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Volkswagen CEO’s mea culpa on noxgate

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, offers up this mea culpa in response to noxgate; the diesel NOx emissions issue which Volkswagen says affects up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

In a new statement Volkswagen says all new diesel vehicles which meet EU6 emissions are not affected by this scandal. However, if your diesel powered Volkswagen or Audi A3 is powered by an EA189 2.0 TDI engine then your car is right in the middle of the deceit which Volkswagen has overseen.

For some technical explanation as to why Volkswagen might have thought cheating emissions tests was a good idea, check out this reddit thread.

This is going to be a very sticky mess for Volkswagen to extricate itself from.

If you own a car affected by this deceit please tell us below how you feel. Can Volkswagen ever win back your trust?

Wolfsburg, 22 September 2015

Volkswagen AG has issued the following information:

Volkswagen is working at full speed to clarify irregularities concerning a particular software used in diesel engines. New vehicles from the Volkswagen Group with EU 6 diesel engines currently available in the European Union comply with legal requirements and environmental standards. The software in question does not affect handling, consumption or emissions. This gives clarity to customers and dealers.

Further internal investigations conducted to date have established that the relevant engine management software is also installed in other Volkswagen Group vehicles with diesel engines. For the majority of these engines the software does not have any effect.

Discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines, involving some eleven million vehicles worldwide. A noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine. Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures. The company is therefore in contact with the relevant authorities and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA – Kraftfahrtbundesamt).

To cover the necessary service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of our customers, Volkswagen plans to set aside a provision of some 6.5 billion EUR recognized in the profit and loss statement in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Due to the ongoing investigations the amounts estimated may be subject to revaluation.
Earnings targets for the Group for 2015 will be adjusted accordingly.

Volkswagen does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever. It is and remains the top priority of the Board of Management to win back lost trust and to avert damage to our customers. The Group will inform the public on the further progress of the investigations constantly and transparently.

6 replies on “Volkswagen CEO’s mea culpa on noxgate”

Clearly, this is pretty big news. But I just overheard a discussion at my paying job—which has nothing to do with the motoring industry—and this has reached well beyond the remit of our usual little car world and into the watercooler discussions of everyday workplaces.

With that comes a further degree of misunderstanding and exaggeration of the facts which Volkswagen will also have to counter. For example, one person I overheard just claimed Volkswagen has been doing this diesel NOx cheat test for the last 20 years, when as best we know, it’s only been since 2009, or six years. That’s already bad enough for VW, without adding another 14 years of deceit on top!

People are exaggerating their criminal actions well.. this is SERIOUS



I don’t know whether it will affect Australia anyway, even if software is the same, as our emission laws are a lot more lenient than the strict Californian emission standards, which are the toughest in the world.
It’s funny though how Australian consumers don’t look at the emission ratings when purchasing a car/suv. We have companies like Mazda banging on about their Skyactive engine technology and yet only muster a Euro4 rating, yet Subaru for example have mostly Euro6 compliant engines and hardly say a thing. No one really checks these things. As soon as VW gets canned, it’s all so important, and they suddenly care yet when they were buying their VAG diesel, emission levels was far from their minds.

Australian consumers don’t care (enough) about emission ratings to consider it in a purchase because there is no fiscal benefit (or savings). In the UK/EU etal owners of vehicles that pollute are taxed more to keep them on the road.

I expect a few (if not most) car manufacturers will have “cheats” in place for emissions.

@WillW – my reading about Mazda’s version of the Skyactiv engines for the Australian market is that they are largely focused towards fuel economy, not emission reduction. The two only go hand in hand up to a certain point, beyond which they diverge, and I’m sure that the engines would be tuned differently for other markets.

This makes sense for the Australian market where the restrictions are so lax, everyone focuses on the L/100km when there’s no incentive to care about the g/km.

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