VW board suspends R&D heads of core brand, Audi, Porsche: sources

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

R&D heads of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche suspended.

Volkswagen has suspended the R&D chiefs of its core VW brand, luxury division Audi and sports-car maker Porsche, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. Audi has announced that the ‘defeat’ devices fitted in some Volkswagen cars to cheat government emissions tests was also used in 2.1 million of its own cars.

Some 1.42 million Audi vehicles with so-called EU5 engines in Western Europe are fitted with the same software that allowed parent company Volkswagen to cheat US emissions tests, with 577,000 in Germany and almost 13,000 in the United States, a spokesman for Ingolstadt-based Audi told Reuters today. The carmaker’s supervisory board last Friday agreed to put a number of employees on leave until the details of VW’s emissions cheating scandal were cleared up, without providing names.

Volkswagen has accepted to have cheated the emission tests by manipulating their softwares so as to pass nearly 11 million over-polluting cars through the pollution screening tests as clean. The scandal has wiped billions off the value of the car giant and is set to land the German auto maker with substantial penalties and recall costs as governments and regulators around the world launch investigations – some of the criminal – into the scandal. Several law firms in the US and UK representing consumers say they are are preparing lawsuits against VW while the US Department of Justice has launched a probe into the affair.

A further 27 US states have begun a joint investigation of Volkswagen and are reportedly going to send subpoenas to the company – these are essentially writs compelling testimony or evidence to be produced or face a penalty. Meanwhile, European environmental organisation, Transport & Environment, has said it has found some new models of Mercedes, Volkswagens, BMWs and other new cars consume much more petrol than lab tests claim, according to reports from PA. Currently, manufacturers test emissions in near-perfect lab settings, using smooth tyres unsuitable for roads, engine lubricants so expensive they’re beyond the reach of most consumers and even clip off wing mirrors to achieve required emission results.

US regulators and the European Commission have both said they will introduce rules forcing manufacturers to test car emissions under real world road conditions. The EU is expected to introduce new legislation in early 2106, although French ministers on Thursday called for this to be brought forward to before the end of the year.

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