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Volkswagen Brass Didn't Know About Defeat Devices Until Last Month, Exec Says

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Here’s everything we’ve learned from Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn’s Congressional testimony on Dieselgate so far.

  • Horn said that neither he, nor the company’s top board in Germany knew there was a specific software defeat device on the company’s diesel engines until “a few days before” the company’s meeting with the EPA and CARB on September 3rd
  • Horn simply learned there was some sort of problem regarding diesel emissions back in Spring of 2014, but not that there was a cheat going on
  • It wasn’t from a corporate order, either, but “individuals” acting at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany
  • Three people in Germany, as yet unnamed, have been suspended from the company because of their actions
  • Horn himself says he doesn’t know exactly how the cheat works. “I’m not an engineer.”
  • 430,000 cars can’t be fixed by a software-only solution. A urea-based system, or a catylzer system, will need to be installed. It will be a “major fix.”
  • Cars are anticipated to have a “one or two mile per hour top speed” performance loss. There’s no word on what that would do to power or acceleration specifically, but fuel consumption is expected to be the same
  • The company will not buy back dealer inventory, but “the plan is to fix the cars.”
  • Horn says that yes, he too feels personally deceived, and that he knows that the notion the company execs didn’t know is a bit ridiculous. “I agree it’s very hard to believe. And personally, a struggle as well.”
  • “The company has to bloody learn and use this opportunity to get our act together,” Horn added.

More as we have it.

Photo credit: AP

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