The veil is slowly rising on the matter of global importance. In a detailed statement, the German auto giant acknowledged Wednesday that the starting point of what he modestly called “the theme of diesel” was in 2005 and “Volkswagen strategic decision to launch a big offensive diesel in the United States. ” But “American standards of exhaust emissions are severe,” said Volkswagen, which placed the engineers and technicians responsible for the development of a new diesel engine to “challenges”. Compliance with standards on nitrogen oxide (NOx) was hardly compatible with the desired reduction of carbon dioxide emission levels (CO2).
“A group of people in the development business, whose identity is still being established, then decided to change the engine control software,” says Volkswagen. It is this fatal decision that follows the Volkswagen case, or “dieselgate” unmasked by the US authorities, the giant with 12 brands have confessed in September with 11 million cars in the world of diesel engines fixing capable of detect test phases, for them, comply with the emission standards for NOx, they easily exceed the remaining time.
Volkswagen now has brought up to standard all affected vehicles – already launched in Europe operation. The group’s management has been significantly changed, its image is severely damaged, complaints and lawsuits abound and the financial loss is still elusive. The question “who knew what and when?” is a central aspect of the scandal, particularly the role of Mr. Winterkorn, who made her apron right after the confession, and that of other members of management. Volkswagen has confirmed what some media have already reported: in May 2014 the owner had been informed by “memo”, irregularities on the EA189 engine emissions, reported by the California authority of the Carb environment.
“It is not known whether and to what extent Mr. Winterkorn has read this memo,” says Volkswagen. A second “memo” it was sent in November of the same year. “From what is currently known, the subject, which was a topic among others on the products did not retain unduly the attention of the Executive Board,” says group , who leads a thorough internal investigation with the help of a US law firm. It was not until the summer of 2015, after several intermediate stages of tests and negotiations with the Carb, Mr. Winterkorn asked for clarification, and only late August that the Executive Board has come to the conclusion that software faker was at work.
Volkswagen book this story to wash suspicion of having communicated too late on the subject, particularly for the financial markets, explaining that management “has fulfilled his obligations” in this regard. Besides the cheated customers and public authorities deceived in many countries, the group also faces the wrath of shareholders, who have seen the collapse as 40% in a few days in September. “We can say that what happened to us is quite surreal and unnecessary”, commented in an interview with the daily Le Monde Wednesday the new boss of Volkswagen, Matthias Müller. It makes the media tour to show contrition of the group, but also reassured about its strength, a message also addressed the Geneva Motor Show.
Losses for the group bonus for employees
the employees of the Volkswagen brand in any case have had good news Thursday: contrary to expectations, they will receive a bonus for 2015, announced in the internal newsletter Chairman of the Works Council. And, while a salt loss looks for the parent. Volkswagen has not communicated a date of publication of its results 2015. The upscale Audi subsidiary However unveiled Thursday its figures: among others because of the “dieselgate”, its net profit fell by 3% per year last.