By on November 29, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German newspaper Bild Am Sonntag (via Reuters) reported Sunday that engineers within Volkswagen knew more than one year ago that its cars didn’t meet reported fuel consumption and even pulled a model from sale because of the deception.

Volkswagen admitted in October that 800,000 cars sold in Europe didn’t meet advertised fuel economy and that the company would pay more than $2.1 billion for the scandal.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen didn’t comment on the claim that executives knew about the cheating crisis before October, and said that the slow-selling Polo BlueMotion was pulled due to poor sales.

“The offering of the Blue Motion TDI Polo was suspended in all markets due to subdued demand. We are currently testing all models built from 2012 for differences in CO2 levels from the listed values,” VW told Reuters.

Bild didn’t quote any sources nor cite specific information on how it obtained the report.

The story presents a different version of events than presented by Volkswagen when it announced it had cheated fuel economy requirements in Europe.

The company said it first learned about its carbon dioxide crisis after it admitted cheating emissions tests on its 2-liter diesel cars in September.

If true, the report would be a damning indictment of top-level executives who may have known that their cars were cheating well before the company admitted to it.

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25 Comments on “Report: Volkswagen Knew Fuel Consumption Claims Were Bogus Last Year...”

  • avatar

    They willingly and knowingly forged test data…..unless they suffer from Alzheimer, I’d think they knew….

    Same with diesel gate, it is not like they slipped on the keyboard and accidentally and inadvertently added thousands of lines of code that worked perfectly.

  • avatar

    This just keeps on getting better. I mean the story, not just because I dislike most VWs (although I do). Its like watching some future movie about a car company that became number one in the world, and all the sneaky, underhanded things they did to get there.

    It sounds like they were managing the company like a mob would function: nunber one at any cost. “Who must I kill to sell moor off zee New Beetle?!”

    Reply: “Cheat, just as we have done since the begining when we stole ideas from the brilliant people our founder conqured and/or killed to make the original Beetle.”

    Did anyone see Jay Leno’s Garage the other day when he said that in the first week of using Tatra’s (like the one Jay was driving) they had seized as Nazi staff cars, the tricky high speed handling killed 7 Nazi generals (or their equivilent I guess)? Revenge of those who knew not to try to go that fast around a curve in the car, those who designed it and had owned it.

  • avatar

    Meh…they didn’t kill anyone directly so who cares if they lied on a scale getting close to cigarette makers and late night TV ad weight loss and “male enhancement” products.

    It’s only others people money.

    This will impact VW for decades to come and they will need very skilled leadership after they pay all these fines, settle these lawsuits, and have to work under intense scrutiny to not fall further behind the competition. The wrong leader in this crisis will put them on a path of total irrelevancy in the market.

    So what have we learned? VW became the number one automaker in the world by deception – that went on for years at multiple levels. The truly guilty have already escaped with golden parachutes.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe they can argue that their cheating diesels used less fuel than advertised and emitted less CO2 as a result, offsetting their cheating gasoline powered cars.

      • 0 avatar

        @CJ in SD
        Scania which has 80% of its shares held by VW, regularly does highway testing of its emissions, to make sure the Trucks, meet Euro 6
        Too bad some of the others did not follow its example

  • avatar

    I don’t care about these issues except I’m sorry VW got caught. Anyone who believes any gas mileage claims is a sucker. Their company will survive all this. I’d really like a GTI next year. I never gave a rip about diesels either and wonder why anyone not towing a boat would buy one. Why all the fuss, unless it’s all industry gossip?

    • 0 avatar

      daviel: “I don’t care about these issues except I’m sorry VW got caught. I’d really like a GTI next year.” Don’t care about breathing or eating, huh? See how that GTI works out for you.

      klossfam: “VWs biggest crime is getting caught. I’m not defending the wrong doing but Hyundai, GM and others have all falsified mpg and other specs over the years.” Okay, I’ll go over this again, real slow: VW didn’t just build cars that broke the pollution laws. They didn’t just build cars that broke the pollution laws and lie about it. They built cars DELIBERATELY ENGINEERED TO BREAK THE LAWS.

      • 0 avatar

        “Don’t care about breathing or eating, huh?”

        VW’s emissions are an infinitesimally and insignificantly small portion of the total emissions of everything on the planet. I bet there is more pollution from cowfarts than there is from cars, trucks and other ICE vehicles.

        With all the hoopla these days about CO2 emissions, I often wondered why all those trees were felled, cut down or burned on the planet. Trees are what convert CO2 to O2.

        • 0 avatar

          Correct, deforestation and if the overall global temps get too high, methane and vast quantities of Co2 from the oceans and polar regions, permafrost will be released. It will be a very toxic world.

