Chairman of the Volkswagen Group, Hans Dieter Poetsch, has said the automobile maker needs to win back trust lost through its cheating on diesel emissions tests that may affect 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Poetsch, who spoke at a press conference at the German company’s headquarters, said “The last two and a half months have been unprecedented for the VW Group,” he said, referring to the turmoil at Europe’s biggest carmaker since it admitted to cheating the tests on Sept. 18.
“We will be relentless in seeking to establish who was responsible,” he said as part of the company’s updated report on the scandal. “Everything is on the table. Nothing will be swept under the carpet.”
Poetsch said investigations found that the emissions cheating happened because of three factors. One was an attitude in some parts of the company that “tolerated breaches of rules.” Another was individual failures in one area of the company. A third was flaws in some processes that are now being tightened.
Poetsch said nine executives have been suspended as a result of the scandal and he would not speculate on whether additional managers would be suspended.
He said the cheating happened because engineers who were developing the EA 189 engine family involved in the scandal could not find a way to meet U.S. diesel emissions limits in a permissible way within their time frame and budget. He said the cheat was not a one-off mistake but a “whole series of mistakes.”