By on November 13, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (3 of 8)

How many among Volkswagen’s ranks were involved in the automaker’s ongoing diesel scandal? Works council boss Bernd Osterloh says it’s anyone’s guess.

In a joint interview with VW brand CEO Herbert Diess, Osterloh told Reuters the scandal could involve 10, 50, or 100 people, if not more. He added those involved would still “remain a limited group” out of a global workforce of 600,000.

The interview comes on the heels of an announcement of a deadline for amnesty to anyone involved in creating the system used to cheat during emissions testing, set for November 30, 2015.

Meanwhile, the diesel scandal is starting to take its toll on sales. Though Volkswagen of American performed well in October, global sales fell 5.3 percent to 490,000 units for the month per Bloomberg, and 4.7 percent to 4.84 million units between January and October 2015.

The Volkswagen family of brands also took a beating, falling 3.5 percent to 831,300 deliveries in October, 1.7 percent to 8.26 million deliveries over the first 10 months of 2015.

VW has set aside €6.7 billion ($7.2 billion USD) for Q3 2015 to recall 11 million affected diesels with systems designed to fool emissions tests. The automaker acknowledges this may only be the beginning, however.

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18 Comments on “Osterloh: Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal Could Involve 100 Employees...”

  • avatar

    Who will be held responsible for the flowers that wilted and died with each peddle press?

    • 0 avatar

      There are a number of cities in this country that suffer from a ground level ozone problem, of which nitrogen oxides are a major contributor.

      Just because you are too young to remember air pollution so bad it was referred to as a “killer smog” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

      BTW, the word you were looking for was “pedal”, not “peddle”, those things on the driver’s side floor are not trying to sell anything.

    • 0 avatar

      We are all responsible, BTSR. I myself have committed the sin of CO2 emissions. That will be 100 Hail Gaias during my next meditation or 1,000 for all Clean Diesel owners. Namaste.

    • 0 avatar

      “pedal” perhaps?

  • avatar

    Whoever thought this was the work of a sole rogue engineer was dreaming, I would not be surprised if this was the work of a combination of people both from management and regular employees in engineering, powertrain, systems integration and the legal departments.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…the scandal could involve 10, 50, or 100 people, if not more. He added those involved would still “remain a limited group” out of a global workforce of 600,000.”

    Not to be rude, but pretty much anyone here could have uttered such a statement. Nobody guesses all 600k workers were in on it, and nobody believes it was a tiny handful.

    I think what we’ll find is that people had varying shades of knowledge and contribution to the issue. So maybe 100 total, but 10 primary creators, 30 managers with full awareness, and 70 people who had some exposure but didn’t ask any questions – sort of like a war crimes investigation.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick Engineer

      That was my reaction too. What does “if not more” mean? And what’s an upper limit on the size of that “limited group”? 500, heck even 1000 is limited compared to a 600K total workforce.

      IDK, every time I read one of these official VW statements I feel like someone needs to tell them they are not speaking at some 1930’s Nuremberg rally.

  • avatar

    “100”…… isn’t that a movie about Spartans?

  • avatar

    How do 100 people keep a secret like this?

  • avatar

    Well, we can be sure that the actual number of those who knew will be less than 600,001.
    My guess is the total amount of co-conspirators will be exacly the same as TTAC articles about the subject.

  • avatar

    Let me all save you some time (and more TTAC articles) and tell you how this ends:

    VW will lay the blame on 100 engineers – all which have previously been deemed expendable by management. They will all be fired and some may face prosecution and VW will negotiate to pay a large fine to put this behind them.

    The senior management, which pushed the engineers to cheat and provided tacit approval for the defeat devices, will be found to be victims of rouge and disloyal employees. The bonuses they collected for meeting emissions targets using the cheat will be supplemented by recognition for their efforts in working with the government to make the scandal go away.

    The end.

  • avatar

    I’m just glad to see a VW scandal piece without a pic of the Wolfsburg smokestacks… creeps me out every time.


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