VOLKSWAGEN cars in Europe have been confirmed to have the same ‘device defeating’ software that has embroiled the company in a global controversy.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told Sky News: "We have been informed that also in Europe, vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about.”
This means that Europe’s top-selling vehicle for the last seven years – the Volkswagen Golf – is affected, along with a range of Audi, Skoda and Seat models.
The scandal has already seen Martin Winterkorn step down as chairman and CEO. Overnight, German newspaper Spiegel has tipped 62-year-old Porsche boss Matthias Mueller to be confirmed as the new VW Group CEO in a VW Supervisory Board meeting scheduled for today in Germany.
Spiegel is also reporting that VW USA boss Michael Horn will lose his job, despite VW North America’s strong sales growth since he took the role in January 2014.
Audi R&D boss, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, as well as Porsche technical director and board member Wolfgang Hatz – who was at VW when the EA189 engine at the centre of the controversy went into production – are also expected to be removed from their positions, says Germany’s Bild newspaper.
Volkswagen Australia is yet to confirm if any Australian-delivered models are affected, seven days after the scandal first broke on September 18
However the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said yesterday it would examine whether car buyers here had been exposed to misleading claims, and if so what rights they might have under Australian law.