VW UK Reports 400,000 Diesels Sold with Rigged Software, Fix in Europe Will Be Different than in U.S.

By Paul Riegler on 12 October 2015
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2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI

2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI

In testimony before the U.K. Parliament’s Transport Commission on Monday, the head of Volkswagen in that country, Paul Willis, said that repairs to bring its vehicles into compliance with current European emissions standards will differ from those planned for the United States.

Following in the footsteps of his U.S. counterpart, Michael Horn, who heads VW in the United States and testified before a Congressional committee last week, Willis apologized for having deceived regulators and customers about the level of emissions coming from its diesel-powered automobiles.

“First of all, I would like to apologize sincerely and unreservedly that Volkswagen has significantly let down its customers and the wider public,” Willis said. “We recognize that we have fallen short of the standards expected of us, and we will take all the necessary steps to regain trust.”

The news that Volkswagen was selling diesels with software that could cheat during emissions tests came out in early September. The Wolfsburg-based automaker has since admitted to installing a so-called defeat device that effectively lowered emissions when tests were conducted on over 11 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide. The company now faces investigations in dozens of countries where its vehicles are sold.

Unlike what is expected to take place in the United States, Volkswagen will not retrofit a urea-based emission filtration system into diesels in Europe, a move that highlights the tougher pollution standards in the United States currently in effect.

Recalls for roughly 400,000 Volkswagens, Audis, Seats, and Skodas will start in early 2016 and the work will include new software and fuel injectors, the latter coming as somewhat of a surprise to industry insiders.

The Dieselgate scandal is the automaker’s biggest and most public crisis in its 78-year history. The news wiped out more than one-third of the company’s stock value and forced its long-time CEO, Martin Winterkorn, to resign.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)