswagen Group diesel engines. However VW believed the item doesn’t have an effect within the majority of cars in which the item features.
The company moved to reassure consumers in Europe along with said: “brand new vehicles coming from the Volkswagen Group with EU 6 diesel engines currently available within the European Union comply with legal requirements along with environmental standards.” However, at This specific 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, along with says the item will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result.
The statement continued: “In addition to This specific, Volkswagen does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever. the item is actually the top priority of the board of management to win back lost trust along with to avert damage to our customers.”
Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn has apologised for “breaking the trust of our customers along with the public” following reports in which the company manipulated emissions testing regulations within the USA.
Meanwhile, Michael Horn, CEO along with 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 specific coming from ever happening again along with we have to make This specific right. This specific kind of behaviour is actually totally inconsistent with our qualities.”
The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed in which while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations in which violate American environmental standards.
Volkswagen Group share cost hit by the scandal
The cost of shares within the Volkswagen Group on the Frankfurt stock exchange fell sharply on Monday along with Tuesday following the EPA’s announcement of its findings, along with about 25 billion euros was wiped off the value of the company. The share cost dropped again on Wednesday morning as the item emerged in which different countries along with regions are likely to check whether Volkswagen products conform to their own tests – although there were some signs of the stock value stabilising.
Volkswagen along with Audi cars within the USA are fitted which has a ‘defeat device’ in which allows the vehicle to perform more efficiently within the official emissions test than in real-world driving conditions. The device is actually embedded within the software code in which runs the ECU. the item detects when your vehicle is actually being tested along with turns on full emissions controls, yet the effectiveness of the device is actually reduced in normal conditions.
According to the EPA, This specific means in which the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is actually linked to asthma along with lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, along with VW Passats built coming from 2014-15.
Volkswagen is actually pausing sales of some Volkswagen along with Audi products equipped with the diesel engine in which is actually at the heart of the controversy. the item is actually also likely to implement a recall of more than 482,000 cars already in customers’ hands because the EPA along with 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 within the future to reduce the emissions impacts of these vehicles. Owners will be notified of in which recall once Volkswagen along with Audi have developed a remedial plan along with 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 along with manufacture of any needed parts.”
Volkswagen faces financial penalties along with possible legal action
the item has been suggested in which the recall could cost the producer up to £11.5bn, with the EPA saying: “VW may be liable for civil penalties along with injunctive relief for the violations alleged.”
In addition to This specific, Volkswagen is actually already the subject of a lawsuit within the 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, along with who received a polluting vehicle instead, is actually despicable. Consumers nationwide are justifiably outraged, along with Volkswagen will have to answer to them.”
The EPA says in which the cars in question do not prove a safety hazard along with are still legally okay to drive along with 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 in which we have broken the trust of our customers along with the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency along with urgency, to clearly, openly, along with completely establish all of the facts of This specific case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of This specific matter.
“We do not along with will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law. The trust of our customers along with the public is actually along with continues to be our most important asset.
“We at Volkswagen will do everything in which must be done in order to re-establish the trust in which so many people have placed in us, along with we will do everything necessary in order to reverse the damage This specific has caused. This specific matter has first priority for me, personally, along with 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.
within the UK, a spokesman for the Volkswagen Group said in which he is actually “not aware of any recalls in Europe or the UK,” along with pointed out in which the emissions testing procedure is actually different in Europe to North America. The spokesman added in which the ‘defeat device’ was not something in which the UK arm of VW was aware of. Volkswagen along with Audi within the 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 along with Investigations Subcommittee.
“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy along with Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton along with Oversight along with Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.
“Manufacturers throughout the United States, along with across the globe, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA along with state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations in which certain Volkswagen products contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.
“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned in which auto consumers may have been deceived – in which what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers along with assurances in which This specific 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 along with Traders had moved to quell concerns in 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 along with witnessed by a government-appointed independent approval agency,” said Mike Hawes, the CEO for the SMMT.
“There is actually no evidence in which manufacturers cheat the cycle. Vehicles are removed coming from the production line randomly along with must be standard production products, certified by the relevant authority – the UK Centeng being the Vehicle Certification Agency, which is actually responsible to the Department for Transport.
“The industry acknowledges, however, in which the current test method is actually outdated along with is actually seeking agreement coming from the European Commission for a brand new emissions test in which embraces brand new testing technologies along with is actually more representative of on-road conditions.”
How the ‘defeat device’ works along with why the item 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 along with installed software within the electronic control module (ECM) of these vehicles in which sensed when the vehicle was being tested for compliance with EPA emission standards,” the agency explained.
The EPA refers to what the item calls a ‘switch’ in which enabled your vehicle’s ECM to know when the item is actually being tested on a rolling road: “The ‘switch’ senses whether the vehicle is actually being tested or not based on various inputs including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine’s operation along with 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 in which VW referred to as the ‘dyno calibration’.
“At all different times during normal vehicle operation, the ‘switch’ was activated along with 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 which has a certificate of conformity in 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 actually “any element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine RPM, transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any different 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 actually the switchable system within the 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 within the applications for the certificates of conformity in which purportedly cover them,” said the EPA.
A defeat device is actually an AECD “in which reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be anticipated to be encountered in normal vehicle operation along with 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 along with Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation in which found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions coming from two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta along which has a 2013 Passat. A BMW X5 also tested passed the tests. WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) along with 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 along with the EPA in which the increased emissions coming from these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues along with 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 within the laboratory along with 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 along with the EPA make the item clear in which they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold within the USA – for VW’s 2016 type year diesel vehicles until the producer car adequately explain the anomalous emissions along with ensure the agencies in which the 2016 type year vehicles could not have similar issues.
3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits the item has designed along with installed a defeat device in these vehicles within the form of a sophisticated software algorithm in which detects when a vehicle is actually undergoing emissions testing.
18 September 2015 CARB along with the EPA make their findings public, stating in which Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles in which did not comply with their certificates of conformity, along with second by manufacturing along with installing into these vehicles an electronic control module capable of switching its calibration to beat the emissions tests.
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