Volkswagen plays down hopes of quick answers over emissions cheating

Wed Oct 7, 2015 7:39pm EDT
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By Andreas Cremer

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) said on Wednesday it would take time to get to the bottom of its rigging of diesel emissions tests, hours before the carmaker is due to give updates on its findings to German regulators and U.S. lawmakers.

More than two weeks after it admitted to cheating U.S. emissions tests, Europe's largest carmaker is under pressure to identify those responsible, to say how vehicles with illegal software will be fixed and whether it also cheated in Europe.

"Nobody is served by speculation or vague, preliminary progress reports," Hans Dieter Poetsch told a news conference after being confirmed as the German company's new chairman.

"Therefore it will take some time until we have factual and reliable results and can provide you with comprehensive information," he added, declining to take any questions.

Later on Wednesday, Volkswagen submitted plans to Germany's KBA watchdog to spell out how it would make its diesel vehicles comply with emissions laws. The transport ministry said it had been assured by the company that the deadline would be met.

Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said authorities were examining whether to make additional demands of Volkswagen.

"My expectation is that the KBA will analyze this report rapidly and comprehensively, and submit possible questions to Volkswagen," he told reporters in Berlin.

In written testimony to a U.S. congressional oversight panel, Volkswagen's top U.S. executive said the carmaker has withdrawn its certification application for some 2016 model year vehicles due to a software feature that should have been disclosed to U.S. and California regulators as an auxiliary emissions control device, or AECD.   Continued...

A Volkswagen logo stands next to a CCTV security camera in Wolfsburg, Germany October 7, 2015.  REUTERS/Axel Schmidt