Volkswagen’s CEO pronounced he is “deeply sorry” for violating U.S. emissions standards and systematic an outmost review on Sunday, dual days after a Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicted a automaker of purposefully utilizing emissions tests for some 500,000 vehicles.
The German automaker also systematic a U.S. dealerships to stop offered cars impacted by a probe until a engineers can broach a fix.
The EPA has indicted Volkswagen of installing program on 482,000 diesel cars in a U.S. that authorised it to lie emissions tests, potentially exposing people to damaging pollutants during levels of 40 times a excusable customary and respiratory conditions such as asthma.
“I privately am deeply contemptible that we have damaged a trust of a business and a public,” Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagon’s CEO said in a statement. “We will concur entirely with a obliged agencies, with clarity and urgency, to clearly, openly, and totally settle all of a contribution of this case,” said Winterkorn, who affianced to recover a public’s trust.
The violations could display Volkswagon — the world’s largest automobile manufacturer by a initial 6 months of 2015 — to adult to $18 billion in sovereign fines if a EPA assesses a limit probable chastisement of $37,500 per vehicle.
The violations could also entice charges of fake offered by regulators, a automobile remember and remuneration to automobile owners, possibly willingly or by lawsuits. Volkswagen advertised a cars underneath a “Clean Diesel” moniker.
The state of California is also questioning a emissions violations.
“We do not and will not endure violations of any kind of a inner manners or of a law,” said Winterkorn. The company’s house takes a allegations “very seriously,” he said.
The EPA has indicted the German automaker of adopting what it gas called a “defeat device” to pretence U.S. regulators into desiring that a cars met Clean Air Act standards for nitrogen oxides. Volkswagen certified to investigators that it had commissioned a better device, a EPA said.
The EPA pronounced impacted cars include the 2009 to 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle and Golf, a 2014 and 2015 Volkswagen Passat, and a 2009 to 2015 Audi A3.
Volkswagon told dealers they can't sell a 4-cylinder diesel versions of those cars until a repair is available, Volkswagen orator Mario Guerreiro pronounced Sunday.
The sales hindrance could put a poignant hole in a company’s Sep sales performance. About 20% of Volkswagen’s automobile sales are diesel engines, pronounced AutoPacific researcher Dave Sullivan.
“It totally goes opposite all of a offered they have had of a purify diesel,” Sullivan pronounced of a violations. “That’s one of a biggest offered points for Volkswagen.”
“The trust of a business and a open is and continues to be a many critical asset,” Winterkorn pronounced Sunday. “We during Volkswagen will do all that contingency be finished in sequence to reinstate a trust that so many people have placed in us, and we will do all required in sequence to retreat a repairs this has caused. This matter has initial priority for me, personally, and for a whole Board of Management.”
USA TODAY’s Chris Woodyard contributed to this story.
Follow USA TODAY contributor Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.