Volkswagen exec: Cheating not a corporate decision

A few individuals behind millions of cars rigged to cheat pollution tests, head of automaker’s U.S. business says

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“We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships and employees, as well as the public and regulators,” Michael Horn, president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America said Thursday in prepared remarks before a House committee investigating the scandal. “Volkswagen knows that we will be judged not by words but by our actions over the coming weeks and months.”    The emissions scandal became public on Sept. 18, 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency said Volkswagen had sold nearly half a million diesel vehicles with software intentionally designed to evade standards for air pollution. The EPA said Volkswagen faced up to $18 billion in fines, or $37,500 for each vehicle. In less than a week, the carmaker’s CEO had stepped down, while the company disclosed that as many as 11 million cars worldwide were affected and set aside $7.3 billion to cover the damage.   Societe Generale recently estimated the emissions scandal could end up costing Volkswagen nearly $36 billion over the next two years as it contends with expenses including recall costs, vehicle buybacks, regulatory fines and class-action settlements.

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