Wolfsburg (Germany): Embattled German carmaker Volkswagen said today the global pollution-cheating scandal it has been engulfed in since September was the result not of a one-off error, but a series of mistakes dating back to 2005. The scandal, which broke in September when VW was forced to admit that it had installed emission-cheating software into 11 million diesel engines worldwide, was “not attributable to a one-off error, but an unbroken chain of errors,” said VW supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch.
In a news conference updating the public about the latest developments in the investigation into the affair, Poetsch said that the series of mistakes dated back as far as 2005 when VW launched a massive new campaign to sell diesel engine vehicles in the United States.
VW, once seen as a paragon of German industry, is currently in the deepest-ever crisis in its history following the revelations, with still incalculable costs, not only to its reputation, but also to global sales and profits. So far, it appears that the scam had been masterminded by a small number of culprits, VW insisted.
There was “no evidence to suggest that supervisory board members or management board members are implicated,” Poetsch said.
Chief executive Matthias Mueller, brought in in September to steer VW out of the criss, said that the group was “currently doing everything it can to limit the effect the current situation has on its business performance. “The sales figures are very mixed with regards to the various markets and brands. Overall, the situation is not dramatic, but, as was to be expected, it’s tense,” said Mueller. “Although the current situation is serious, this company will not be broken by it,” he added.