As far as WOW moments go, this one ranks up there. Wednesday, Automotive News reported that Volkswagen is withdrawing its application for EPA certification for its 2016 diesels.
VW needs the EPA certification in order to sell them in the U.S., which could lead to longer-than-expected waits for diesel models. VW was apparently waiting on the certification, but decided to withdraw its request due to the cheating emissions scandal involving some of its other diesel models.
Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn, who’s been with the company for 25 years, disclosed the shocker in written testimony that he’ll deliver in person Thursday at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce committee. An excerpt explaining Volkswagen’s decisions is as follows:
In Volkswagen’s recent ongoing discussions with the regulators, we described to the EPA and CARB that our emissions control strategy also included a software feature that should be disclosed to and approved by them as an auxiliary emissions control device (“AECD”) in connection with the certification process. As a result, we have withdrawn the application for 2 certification of our model year 2016 vehicles. We are working with the agencies to continue the certification process. – Michael Horn, Volkswagen of America CEO
In the statement, also published on Volkswagen’s media website, Horn also apologized for the company’s violations of U.S. emissions rules, but didn’t explain when a fix for affected diesel-powered vehicles would be available. However, the company’s CEO announced this week that he hopes a recall can begin in Europe in January.