VW knew about emissions in 2014

Volkswagen’s US boss, Michael Horn, has admitted he was aware early last year of the emissions cheating affecting millions of the company’s vehicles.

Horn said he was told about a ‘possible emissions non-compliance’ in the spring of 2014.

The revelation was made in testimony due to be presented to a committee of the US House of Representatives investigating the scandal on Thursday.

‘I was informed that EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] 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,’ he said.

‘I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.’

Mr Horn said in the written evidence it was not until 3 September this year that Volkswagen told US authorities about the ‘defeat device’ in emissions software in diesel vehicles for the model years 2009 to 2015.

Mr Horn said the events had been ‘deeply troubling’ and added ‘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.’

Horn continued, ‘Responsible parties will be identified and held accountable.’

VW chief executive, Matthias Mueller, announced yesterday that recalls to vehicles affected by the diesel emissions scandal would not start until January 2016.

A website has been set up so that customers can check whether or not their car has been affected.

Mueller added that all investments that were not deemed absolutely necessary would be abandoned or delayed, technical solutions were ‘within view’ and VW  would do everything it could to keep jobs secure.

However, future investment in plant, technology and vehicles would be put ‘under scrutiny’.