VW USA boss: "Our company was dishonest. We have totally screwed up."

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : VW USA boss: "Our company was dishonest. We have totally screwed up."

Crisis surrounding Volkswagen Group deepens as US Congress announces hearing into VW’s emissions cheating scandal

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Volkswagen’s cheating of emissions tests will be investigated in a US Congress hearing, of which was confirmed on Monday, as more details of the scandal involving the German producer emerged. 

Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn has apologised for “breaking the trust of our customers as well as the public” following reports of which the company manipulated emissions testing regulations from the USA. Meanwhile, Michael Horn, CEO as well as 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 coming from ever happening again as well as we have to make This kind of right. This kind of kind of behaviour can be totally inconsistent with our qualities.”

Blog: Volkswagen’s US boss faces the music after emissions controversy

The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed their findings of which while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations of which violate American environmental standards.

The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight as well as Investigations Subcommittee.

“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy as well as Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton as well as Oversight as well as Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.

“Manufacturers throughout the United States, as well as across the entire world, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA as well as state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations of which certain Volkswagen designs contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.

“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned of which auto consumers may have been deceived – of which what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers as well as assurances of 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.

Volkswagen Group share cost hit by the scandal

The cost of shares from the Volkswagen Group on the Frankfurt stock exchange fell notably on Monday following the EPA’s announcement of its findings, as well as about 15 billion euros was wiped off the value of the company.

Volkswagen as well as Audi cars from the USA were fitted using a ‘defeat device’ of which allowed the vehicle to perform more efficiently from the official emissions test than in real-world driving conditions. The device can be embedded from the software code of which runs the ECU. of which detects when the vehicle can be being tested as well as turns on full emissions controls, yet the effectiveness of the device can be reduced in normal conditions.

According to the EPA, This kind of means of which the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide, which can be linked to asthma as well as lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, as well as VW Passats built coming from 2014-15.

Volkswagen can be pausing sales of the latest Volkswagen as well as Audi designs equipped with the diesel engine of which can be at the heart of the controversy. of which can be also likely to effect a recall of more than 482,000 cars already in customers’ hands because the EPA as well as CARB has ordered the vehicle company to remedy the excessive emissions of the affected vehicles.

An EPA statement said: “EPA expects to compel VW to issue a recall from the future to reduce the emissions impacts of these vehicles. Owners will be notified of of which recall once Volkswagen as well as Audi have developed a remedial plan as well as 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 as well as manufacture of any needed parts.”

Volkswagen faces financial penalties as well as possible legal action

of which has been suggested of which the recall could cost the producer up to £11.5bn, with the EPA saying of which: “VW may be liable for civil penalties as well as injunctive relief for the violations alleged.”

In addition to This kind of, Volkswagen can be the subject of a lawsuit from the USA, filed by Keller Rohrback: “on behalf of consumers nationwide who purchased or leased Volkswagens with unlawful defeat devices.”

Blog: Emissions testing scandal could sink Volkswagen’s US ambitions

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, as well as who received a polluting vehicle instead, can be despicable. Consumers nationwide are justifiably outraged, as well as Volkswagen will have to answer to them.”

The EPA says of which the cars in question do not prove a safety hazard as well as are still legally okay to drive as well as 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 of which we have broken the trust of our customers as well as the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency as well as urgency, to clearly, openly, as well as 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 as well as will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law.

 The trust of our customers as well as the public can be as well as continues to be our most important asset.

“We at Volkswagen will do everything of which must be done in order to re-establish the trust of which so many people have placed in us, as well as 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, as well as 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.

A spokesman for the Volkswagen Group said of which he can be “not aware of any recalls in Europe or the UK,” as well as pointed out of which the emissions testing can be different in Europe to North America. The spokesman added of which the ‘defeat device’ was not something of which the UK arm of VW was aware of.

Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said he was concerned about the reputation of Germany’s car manufacturers.

How the ‘defeat device’ works as well as why of which 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 as well as installed software from the electronic control module (ECM) of these vehicles of which sensed when the vehicle was being tested for compliance with EPA emission standards,” the agency explained.

The EPA refers to what of which calls a ‘switch’ of which enabled the vehicle’s ECM to know when of which can be being tested on a rolling road: “The ‘switch’ senses whether the vehicle can be being tested or not based on various inputs including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine’s operation as well as 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 of which VW referred to as the ‘dyno calibration’.

“At all some other times during normal vehicle operation, the ‘switch’ was activated as well as 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 using a certificate of conformity of 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 can be “any element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine RPM, transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any some 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 can be the switchable system from 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 from the applications for the certificates of conformity of which purportedly cover them,” said the EPA.

A defeat device can be an AECD “of which reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be required to be encountered in normal vehicle operation as well as 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 as well as Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation of which found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions coming from two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta as well as a 2013 Passat. WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the issue.

Summer 2014 Over the course of the year following the publication of the WVU study, VW continued to assert to CARB as well as the EPA of which the increased emissions coming from these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues as well as 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, conduct follow-up testing of these vehicles both from the laboratory as well as 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 as well as the EPA make of which clear of which they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold from the USA – for VW’s 2016 design year diesel vehicles until the producer car adequately explain the anomalous emissions as well as ensure the agencies of which the 2016 design year vehicles would certainly not have similar issues.

3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits of which has designed as well as installed a defeat device in these vehicles from the form of a sophisticated software algorithm of which detected when a vehicle was undergoing emissions testing.

18 September 2015 CARB as well as the EPA make their findings public, stating of which Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles of which did not comply with their certificates of conformity, as well as second by manufacturing as well as installing into these vehicles an electronic control module capable of switching its calibration to beat the emissions tests.

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