According to a letter delivered by the German automaker to the national lawmakers and seen by Reuters, the Volkswagen Group installed the illegal software used to dupe emissions tests in the US on 8 million diesel-powered vehicles sold in the European Union.
The letter admits that vehicles with 1.2-, 1.-6 and 2.0-liter diesel engines of the type EA 189 have been fitted with the software that was used to cheat on emission tests in the United States and the company would now have to recall all of them – for a total of 11 million around the globe, including 2.8 million in Germany alone. In addition, the Australian division of the carmaker announced Wednesday that around 77,000 vehicles sold in the country were also manufactured with the “defeat” device – putting a worldwide stamp on the biggest crisis in the company’s 78-year history. Volkswagen Group Australia said around 55,000 Volkswagen passenger cars, 5,000 Skodas and more than 17,000 Volkswagen commercial vehicles used the affected EA 189 diesel engines.
The scandal that started following the reveal by the US Environmental Protection Agency that diesel-powered vehicles in the US passed the emissions testing procedures using illegal software has wiped a third of the company’s market value in a matter of weeks and triggered the resignation of long time chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn. The incoming CEO, Matthias Mueller pledged a swift resolve to the crisis but warned the employees the process will include a certain level of “pain”, as the company seeks to further cut costs to be able to cope with the financial disaster foreseen by the crisis.