VOLKSWAGEN has admitted that its 2016 vehicles have cheat software which could help them beat emission control tests.
The company said the new software involved diesel engines fitted with an ‘auxiliary emissions control device’ which is different to the ‘defeat devices’ at the heart of the on-going scandal.
The company admitted last month that 11 million of its VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars were fitted with defeat devices which switched on emissions controls when it detected the vehicles were being tested. In normal use with the devices switched off, the engines pumped out up to 40 times more nitrous oxide (Nox) pollution.
The new software makes a pollution-reducing catalyst heat up faster, improving its ability to limit Nox emissions.
A spokesman for VW said it first told the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California regulators about the existence of the latest software last week. Regulators have yet to rule if the latest software is specifically to beat tests but all such devices have to be revealed to authorities if cars are to receive the certification required for them to go on sale in the US.
The latest revelation came as it was claimed that dozens of the car company’s managers knew about Volkswagen cheating emissions tests, putting fresh pressure on senior executives at the beleaguered car maker. So far VW has refused to say who knew about the scandal but now German reports claim that at least 30 bosses were involved.
Skoda has confirmed that the Volkswagen Group’s new US-market chief, Winfried Vahland, is leaving the company less than two weeks after being appointed to his new role.
Vahland, who was CEO of Skoda until a fortnight ago, had been tipped as a future VW Group CEO candidate. He was put in charge of VW’s new North American division as part of the management restructure that brought in Matthias Müller to replace Winterkorn as group boss.
However, differences over the new US-market strategy announced yesterday – including a switch to diesel motors using SCR and AdBlue technology – have prompted Vahland to leave the company.
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