Today, the company revealed that “discrepancies” in the software that controls emissions in some diesel-engine models affects some 11 million vehicles around the world.
A congressional panel will be held in the coming weeks on revelations that Volkswagen has been tricking USA emissions tests for almost half a million of its cars with diesel engines.
The understandably irate EPA has the power to fine the company as much as $18 billion-more than six times the company’s net profit in 2014.
Volkswagen says that it is setting aside an incredible 6.5 billion Euro , or $7.3 billion, to correct the emissions gaffe.
The scandal has gone global.
The Tagesspiegel newspaper, citing unidentified sources on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, said Winterkorn would be replaced by Matthias Mueller, the head of the carmaker’s Porsche sports vehicle business.
Not only Volkswagen’s shares have suffered because of the scandal, as other vehicle manufacturers also feel the brunt. Volkwagen’s stock has fallen sharply, and the future of small, affordable diesel engines in America is now in question.
Volkswagen said it would set aside 6.5 billion euro in its third quarter to address the matter and warned that the number could change. But a VW spokesperson at corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg quickly denied the report, describing it as “ridiculous”.
Uncovered by an investigation by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency, the software – dubbed a “defeat device” by the EPA – loaded a different engine tune when it detected it was being put through an emissions test. Meanwhile, out on the road, these cars released up to 40 times more pollution than allowed by the rules.
Further internal investigations conducted to date have established that the relevant engine management software is also installed in other Volkswagen Group vehicles with diesel engines.
“Volkswagen is working with full speed to clarify irregularities concerning a particular software used in diesel enginges”, the company said Tuesday.
The Wolfsburg-based group said it does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever and has pledged to inform the public on further progress of investigations “constantly and transparently”. The unfolding scandal brought an apology Monday from VW’s top USA executive, who vowed to win back the trust of consumers.