          Diesels will continue to be popular despite the hoopla, but modern gas engines will be coming under the radar as well. I expect Gas/Petrol engines will have a lot more shocks than diesel

        • 0 avatar

          From a 5-second glance atseveral 1st-page Google results for “cattle methane,” so take it with a pinch of salt: Agriculture is 14% of GHG emissions; cattle emit 70-120 kg a year (roughly equal overall to a car), but it’s from burping during rumination, not flatulence. Emissions from livestock will only increase as demand in deveoping nations for meat grows.

          As for the deforestation, that’s just an unfortunate side effect of the human mentality of looking at a dense forest or an open prairie and seeing “nothing” and wanting to put “something” there.

  • avatar

    With all the shenanigans that occur in the auto industry, VWs biggest crime is getting caught. I’m not defending the wrong doing but Hyundai, GM and others have all falsified mpg and other specs over the years. VW definitely had more pressure on them with the number of diesels they sell and the tighter scrutiny on oil burners. The BBC did a feature after the scandal broke that showed a VW Passat and Ford Focus diesel that both exceeded emissions but the Ford was even worse than the VW. This is a good story but the media hype and dollars it’ll cost VW are far larger than any actual damage done to the environment.

    • 0 avatar

      It will be fun when the EU starts testing ALL vehicles for compliance, Diesel and Petrol

    • 0 avatar

      “VW are far larger than any actual damage done to the environment.”

      If you’re talking CO2, then I agree. As for the NOx, couldn’t disagree more. That Leeds University study showed that tiny diesel cars put out more than a Euro 6 compliant diesel bus or highway rig. That’s because those commercial vehicles actually meet standard. All reported before here on TTAC.

      Meanwhile over 50 million rotten little diesel buckets are why the atmosphere is putrid in European city centres, Robert Ryan’s mystical and incorrect naysaying about North America being worse several weeks ago to the contrary.

      NOx leads to ozone and photochemical smog, excess CO2 just means you get worse mileage and that is limited to gasoline-powered cars in this case.

      • 0 avatar

        There is more than just NOx , that causes health problems from Automobiles. Even Co2 has a negative effect in higher concentrations
        NA is one of the worst places on the planet for dangerous pollution from Automobiles

        • 0 avatar

          We’ve been telling Robert and BAFO for years, Europe’s boner for diesels has been killing off their own citizens in record numbers with astronomical health blowback. Diesels are the worst thing to happen to light vehicles in densely populated cities, even small towns/villages.

          They don’t get it. We don’t want or need light duty diesels, except for a few a$$Holes that absolutely have to be different.

          • 0 avatar

            Problem is people are wanting more diesels than every before outside NA.
            Even in NA, the number of diesel options is dramatically increasing

          • 0 avatar

            Diesels will continue to be popular outside of North America, as long as governments continue subsidizing diesel fuel. Taxing by engine size is another stupid idea that pushes the sale of more diesels. That’s fine for them. But look for this to change.

            Sales and demand for diesels in the US has continued to grow, but we’re talking from around 6% take rate to 7% in recent years or something, Not much at all. And that’s prior to the VW scandal coming to light.

          • 0 avatar

            @DenverMike, governments aren’t subsidizing diesel fuel, they’re not taxing it enough to overcome the fact diesel is cheaper to make than gasoline, even though diesel taxes are higher than gasoline.

            Diesel at a nearby station in California has regular gas at $2.79 and diesel at $2.69, despite higher state tax on diesel. As Walmart has proved, people will buy cheap cr*p if it’s at a low price.

          • 0 avatar

            Diesel is dearer here and in many other countries

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I really like some of these really ignorant and uneducated comments.

    Globally in a list of the top 12 countries that subsidise energy the US is at 11. All the countries with greater subsidies are, UEA, Saudi, Indonesia, etc.

    Hmmmmm………….glowworms I do believe.

    Pain at the pump. Using average daily income, the US requires 2.6% of daily income to buy a gallon of gas. Canada 3.6%, Australia 2.8%. The EU is worse. So who has subsidised fuel? It’s actually developing nations and oil producers that have subsidise fuel.

    The countries are mainly gasoline driven, not diesel.

    • 0 avatar

      Based on latest data, it’s 1.74%. This is using average gas prices, latest income data from the IRS and Social Security for the US percentage.

      Talk about uneducated comments.

    • 0 avatar

      Globally in a list of the top 12 countries that subsidise energy the US is at 11.”

      Yes, and globally in a list of the top 243 countries that subsidise energy, the US is also at 11.

      “In a list of the top 12”? What kind of arbitrarily framed statistic is that? Why not just say “the US ranks 11th”? This is just a transparent effort to play down the number further.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        My comment was in response to DenverMikes ridiculous comment regarding diesel subsidies.

        The countries that have high diesel usage in light motor vehicles, ie, the EU have some of the most heavily taxed fuel in the world.

        Countries like the US and even Australia have a greater subsidized energy sector, hence the rate of energy use in our countries.

        It appears oil producers, developing nations do tend to subsidise fuel more than others.

  • avatar

    Survived an “unintended acceleration” – whats a few MPG here and there?

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