Still reeling from new accusations this week by U.S. and California authorities about emission control defeat devices in its diesel vehicle fleet, Volkswagen announced yesterday that hundreds of thousands of its vehicles, including some with gasoline engines, may be emitting more carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution than advertised.
In a press release from its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, VW said that during its internal investigation of the diesel engine controversy, it had discovered irregularities related to CO2 emissions and fuel consumption in approximately 800,000 vehicles. Apparently, VW had stated that CO2 emissions and fuel consumption were lower than actual levels during the emission certification process. Although the majority of the engines affected were diesel fueled, some gasoline engines were also included.
Although no specifics were given in VW’s press release, other sources have reported that the CO2 irregularities were associated with the VW Polo and Golf, as well as some cars from the Audi, Seat, and Skoda brands. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said today that VW told German authorities that about 98,000 of the affected cars are gasoline-powered.
It is unclear at this time whether any vehicles sold in the United States are affected.
VW estimated that the economic risk of this latest problem was approximately 2 billion euros. The company said it would be cooperating with the appropriate regulatory agencies to clarify the extent of this latest problem, which has not yet been finalized.
“From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth. That is the basis for the fundamental realignment that Volkswagen needs,” Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said. He added, “The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency.”