VW discovered the situation during its ongoing internal investigation, and, according to the automaker, "it was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process." Most of the affected vehicles are diesels, and the company is now reaching out to "the responsible type approval agencies" to figure out the next step.
While VW isn't officially confirming which models and engines are involved, Automotive News reports that it affects some 2012 and later VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda models with the company's 1.4-, 1.6-, and 2.0-liter diesel engines, as well as the 1.4-liter ACT gasoline engine. The issue mainly affects vehicles sold in Europe.
"The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency," CEO Matthias Müller said in the announcement.
Volkswagen Group of America spokesperson Jeannine Ginivan was able to provide some further clarification to Autoblog. "This is not related to US-certified vehicles," she said.
Matthias Müller: "Relentless and comprehensive clarification is our only alternative."
Around 800,000 Group vehicles could be affected
Initial estimate puts economic risks at approximately 2 billion euros
The Volkswagen Group is moving forward with the clarification of the diesel issue: during the course of internal investigations irregularities were found when determining type approval CO2 levels. Based on present knowledge around 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group could be affected. An initial estimate puts the economic risks at approximately two billion euros. The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG will immediately start a dialog with the responsible type approval agencies regarding the consequences of these findings. This should lead to a reliable assessment of the legal, and the subsequent economic consequences of this not yet fully explained issue.
Under the ongoing review of all processes and workflows in connection with diesel engines it was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process. The majority of the vehicles concerned have diesel engines.
"From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth. That is the basis for the fundamental realignment that Volkswagen needs", Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said, and added. "The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency."
In cooperation with the responsible authorities, Volkswagen will do everything in its power to clarify the further course of action as quickly as possible and ensure the correct CO2 classification for the vehicles affected.
The safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised. A reliable assessment of the scale of these irregularities is not yet possible. An initial estimate puts the economic risks at approximately two billion euros.