VW: ~5M VW vehicles affected by emissions scandal; working on technical solution; suspension of some employees starting
Volkswagen said that an internal assessment following the revelation of cheating on emissions testing in EA 189 2.0L diesels (earlier post) has concluded that approximately five million Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand vehicles are affected worldwide. In the heat of the initial discovery of the emissions testing cheating, Volkswagen had said that up to 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected. (Earlier post.)
Certain models and model years of these vehicles (such as the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat and the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) are equipped exclusively with type EA 189 diesel engines. Also as previously announced, all new Volkswagen Passenger Car brand vehicles that fulfill the EU6 norm valid throughout Europe are not affected. This therefore also includes the current Golf, Passat and Touran models.
We are working at full speed on a technical solution that we will present to partners, to our customers and to the public as swiftly as possible. Our aim is to inform our customers as quickly as possible, so that their vehicles comply fully with regulations. I assure you that Volkswagen will do everything humanly possible to win back the trust of our customers, the dealerships and the public.—Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand will inform all markets worldwide how many of vehicles are affected locally. Volkswagen is working intensively on remedial measures in close coordination with the certification authorities. The affected vehicles are and remain technically safe and roadworthy.
For its part, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG earlier today appointed Porsche boss Matthias Müller (whose academic degree is in computer science) to replace Martin Winterkorn, who resigned over the crisis, as CEO of the Group. (Earlier post.) The Board also began the restructuring of the Group in the wake of the emissions scandal. (Earlier post.)
At Friday’s end—exactly one week after the scandal emerged (earlier post), the Board issued a statement saying:
There is absolutely no excuse for the manipulations which have deeply shocked Volkswagen. The company will leave no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of this, will call those responsible to account, and take the necessary actions.
Initial action decided upon by the Board, in addition to the appointment of Müller and the restructuring of the Group, include:
The Supervisory Board has authorized the Chairman to mandate German and US lawyers to investigate and fully clarify the manipulation of emissions data of diesel engines.
The Executive Committee of the Supervisory Board will be charged with coordinating and safeguarding all necessary steps to monitor clarification until such time as a proposed committee commences its work.
With the information currently available the Supervisory Board recommended the immediate suspension of some employees. This process is already underway.
The Supervisory Board resolved to propose to the Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders on 9 November 2015 to elect Hans Dieter Pötsch—Member of the Board of Management for the Group responsible for Finance and Controlling, and CFO of Porsche—as a member of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board intends to subsequently elect him as its Chairman.
The test manipulations are a moral and political disaster for Volkswagen. The unlawful behavior of engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen just as much as it shocked the public. We can only apologize and ask our customers, the public, the authorities and our investors to give us a chance to make amends.—Berthold Huber, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board
The Supervisory Board commissioned a US law firm to assist in further clarification and in preparing the necessary steps.