New disclosures in Volkswagen’s massive diesel scandals are pointing out to the emissions’ manipulation saga starting back in 2006, according to a report from a German newspaper.
There is no surprise for anyone that Volkswagen’s top executives were well aware of the cheating plot long before the scandal broke in the media, but it seems the trails of the manipulation go back as long as a decade ago. Citing results from VW’s internal investigation, the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper recently reported that the development of the blamed software for bypassing the diesel-emissions tests was not a secret at all for the company’s engine R&D department. The paper said the cheating plan was openly discussed within the development unit as long ago as 2006 and many managers and employees involved in the emissions tests obviously knew about it.
It is said that the department’s staff was under pressure from top bosses to come up with a cost effective solution to make diesels cleaner for the US market. After finding the “proper solution”, the R&D employees decided by themselves to push forward with the manipulation plan and they did not tell Volkswagen’s management board that the “quick fix” implies breaking the rules. “Within the company there was a culture of ‘we can do everything’, so to say something cannot be done, was not acceptable,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, quoting the VW internal report which included testimony from a staff member who took part in the fraud. “Instead of coming clean to the management board that it cannot be done, it was decided to commit fraud,” the newspaper said.
Staff in engine development department were aware of the fact that the regulators would not be able to detect the cheating scheme by using standard techniques tests. The engine management software provided by Bosch was then manipulated in VW’s Wolfsburg headquarter, with the plan being put into motion starting with November 2006, the paper added.