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Digging an Ever Deeper Hole

05 November 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

The woes for the Volkswagen Group have increased following the admission that some petrol-fuelled models have had cheating software fitted.

While the industry has been focusing on certain diesel powered vehicles, the latest statements from the management at Volkswagen have conceded that the issue is a wider one and concerns carbon dioxide emission accuracy.

During its investigation into the problem over some diesel-powered vehicles, the manufacturer stated that ‘irregularities were found when determining type approval CO2 levels’.

Based on the knowledge it has, it estimates that approximately 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group could be affected, costing the Group about Euro 2-3 million. (However, some industry experts believe that the final cost to Volkswagen could be in the range of Euro 28 billion as the scale of deceit is uncovered.)

The Board of Management statement went on to make clear that it would immediately start a ‘dialogue’ with the responsible type approval agencies regarding the consequences of these findings. The statement promised: ‘This should lead to a reliable assessment of the legal and the subsequent economic consequences of this not yet fully explained issue.’

A very contrite comment came from its CEO, Matthias Mueller. “From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth.”

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the scandal could be more widespread than the massive Volkswagen Group that includes the popular VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT vehicles.

Talking to the BBC, John German from the not-for-profit International Council on Clean Transportation, believed the industry as a whole was not blameless. “There's an increasing gap between CO2 measured on test procedures (across the industry) and that reported by people in the real world,” he stated. “Manufacturers are exploiting flexibility, tolerances and loopholes in the regulations to be able to show lower emissions on the official test cycles, but they aren't necessarily being implemented in the real world.”

Picture: The statements from Volkswagen’s German headquarters are showing that the cheating allegations are much wider and will cost the Group a huge amount to rectify

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 05 November 2015


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