Volkswagen was warned about illegal emissions tricks year ago

Lawyers have urged Volkswagen to “come clean” over which cars in Britain have been affected by the emissions testing scandal. It is facing an $18bn (£11.9bn) fine from U.S. regulators, as well as lawsuits from customers and also investors, who saw 30 per cent of the value of their shares disappear last week.


The world’s biggest carmaker by sales has admitted to US regulators that it programmed its cars to detect when they were being tested and alter the running of their diesel engines to hide their true emissions. The EPA says it may take VW a year to develop a fix.

“If there is sufficient evidence to show that Volkswagen intentionally programmed its vehicles to override the emission control devices, the company and any individuals involved could face criminal charges under the Clean Air Act, and for conspiracy, fraud and false statements”, said David M. Uhlmann, a former chief of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section who is now a law professor at the University of Michigan.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, citing a source on VW’s supervisory board, said the board had received an internal report at its meeting on Friday showing VW technicians had warned about illegal emissions practices in 2011. Before the 2009 model year, USA diesel emissions standards weren’t as strict, so those cars likely passed the tests without a defeat device, DeLorenzo said.

The German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported that Volkswagen’s internal investigation found a 2007 letter from parts supplier Bosch warning VW not to use the software during regular operation.

A VW spokesman declined to comment on the reports, saying that as a matter of principle the company wouldn’t speak about what he called “rumors and speculation”.

She said: “Our clients still do not know definitively whether cars in the United Kingdom are affected, and if so which models”.


The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. “The defeat device was specifically created to ensure that vehicles would pass inspection”, the agency says on its website.

A worker tests a red 2016 Volkswagen AG Golf TDI emissions certification vehicle inside the California Air Resources Board Haagen Smit Laboratory in El Monte California