VOLKSWAGEN Group has plunged further into crisis, adding another 800,000 vehicles worldwide to its emissions cheat tally and setting aside a further $3 billion to fix the problem.
The tally of vehicles, which is now nudging 12 million globally and with VW setting aside a total of $14 billion to fix it, also hints that some of Volkswagen’s petrol engines may have understated fuel use and emissions figures.
“Under the ongoing review of all processes and workflows in connection with diesel engines it was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process,” Volkswagen said.
“The majority of the vehicles concerned have diesel engines,” it said, leaving open the inference that some petrol engines had been caught up for the first time in the developing emissions scandal.
The car maker said a “reliable assessment” of the scale of the irregularities “is not yet possible”.
Volkswagen Group chief executive Matthias Muller said the discovery that more vehicles had fallen in breach of emissions regulations was “a painful process” for the company.
“For us, the only thing that counts is the truth. That is the basis for the fundamental realignment that Volkswagen needs," Muller said.
Volkswagen Australia managing director Michael Bartsch said this week he was “in contact” with VW’s head office, and would keep customers and local authorities “updated with any relevant developments that directly affect the Australian market”.
It has been a troublesome week for Volkswagen Group. On Monday, the US Environmental Protection Agency accused the carmaker of cheating on more emissions tests, this time for its 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.
That EPA notice of violation, which claims the VW-sourced engine breached the US Clean Air Act, has pulled the group’s most valuable brand, Porsche, into the mess, with the Cayenne SUV identified as one of the vehicles producing more emissions than stated on the official test.
Volkswagen this week denied strongly the EPA accusation on the V6 diesel. It has previously admitted that its EA189 four-cylinder turbodiesel engines contained a cheat device that breached US emissions rules.