Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation into the “defeat device” that allowed almost 500,000 of its diesel-engine cars to circumvent emissions testing for certain air pollutants, according to CEO Professor Dr. Martin Winterkorn.
Winterkorn issued a statement following the emissions testing scandal that erupted late last week. “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case,” Winterkorn said.
On Friday the EPA issued the automaker a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act and ordered VW to recall 482,000 diesel passenger cars sold in the US since 2008. The agencies said Volkswagen admitted that the cars contained software, or “defeat devices,” that allowed them to cheat the Clean Air Act by meeting emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard.
California separately issued an in-use compliance letter to Volkswagen, and the EPA and the California Air Resources Board have both initiated investigations based on Volkswagen’s alleged actions.