Speaking at a news conference, Volkswagen has said its problems began after it decided to launch a large-scale promotion of diesel vehicles in the US in 2005, but found it impossible to meet strict emissions limits in force in that country in time.
VW Group chief executive, Matthias Mueller admitted that the emissions fix is relatively simple and inexpensive but claimed that such a fix was not possible in 2005 because the technology wasn’t available and maintains that the company was unaware of any problem at this time.
The crisis-stricken company told media that drivers of recalled 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel cars “won’t be able to feel it” when they are recalled for fixing from March, 2016.
For the first time, VW confessed that the scandal was triggered by a chain of errors.
Mueller said: “We are not talking about a one-off mistake but a whole chain of errors.”
He later added that he believed the company would recover from the crisis, despite figures showing a fall in sales by 20 per cent last month.
In light of the investigation findings so far, vehicle manufactures seeking approval of new cars in Germany will now be forced to reveal their software under measures prepared by the German government.
The announcement marks the first details of new regulatory measures to be drawn up by Germany’s official inquiry into the VW affair.