According to the chairman of the Japanese car manufacturers’ trade group, Volkswagen AG’s decision to cheat diesel emissions tests in the US and maybe even around the world has damaged consumer trust in the entirety of the auto industry.
Fumihiko Ike, the leader of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and chairman of Honda Motor, the third largest national automaker, added these were solely his personal views but his backlash comes as regulators all around the world are now ready to enforce tougher scrutiny on auto emissions, with a focus on diesel cars. “This one company’s deeds have damaged trust in the auto industry,” commented the official at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday. “I find it hard to understand how it happened and am disappointed by what they did.” The Japanese officials are now mulling modifications to the method of testing engines and have asked all the country’s carmakers and Volkswagen to report if their vehicles don’t comply with the emission standards.
Volkswagen AG, the world’s largest (interim) automaker by sales admitted it had cheated diesel emissions tests in the US and the software was actually used in up to 11 million autos sold across the globe. The “defeat” device was turning on all the necessary systems when the test conditions were found and switched them off during real-world driving, with pollution between ten and 40 times above the legal threshold in the US, said the Environmental Protection Agency. In the aftermath the CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned and fleeing investors wiped off a third of the company’s market cap in a matter of days.