Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America, was questioned by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations yesterday.
He said he was made aware of the defeat device used in emissions tests last September 3rd during a meeting between the company and a Californian regulator. More importantly, he claims the decision to install the aforementioned device was made by a few computer engineers and not Volkswagen itself.
These statements did not seem to persuade industry experts, who argue that such a large scam is only possible when a high number of employees are involved. Besides, every decision has to get the approval of management.
Meanwhile, The Detroit Bureau reports that Volkswagen plans to cut back the number of diesel products it will offer in the U.S., at least for the coming year. Right now, the company is busy working with the EPA to develop a fix for 482,000 diesel cars already sold in the U.S. that were equipped with software designed to cheat on emissions tests.
That process, however, has been complicated by the fact that Volkswagen has twice updated its 2.0L TDI diesel engine since it was introduced seven years ago.
“There are three groups of vehicles involved. Each will require a different remedy, but these remedies can only be our first step for our customers,” noted Michael Horn.
Many will ignore the recall since this is not a safety issue and, save for a tiny number of U.S. states, they are not obligated to have their vehicle fixed as part of a recall.
The Volkswagen mess continues to worsen, and it will likely take years for the German automaker to bounce back.