German prosecutors have raided the HQ of VW as their US boss is grilled by the Senate, and admits he knew about the scandal a year ago. British MPs get their turn questioning VW on Monday. Meanwhile Australian customers join class action against the company, as analysts estimate the cost of dieselgate to be £57bn.
The Register also reports that: “Despite the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal and a pledge as far back as 2010, the European Commission will not impose real world emissions limits on car makers until 2017.” Meanwhile Triple Pundit reports that: “VW Investigated for Falsely Certifying $50 Million in U.S. Tax Breaks.”
As a result of the scandal Volkswagen has announced cuts will have to be made and brands possibly sold (e.g. Lamborghini and Bugatti supercar brands) to cover the spiralling costs of the self-inflicted crisis. The company made an operating profit of £9.3bn in 2014.
In the 2014 annual report and accounts former CEO, Prof. Dr. Winterkorn said: “2014 was an unexpectedly difficult but ultimately good year for the Volkswagen Group. Political and economic uncertainty dominated the situation in many regions of the world, and this also had far-reaching consequences for the automotive industry. Despite these headwinds, we successfully kept your Company on a strong, stable trajectory.”
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He concluded: “As you can see, Volkswagen keeps its word and achieves its goals. We stand for strength, reliability and long-term success – even under less favorable conditions. “
In the accompanying sustainability report, Winterkorn wrote: “We aspire to shape the mobility of the future – making it responsible, environmentally compatible and beneficial for everyone… we intend to continue to add value for everyone associated with us: employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and the society in which we live and work. This aim is underpinned by our twelve strong brands as well as by our joint commitment to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact for sustainable development.”
In the US Senate Volkswagen’s president and CEO, Michael Horn, apologised for his company’s “deeply troubling” actions. However, he chose to blame rogue individuals in the company for the emissions cheating, saying: “This was not a corporate decision.”
Congressman Chris Collins reacted saying: “It goes way, way higher than that.”