Volkswagen halts sales of 2015 diesel cars that have software found to cheat on EPA emissions standards. U.S. dealers were told to halt sales of some 2015 diesel cars, following regulators’ discovery that software it designed for the vehicles gave false emissions data.
Those models with the “defeat device” software include: Jetta (model years 2009 – 2015), Beetle (model years 2009 – 2015), Audi A3 (model years 2009 – 2015), Golf (model years 2009 – 2015) and Passat (model years 2014 – 2015).
Volkswagen Caught Cheating Emissions Standards In US & Germany
In a statement published by the carmaker, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said, “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers. The company said that it has launched an investigation.
German authorities are set to probe Volkswagen for similar emissions manipulation in Germany, according to Dow Jones.
Volkswagen Faces EPA Fines Of Up To $18 Billion
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the software deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions. Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA, said the cars in question “contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test”.When the cars are on the road, they emit as much as 40 times the level of pollutants allowed under clean air rules
VW could face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules. Some 482,000 four-cylinder VW and Audi diesel cars sold since 2008 are involved in the allegations. If each car involved is found to be in noncompliance, the penalty could be $18 billion,
The ratings agency Fitch said Volkswagen’s ‘A’/Stable rating could be in danger if the emissions scandal deepens, adding that it could “seriously undermine the group’s brand image, particularly in the US, where Volkswagen is already struggling to increase its market share.”
Volkswagen had overtaken Toyota as the worldwide sales leader in cars, although VW lagged behind Toyota in the US.
“This is not your usual recall issue, an error in calibration or even a serious safety flaw,” Sanford Bernstein analysts wrote in a note. “There is no way to put an optimistic spin on this – this is really serious.”
Read more at the New York Times.
VW CEO, Martin Winterkorn, Resigns
On September 23, 2015, VW CEO, Dr. Martin Winterkorn, resigned amid the US-emissions rigging scandal. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, said the Department of Justice would crack down on corporate crime harder than it had in the past in a memo regarding corporate crime. The possibility of criminal indictments against Dr. Winterkorn, and other top VW officials, remains.