Volkswagen’s US CEO Michael Horn revealed more details on the company’s emissions scandal during his Congressional testimony.
He claims that Volkswagen’s top executives both in the U.S. and Germany did not know that software meant to cheat on emissions tests had been installed in over 11 million diesel-powered cars, saying he learned about the defeat devices “just a few days” before September 3. The CEO was aware of an issue with diesel emissions back in Spring 2014, but at that time he says he did not know about the cheating software.
During his testimony, Horn said that the cheating software was installed by individuals and that he personally feels deceived by their actions. “The company has to bloody learn and use this opportunity to get our act together,” said Horn. “This was a couple of software engineers who put this in for whatever reason,” he said.
VW has no intention of buying back any of the affected cars and instead has a plan to fix all of the cars. Cars from the 2015 and 2016 model years will only need a software update to be compliant with EPA emissions standards while 2009 – 2014 model year vehicles will need to undergo mechanical upgrades. The older cars will need a urea exhaust injection system and a catalytic converter replacement which will require between five and 10 hours of labor to complete.
In the U.S., a timeline for the fix of 325,000 cars with first-generation TDI diesel engines was not outlined. The second-generation cars, of which there are 90,000 will begin being fixed by mid-2016 at the earliest while the remaining 67,000 third-generation diesel cars will be fixed in early 2016.
That is a total of 482,000 vehicles that will require a hardware fix and not just updated software in the U.S. Fuel economy on these vehicles is expected to be maintained though engine power might end up taking a hit along with top speed.
So far, VW has set aside $7.3 billion to handle the cost of the scandal, but that may not end up being enough.
[Source: Automotive News]
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