Thursday 23 November 2017

VW boss 'endlessly sorry' for emissions scandal

The Volkswagen logo sits atop the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg September 22, 2015
The Volkswagen logo sits atop the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg September 22, 2015
Martin Winterkorn, CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen, smiles before a press conference in Wolfsburg, Germany

Volkswagen has admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide are fitted with software to cheat emissions tests.

The German car-maker is facing deepening scrutiny after being forced to admit it cheated on the tests for nearly 500,000 vehicles.

VW boss Martin Winterkorn said he was “endlessly sorry”, which has prompted questions about his future.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US said cars had been fitted with sophisticated software to switch engines to a cleaner mode when they are undergoing official emissions testing.

This is a type of software known as a “defeat device”. Once on the road, the cars produced nitrogen oxide pollut- ants at up to 40 times the legal standard.


Volkswagen now faces the cost of recalling millions of vehicles as well as a fine of up to $18bn (€16bn) in the US.

Authorities across the world have launched further probes.

German chancellor Angela Merkel demanded “full transparency” from the company, adding that she hopes “the facts will be put on the table as quickly as possible”.

Volkswagen said it was “working at full speed to clarify irregularities concerning a particular software used in diesel engines” and has found “discrepancies involving some 11 million vehicles worldwide”.

The company said it was “working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures” with German and other authorities.

“To cover the service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of our customers, Volkswagen plans to set aside some €6.5bn recognised in the profit and loss statement in the third quarter,” it added.

Speaking in a video message, Mr Winterkorn said: “Swift and comprehensive clarification has now utmost priority.

“We owe this to our customers, our staff and the public. And to make it very clear:

manipulation at VW must never happen again.”

The firm’s US boss Michael Horn said: “We have totally screwed up.”

Shares in the company, down 19pc on Monday, fell by a further 18pc.

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