Volkswagen Diesel-Emission Fraud: Staff In Engine Department Knew Of Manipulation

Posted: Jan 26 2016, 2:07pm CST | by , in News | Technology News

Photo credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

New facts have emerged to indicate that staff within Volkswagen’s engine development department knew of the management’s ploy to develop a diesel-emission cheating software as far back as 2006, according to internal investigations cited by Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Researching the matter with NDR and WDR – regional broadcasters, Zeitung newspaper revealed that several staff and managers involved with emission concerns within the engine development department were aware they were developing a defeat device to deceive US auto regulatory authorities.

Reuters reported that developmental secrecy was common within the engine section, where the cheat software was installed and manipulated – eventually leading to a corporate crisis that is threatening to rock Volkswagen at the moment across its largest markets.

An internal whistleblower who took part in the emission fraud has been providing evidence to investigators hired by Volkswagen, revealing he alerted one senior manager outside of the engine development department in 2011 but the officer failed to act.

Investigations revealed the engine department was pressured by the management to develop a cheap method of utilizing clean diesel engines for the US market; and since it was practically unwise to inform the management that the task was near impossible, the engine department went ahead to carry out the manipulation.

"Within the company there was a culture of 'we can do everything', so to say something cannot be done, was not acceptable," Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted a staff member who was part of the fraud. "Instead of coming clean to the management board that it cannot be done, it was decided to commit fraud."

Then the team went on in Wolfsburg, VW’s headquarters, to manipulate the engine management software delivered by Bosche, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported. The manipulation commenced in November 2006.

Volkswagen told US environmental authorities that a tiny fraction of staffs must have known of the fraud, adding that none of its supervisory board or top management may have been involved in the affair.

The incident may cost Europe’s large automaker billions of dollars in car recalls, lawsuits, and technical fixes. Volkswagen’s spokesman would not comment on the issue, while Jones Day, the US law firm hired by Volkswagen to investigate the matter, said its spokesman was not around to respond to questions.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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