The software at the center of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in the US was built into the automaker’s cars in Europe as well, Germany said Thursday, though it isn’t yet clear if it helped cheat tests as it did in the U.S. Chris Grundler, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said the EPA has 23 portable systems to use for testing.
According to the car-makers spokesman, models including A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 have been equipped with the emission-concealing technology, which can detect that the auto is being tested and initiates action to minimise the emissions.
Embattled German carmaker Volkswagen has appointed its Porsche sports vehicle unit chief Matthias Mueller as the new CEO in the wake of pollution test rigging scandal.
Meanwhile the vehicle manufacturer’s board has suspended research and development officials at VW passenger cars, Audi and Porsche in the emissions scandal, Reuters reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.
The firm’s h ead of group litigation, Jacqueline Young, said that if United Kingdom cars are found to have defeat devices then drivers and dealerships could make a claim for being given false information and having a devalued asset.
The company has said 11 million cars worldwide had defeat devices installed. Volkswagen, a symbol of Germany and a major contributor to its rapid economic growth, is undergoing a leadership shakeout barely a week after its deception was brought to light September 18 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday, and Volkswagen announced it would set aside $7.3 billion to cover the cost of the scandal, but even that may not be enough.
The company’s internal investigation is likely to focus on how far up the chain of command were executives who were responsible for the cheating, and how long were they aware of it.
New British on-road tests showed Vauxhall diesels averaged more than seven times the European Union limit.
Shareholder advisory firm Hermes EOS said it was also concerned about the appointment of “corporate insiders” to top jobs as Volkswagen reshuffles its management.
A spokesman for Volkswagen declined to comment on the latest reports, saying that the company would not respond to “rumours and speculation”.
My spouse and I own a Volkswagen Jetta TDI. But they emit higher levels of toxic nitrogen oxides, blamed for deaths from lung and heart disease.
German politicians have been adding to the pressure on Volkswagen, anxious about the reputation of German industry.
Volkswagen faces daunting challenges in fixing software that enables cheating on diesel engine emissions tests, a task that’s becoming more urgent because of growing anger from customers.