The heads of the research and development teams for VW, Audi and Porsche have been temporarily kicked out of the company until the final details of the controversy have been cleaned up. But experts say it’s likely to cost much more as VW tries to comply with USA clean air regulations while appeasing diesel owners who paid extra for the cars, thinking they could help the environment without sacrificing performance.
VW admitted a week ago that emissions tests it was conducting on its diesel vehicles sold in the United States were manipulated, after the practice was uncovered by USA environmental authorities.
The cancellation was confirmed Monday – when German prosecutors said they were investigating Winterkorn over VW’s emissions-rigging scandal – by the Hungarian subsidiary of Audi, majority-owned by Volkswagen.
“Dobrindt told reporters vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines were” affected by the manipulations that are being talked about”, but did not say how many were affected.
Mercedes said it supports efforts to develop new testing methods to measure emissions based on real driving conditions.
The increased oversight is a response to the discovery earlier this month that Volkswagen was using sophisticated software to cheat on pollution tests on 482,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S.
The other option is to add a diesel exhaust treatment system that’s used by other manufacturers and even by VW on larger diesel engines. The group hasn’t yet given a full listing of what cars were involved. “This is what these types are driven by”, Hanold said.
The Justice Department says it’s “working closely” with EPA investigators.
The cheat didn’t defeat Oregon’s air-quality tests, which directly measure tailpipe emissions.
Some 180,000 vehicles made by Volkswagen’s Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW brands between 2009 and 2014 could be affected by the scandal, the Federal Roads Office said in a statement. And the possibility of failing emissions inspections in states that require them apparently won’t be an issue because of the cheating software.
The carmaker has said 11m vehicles worldwide were fitted with software similar to the kind that allowed the company to rig the USA tests, but said it was not turned on in the bulk of them.