- Title: Volkswagen unveils new product line amid ongoing emissions scandal
- Date: 9th January 2017
- Summary: VARIOUS OF THE NEWLY DESIGNED TOUREG
- Embargoed: 24th January 2017 17:52
- Keywords: Volkswagen emissions VW North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken
- Location: DETROIT, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES / FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- City: DETROIT, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES / FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0035YD1KQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Volkswagen executives decided to cover up cheating of U.S. emissions tests when they were told about it almost two months before the matter became a public scandal in 2015, according to a court filing by U.S. law enforcers seen by Reuters.
Senior VW manager Oliver Schmidt, who was due to appear in court charged with defrauding the United States later on Monday (January 9), was one of those who informed executive management about the "existence, purpose and characteristics" of so-called defeat devices on or around July 27, 2015, according to the filing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to a Michigan court.
In Detroit, the automaker was hoping to distance itself from the legal woes when it unveiled a new line of VW vehicles. VW unveiled the electric concept car I.D. Buzz, reminiscent of the VW bus of the 1960's as well as the Atlas, a large SUV that will be available later this year.
Hinrich Woebcken, the CEO of Volkswagen North America told reporters at the North American Auto Show the brand was bouncing back from a tough year.
"So for a year full of challenges, we are encouraged by where we ended up in terms of sales. With this this quick glimpse of the past, we are defiantly very optimistic about our prospects in 2017. We believe that a number of important building blocks are in place to make this business more successful in the U.S. market. We are committed to this market and committed to growth."
He said he was surprised by the weekend arrest of Schmidt, adding VW was cooperating with officials.
Schmidt's arrest and court appearance come as VW nears a $3 billion-plus settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday.
But the allegations in the FBI filing show how difficult it is proving for VW to draw a line under the biggest business scandal in its 80-year history almost 16 months after it broke.
VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret "defeat device" software in hundreds of thousands of U.S. diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner than they were on the road, and that up to around 11 million vehicles could have similar software installed worldwide.
The ensuing scandal has cost the company more than 18 billion euros ($18.9 billion) in provisions, led to the ousting of its longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn and forced it to drop its diesel offensive in the United States.
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