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Volkswagen US CEO's Congress testimony: I knew about problems in 2014...

Staff writer |
Michael Horn, president and CEO Of Volkswagen Group Of America, said he knew more than a year ago that the group's cars possibly breached pollution rules, as he prepared to apologize today, October 8, before Congress over the massive scandal.

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In testimony released ahead of his hearing before a Congressional committee, Horn offered an apology over Volkswagen's use of a software designed to cheat pollution tests.

"On behalf of our company, and my colleagues in Germany, I would like to offer a sincere apology for Volkswagen’s use of a software program that served to defeat the regular emissions testing regime.

"In the spring of 2014 when the West Virginia University study was published, I was told that there was a possible emissions non-compliance that could be remedied.

"I was informed that EPA regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include “defeat device” testing or analysis. I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.

"Later in 2014, I was informed that the technical teams had a specific plan for remedies to bring the vehicles into compliance and that they were engaged with the agencies about the process.

On September 3, 2015, Volkswagen AG disclosed at a meeting with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that emissions software in four cylinder diesel vehicles from model years 2009-2015 contained a “defeat device” in the form of hidden software that could recognize whether a vehicle was being operated in a test laboratory or on the road.

"The software made those emit higher levels of nitrogen oxides when the "vehicles were driven in actual road use than during laboratory testing.

You can read the whole testimony here.

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