Employees of Volkswagen and one of its major suppliers have cautioned years ago about the use of software designed to dupe diesel regulatory emissions testing procedures, according to newspaper reports in Germany.
The carmaker, the largest in the world in terms of sales is trying now to uncover who was responsible and who knew about the cheating after it publicly admitted it had rigged diesel-powered emissions tests in the United States and possibly around the world. The company is facing its largest business crisis in its 78-year history, after saying it had installed software in diesel engines on up to 11 million cars around the globe to artificially lower the emissions of toxic gasses. With numerous probes around the world, the automaker is also focusing in its internal probe on how far up the management ladder were the executives and engineers responsible for the cheat and how long have been doing it.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, citing a person from within VW’s supervisory board, said the committee was shown on internal report on Friday with VW technicians cautioning about the illegal procedures in 2011. Separately, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper added VW’s internal investigation has uncovered a letter from supplier Bosch from 2007 that warned against the possible illegal use of its proprietary technology. Bild added that outgoing chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn has asked the board for his full salary to be paid through the end of next year as stipulated in the country, with the latter disagreeing. He received 16 million euros last year.