Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles involved in pollution scam
FRANKFURT – Volkswagen said on Tuesday that 1.8 million of its commercial vehicles worldwide are fitted with the sophisticated software enabling them to cheat emission tests, as the auto giant’s new chief warned the group was facing the severest test in its history.
According to a German newspaper report, a spokesman for VW’s commercial vehicles division said that out of the 11 million vehicles worldwide that the group has already said were involved 1.8 million are commercial vehicles. After VW’s up market subsidiary Audi and its Czech arm Skoda admitted that more than three million of their vehicles were similarly fitted, its Spanish unit Seat said 700,000 of its cars were also equipped with the technology.
In a crisis that has rocked car makers around the world and wiped 29 billion euros ($33 billion) or 38 per cent off VW’s market capitalisation over the past 10 days the German giant was exposed by the US authorities of fitting its diesel cars with devices that can switch on pollution controls when they detect the car is undergoing testing. They then switch off the controls when the car is on the road, allowing it to spew out harmful levels of emissions.
As the embattled auto maker prepares for incalculable costs and a potential tidal wave of litigation from the ever-widening scandal, VW’s new chief executive Matthias Mueller said in his first address to senior management on Monday evening that the group was facing the severest test in its history.”There is no justification for deception and manipulation,” said the 62-year-old manager, who was appointed last Friday.
“The inconceivable misconduct that has come to light in Volkswagen over the past days pains me and angers me immensely,” Mueller said.