Ex-VW chief denies early knowledge of emissions problems

Image: The Guardian

Ex-Volkswagen (VW) chief, Martin Winterkorn, has refused to admit to the German parliament he knew about the company’s diesel emissions scandal earlier than the company’s official admission of its problems.

According to Reuters, the company said that its executive board did not know about issues with the emissions reduction technology until August 2015 and formally reported the issues to US authorities the following month.

Winterkorn said he could not believe he had not been informed earlier.

“It’s incomprehensible why I wasn’t informed early and unambiguously,” Winterkorn said. “I too am looking for satisfactory answers.”

VW last Wednesday 11 January, agreed to pay the US government US$22 billion ($A29 billion) to address legal claims from VW owners, US federal and state government environmental regulators, US states and dealers.

Over in Australia, VW woes continue with already initiated federal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against the company since last September. The ACCC claims customers were misled from by VW from 2011-2015.

It alleges that VW and its Australian arm engaged in misleading conduct by installing and not revealing the presence of software that would cheat diesel emissions tests, for claiming that the technology complied with all European and Australian standards when this was not the case, and marketing the vehicles as environmentally friendly when this was not the case.