Executive says engineers knew Volkswagen must be cheating.
As Volkswagen Group of America announced its huge $14.7 billion U.S. settlement over diesel cars with emissions “cheat” software, a rival carmaker said the scandal didn’t come as a surprise. Speaking to Australian reporters, Volvo vehicle line executive Kent Falck said VW’s cheating was an “open secret” in the car industry.
Falck told News.com.au that Volvo engineers knew they couldn’t meet increasingly strict U.S. emissions standards for diesel cars, despite using the same basic technologies and parts as Volkswagen. Volvo hasn’t sold diesel cars in the U.S. for many years.
“We have the same suppliers, we have Bosch, we have Denso, we are working with the same partners, so we know this technology doesn’t exist,” he said. “We sat in a room and reviewed all the facts, figures, whatever we have, with the specialists… We can’t manage it, how are the others doing it?”
This isn’t the first time a rival auto executive has claimed to have known about VW’s “cheat” device. Earlier this year, former General Motors executive Bob Lutz told a Detroit radio station that his engineers also had doubts about VW emissions.
“Our people told me that they had studied the Volkswagen products and that they could not get the hardware to perform the same way to satisfy California’s emissions standards,” he told WJR-AM in February.
Emissions scandals aside, Volvo is moving away from diesel technology. The company has publicly committed to focusing on hybrid and electric technology, in part because Volvo believes diesels will become more complicated and expensive as emissions requirements become stricter. The Swedish automaker has also said it hopes to have one million electrified cars on the road by 2025, with its first battery-electric model launching in 2019.