The CEO’s sentiments did not stop investors from punishing VW’s stock Monday, when they hacked away almost a quarter of the company’s market value.
According to reports, 2009 to 2015 Audi A3s, Volkswagen Beetles, Golfs and Jettas and 2014 to 2015 Passats all hide a dirty little secret when equipped with the 2-litre TDI engine.
The USA accounts for just 6% of Volkswagen group sales, but the company had been banking on its diesel cars to give it a boost.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn issued a statement over the weekend apologizing for having “broken the trust of our customers and the public”.
Depending on the outcome of the EPA and CARB’s investigations, the automaker could be hit with a maximum possible fine of $37,500 for each of the vehicles in violation, adding up to a possible $18 billion in federal fines.
In Germany, which is hosting the Frankfurt motor show to showcase the industry’s strengths and environmental credentials, the government launched an investigation into whether Volkswagen or other vehicle producers are doing anything similar in Germany or Europe.
The EPA said the VW cars under investigation seemed to pass emissions tests, but in the real world, were actually emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide, which is linked to asthma and lung illnesses. Including all VW, Audi and Porsche models, Volkswagen has sold about 62,400 diesel units in the United States this year.
A scandal involving Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTC: VLKAY) surfaced last Friday.
The EPA and California authorities acted quickly after being told of the violation, German said.
The world’s biggest carmaker could face $18 billion in penalties from the Environmental Protection Agency for designing software for it diesel cars that tricked emissions inspectors and made it seem like the cars were far moe environmentally friendly than they actually are.
“This matter has first priority for me, personally, and for our entire Board of Management”, VW said.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine affected is offered only as an option on Audi A3 cars in Canada.
It said VW might need up to a year to carry out the recall. “It is true. We are actively cooperating with the regulator”, a Volkswagen spokesman said.
Mr. Tetzlaff said Volkswagen Canada is co-operating with the EPA and has informed Canadian regulators of the situation.