The CEO of Volkswagen recently apologized to President Obama for the automotive company’s emissions scandal. Matthias Mueller spoke with the media and said that he personally met with Obama during the President’s trip to Hannover, Germany.
The Volkswagen emissions scandal generated a great deal of media coverage and outrage from around the world as the company admitted to rigging its diesel-free cars to pass pollution tests. The computer systems in the vehicles were set up to automatically reduce emissions when the cars were undergoing emissions tests. As soon as the test was over and the vehicle was back on the roadway, the emissions controls were turned off and the engine spewed pollution at a rate significantly higher than allowed under federal, and international, guidelines.
Mueller, speaking at Volkswagen’s annual news conference in Germany, acknowledged the company’s failure to stop the emissions cheating as soon as possible. He indicated that he apologized to Obama and expressed gratitude for the U.S. government’s “constructive cooperation” with Volkswagen on resolving the scandal.
It is expected that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hit the German-based automaker with fines totaling billions of dollars. However, although the EPA has the authority to levy fines as high as $18 billion against Volkswagen, most industry observers believe that the total amount of the fine will be less than half that amount.
In addition to being required to pay significant monetary penalties, Volkswagen is going to have to fund a recall of approximately 500,000 defective vehicles in the United States. The company will either have to buy back the cars or pay for the necessary repairs.
Although many of the VW diesel cars in the U.S. are going to be repaired, the company has been far less accommodating to vehicle owners in Europe, where environmental regulations are less stringent. Authorities have said that more than 11 million VW vehicles may actually have the emissions cheating software.
To learn more, check out the Yahoo.com article, “Volkswagen CEO Apologized in Person to Obama over Scandal.”
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