Volkswagen crisis: Car giant warned against emissions rigging eight years ago – Telegraph.co.uk
Fuelling speculation other carmakers were also using the technology, the company said in a statement last week: “We supply components for exhaust after-treatment to several manufacturers. The integration is the responsibility of the manufacturer.”
News of the warning came as another German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported a VW technician raised concerns about illegal practice in 2011.
In other developments, it emerged on Sunday:
- Volkswagen could face trouble funding leasing deals on new car as the European Central Bank (ECB) threatens to refuse to buy the loans that finance sales of its cars. The ECB declined to comment on claims it has put a temporary ban on buying VW’s asset-backed securities debt backed by car loans.
- Fresh allegations emerged that the UK Government was warned in 2009 by Transport Research Laboratories, a government consultancy, of serious discrepancies between on-road emissions and the results of lab test results.
- New British on-road tests showed Vauxhall diesels averaged more than seven times the EU limit. Emissions Analytics (EA), which carried out the tests, said there was no suggestion of illegality. Vauxhall said: “We do not have ‘defeat devices’ in our vehicles.”
VW has been reeling for more than a week since US regulators found its diesel engines were emitting up to 40 times the amount of nitrogen oxides than standards allow.
Some 11 million VW diesel cars built since 2008 are affected by the scandal. The company has pledged to provide a free fix. In Britain, more than 200,000 Volkswagen and Audi cars could be recalled to remove the devices.
The Vehicle Certification Agency, which oversees the testing of vehicles in Britain, is also investigating whether other manufacturers have manipulated the testing system.
Diesel motorists are likely to see their fuel bills go up as cars consume up to five per cent more fuel per mile when their pollution control systems are operating properly. Owners of cars containing defeat devices have been benefiting from lower fuel consumption but emitting air pollutants far in excess of the legal limit.
The Department for Transport is likely to re-test hundreds of models for emissions, prompting fears up to 1.5million UK owners could be hit with with backdated demands of up to £500 a year going back to 2012.
However, Jason Piper, Senior Manager at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants told the Daily Telegraph it is more like that VW rather than motorists will be chased for the bill. Mr Piper told the Daily Telegraph how action over tax banding could form the basis of a criminal inquiry.
He said: “It could potentially affect Volkswagen because clearly there is a consequence of these cars being put into the marketplace. This would be under the law of cheating the public revenue.”
VW is in the throes of the worst crisis in its 78-year history after admitting it rigged diesel cars sold in America to fool testers into believing they produce far less pollution than they do.
Investors in VW have been accused of ignoring clear signs of corporate governance failings at the German carmaker before the scandal. Howard Sherman, head of corporate governance business development at MSCI, the data provider, said: “We have had concerns about VW for some time.”
Meanwhile, Volkswagen’s Italian unit has told its dealers to stop selling affected diesels, the Corriera della Sera newspaper reported.
The move that would leave 40,000 cars stuck on Italian lots. Bosch responded to claims in Bild am Sonntag by telling the paper: “Within the scope of the business relationship with Volkswagen we are obliged to maintain confidentiality.”
The manufacturer also refused to comment further when approached by the Daily Telegraph.