Volkswagen apologizes for emission scandal in full page ad – The Hill

Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

German automaker Volkswagen is apologizing for its violations of federal air pollution emission standards with a full-page ad in 30 U.S. newspapers, The Verge reports

The ad contains a letter from Volkswagen’s U.S. CEO Michael Horn apologizing for his company’s decision to install software on diesel models of its cars dating back to 2008 that violate the Clean Air Act by activating required air pollution protections only during emissions tests, according to the report. 

“Over the past several weeks, we’ve apologized to you, our loyal customers, about the 2.0L VW emissions issue,” Horn writes in the letter that is included in the advertisement, which is titled “We’re working to make things right.”

“As we work tirelessly to develop a remedy, we ask for your continued patience,” Horn continued in the letter. 

Volkswagen has admitted to installing “defeat devices” on about 482,000 diesel vehicles since 2008. The company has recently been found to have installed the devices on cars marketed under its Audi and Porsche brands. 

The Environmental Protection Agency said the company programmed vehicles to trick emissions testers into believing its diesel cars released a much lower volume of nitrogen oxide than they actually do. In regular driving, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times more pollution.

Horn touted a “goodwill” gesture of $1,000 that Volkswagen is offering to  to drivers who were affected by its violations of U.S. emission standards in the apologetic ad, according to the report. 

“We’re providing affected TDI owners with a $500 Volkswagen Visa Prepaid Loyalty Card, a $500 Volkswagen Dealership Card and no-charge, 24-hour Roadside Assistance for three years,” he wrote. “We sincerely hope you see this as a first step toward restoring your invaluable trust.” 

Horn has already offered a “sincere apology” to lawmakers for his company’s efforts to circumvent federal air pollution rules.

“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,” Volkswagen’s CEO for North America, Michael Horn, said during an Oct. 8 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel.  

“These events are deeply troubling,” he added then. “I did not think that something like this was possible at the Volkswagen Group. We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships and employees, as well as the public and regulators.” 

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