Dieselgate scandal continues to deepen as more details slowly come into focus. Volkswagen has long claimed that it initially came to know about the widespread cheating its TDI engines when widespread results were made known. This was despite repeated inquiries from the EPA, going as far back as 2013. Executive management has stuck to the company line, denying any prior knowledge of the software cheat. Now, according to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, there may be evidence that Martin Winterkorn actually knew. Their weekend article claims the former Volkswagen CEO knew about the cheating back in the spring of 2015. There is even strong suggestion it was well before that time. Winterkorn reportedly pulled the Polo BlueMotion TDI model from markets, largely in part due to it’s diesel emissions. Reports show this model exceeded it’s claimed emissions by 18 percent. Volkswagen, in a statement, maintains the car was pulled due to sagging demand.
WInterkorn was the same who promised back in 2012 that their diesel cars would have much lower emissions numbers by 2015. Volkswagen engineers were apparently unable to meet these targets. They took to cheating on tests for the now more than 800,000 models available in Europe alone. Over a million more cars worldwide have been swept up in the net of this scandal. Initially, after Volkswagen’s denials, a rogue team of software engineers was blamed for the cheats. This suggestion has been largely dismissed by public reaction in social media. Now, with the revelation of executive complacency, their narrative is called into question. Martin Winterkorn, for his part, should escape relatively unscathed. He left the company earlier this fall, once the diesel cheating scandal came to light. Volkswagen has denied any current or past executives had any knowledge of the diesel cheat.