Volkswagen today revealed more details about the vehicles fitted with pollution-cheating software as the German auto giant's new chief promised a grand plan of action to resolve the "severest test in (the company's) history."
Volkswagen today revealed more details about the vehicles fitted with pollution-cheating software as the German auto giant’s new chief promised a grand plan of action to resolve the “severest test in (the company’s) history.”
A spokesman for VW’s commercial vehicles division said that out of the 11 million vehicles worldwide that the group has already said were involved “1.8 million are commercial vehicles.”
After VW’s upmarket subsidiary Audi and its Czech arm Skoda admitted that more than three million of their vehicles were similarly fitted, its Spanish unit Seat said 700,000 of its cars were also equipped with the technology.
The German government has given VW until October 7 to outline how it plans to resolve the crisis that has rocked carmakers around the world and wiped USD 33 billion, or 38 per cent, off VW’s market capitalisation over the past 10 days.
The group’s new chief executive Matthias Mueller, who was appointed on Friday, told senior management that an ambitious game plan had already been drawn up.
“We will present our technical solutions to the authorities in October,” he said.
And once they have been approved, “we will inform customers and arrange the necessary appointments” for the cars to be refitted.
On September 18, the German giant was exposed by the US authorities of fitting its diesel cars with devices that can switch on pollution controls when they detect the car is undergoing testing. They then switch off the controls when the car is on the road, allowing it to spew out harmful levels of emissions.
In the wake of the revelations, the embattled auto maker faces incalculable costs and a potential tidal wave of litigation.
Mueller described the crisis as “the severest test in (VW’s) history.”
“There is no justification for deception and manipulation,” the 62-year-old manager said.
“The inconceivable misconduct that has come to light in Volkswagen over the past days pains me and angers me immensely,” Mueller said.
The carmaker – which in the first six months of this year had overtaken Toyota to become the world leader in terms of sales – needed to win back the trust it has lost, he said.
“For this, the affair needs to be cleared up ruthlessly. We need courage and fighting spirit. It will be difficult and… there will be setbacks. But we can and will do it,” Mueller said.