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U.S. chief knew VW was breaking rules

Thursday, October 08, 2015 - 01:39

Volkswagen's Korea boss has apologised for the emissions scandal to a parliamentary committee in Seoul. But as Sonia Legg reports, it's the grilling in the U.S. about the biggest scandal in the German automaker's history which will is still the main focus.

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They've already put their hands up - now some are saying it's time for Volkswagen to pay the price. Thomas Kuehl, head of the automaker's Korean operation, was first in the hot seat. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF VOLKSWAGEN KOREA, THOMAS KUEHL, SAYING: "I want to first take the opportunity to give my sincere apologies on behalf of Volkswagen to breaking the trust of our customers." It's the grilling of the U.S. VW boss in America which is the tougher challenge for the German automaker Michael Horn says he knew back in the spring of 2014 that VW was breaking the rules on diesel emissions tests. IG's Alastair McCaig. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) ALASTAIR MCCAIG, MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "Politicians are looking to score some cheap points as far as the U.S. populous is concerned and he's certainly not going to have a smooth ride. The other knock-on consequences are undoubtedly the worries over the litigious aspect, effectively selling 11 million cars under false pretence, and certainly the US side of that equation could be quite costly." The cost of a recall, litigation and damage to reputation are hard to quantify. Germany's Economy Minister knows there's a lot at stake (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN VICE CHANCELLOR AND ECONOMY MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, SAYING: "It's clear the company needs to carry out an investigation. The more pro-active they are, the better. I have the impression that the supervisory board and the new CEO (Matthias Mueller) know this. The employees certainly do." It's now almost three weeks since the scandal emerged but there's no sign the crisis is easing yet. One German newspaper is now reporting the "cheat" software was switched on in European vehicles as well as U.S. ones. VW has previously said that wasn't the case.

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U.S. chief knew VW was breaking rules

Thursday, October 08, 2015 - 01:39