As investigations into Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal continue, the crisis traces back to a PowerPoint presentation of a decade back. While the company states that top management was not aware of the cheating software, the PowerPoint presentation was presented in 2006 and was prepared by a top technology executive at Volkswagen.
Detailing how the automaker could cheat on the emission test across the US, the presentation was pages long and included a graph explaining the entire process whereby auto emissions could be calibrated and tweaked to as to cheat on actual figures.
Volkswagen admitted late last year that a total of 11 million vehicles across the globe were fitted with software to cheat on tests whereby pollution in emissions could be measured. This has lead to criminal investigation which could result into billions of dollars in fines. VW reported a record $6.2 billion loss after setting apart $18 billion of fines, legal claims and recalls.
However, the fact remains, that the issue of cheating was both systematic and well understood by the top level executives. Volkswagen has now agreed to buy back some of the 600,000 diesel cars that cheat on emissions tests besides spend over $1bn to compensate owners of the affected models.
Though it is still not clear as to how much each owner will receive, reports suggest that this could be to the extent of $5,000 (INR 3.3 lakh) while owners have been given two years to take decisions as to whether they want to sell their vehicles back to the company or get them repaired. This buy back is limited to EA189 2.0 TDi engines seen on the Jetta, Golf, and Audi A3.