Report: Volkswagen Knew Fuel Consumption Claims Were Bogus Last Year

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
report volkswagen knew fuel consumption claims were bogus last year

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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  • Daviel Daviel on Nov 29, 2015

    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?

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    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Nov 29, 2015

      @highdesertcat 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.

  • Klossfam Klossfam on Nov 29, 2015

    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.

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    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Nov 30, 2015

      @lorenzo, Diesel is dearer here and in many other countries

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Nov 30, 2015

    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.

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Nov 30, 2015

      tonycd, 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.

  • BerlinDave BerlinDave on Nov 30, 2015

    Survived an "unintended acceleration" - whats a few MPG here and there?