Just when you think the hole Volkswagen has found itself in can't get any deeper, it has. Earlier this week, The Associated Press reported that Volkswagen disclosed to the EPA that 2016 model year TDI models have a different piece of software that would allow them to pass the emissions test. This software makes a pollution-control catalyst heat up faster to improve the performance of a device which cleans up the nitrogen oxide into harmless hydrogen and oxygen.
Now fitting a device like this isn't illegal unless you don't disclose it during the emission certification process. Janet McCabe, acting assistant EPA administrator for air quality wouldn't say if Volkswagen's failure to disclose this device is illegal.
"I don't want to speak to any potential subjects of an enforcement activity," said McCabe.
This puts Volkswagen in a more precarious situation. If the EPA rules that this software was implemented as cheating device, it would the fine that much larger and call into question the claims made by Volkswagen executives that it was small group who did this.
Despite this and other issues Volkswagen finds itself in, CEO Matthias Mueller said in a speech yesterday, that he sees the company bouncing back in a couple of years.
"We have a good chance of shining again in two to three years," Muller said.
"We will significantly streamline structures, processes and (decision-making) bodies. We must become leaner and take decisions more rapidly," he went on to say.
Muller's speech comes on the heels of news that Volkswagen has ordered a mandatory recall affecting 8.5 million TDI vehicles in the European Union that will begin early next year.