WASHINGTON — In a packed hearing room on Thursday, Oct. 8, Michael Horn, Volkswagen’s U.S. chief executive, addressed congress about cheating on diesel emissions, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Horn reported to lawmakers that the “defeat devices” installed in 11 million engines were the work of “a handful of rogue software engineers,” stated the article.
He continued by saying it would take several years to fix the nearly 500,000 vehicles affected in the U.S., reported the article.
“This was a couple of software engineers who put this in for whatever reason,” informed Horn during a House subcommittee hearing as reported in the article. “To my understanding, this was not a corporate decision. This was something individuals did.”
Horn apologized in his testimony for Volkswagen’s “use of a program that served to defeat” emission tests, continued the article, and stated that the company has withdrawn an application for certification of model year 2016 vehicles.
He explained that he is currently in discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to find an acceptable strategy for emissions control, added the article.
“We described to the EPA and CARB that our emissions control strategy also included a software feature that should be disclosed to and approved by them as an auxiliary emissions control device (‘AECD’) in connection with the certification process,” asserted Horn in his testimony.
Karl Brauer, a Kelley Blue Book analyst, said this would not reassure owners currently waiting to know what they can do to make their vehicles compliant — whether just a software update or a retrofitting of a more complicated hardware, noted the article.
“[Volkswagen has] abandoned the entire 2016 model year diesels, and that’s not good news for owners,” said Brauer in the article. “It suggests that the fix is probably not going to be easy. It suggests that the fix involves so much challenge that they’re not even going try to make the 2016s work.”
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