Volkswagen may have employed several versions of its ‘defeat device’ in order to evade emissions testing, according to reports out of the US.
Reuters cites three sources said to be close to the matter, who claim that the devices were continually evolving - rather than a ‘one-off’.
Volkswagen’s EA189 turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine was first exposed as the powerplant at the centre of the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal, but now the carmaker’s EA288 engine is also being scrutinised.
The insiders claim that the devices were updated as they were rolled out for newer engines, and that as many as four engine codes (eg, EA189) may have been cheating emissions testing.
Overall, the sources say the entire operation is more complex than it first appears, and that numerous people had knowledge of the activities, ranging from engineers to management.
Volkswagen refused to comment when contacted by Reuters, but the company is continuing to cooperate with investigations in the US and Europe.
The carmaker did reportedly say that it was “far too early to tell” how many employees were involved in the emissions cover-up or who they might be.
Allegations of evolving defeat devices raises further questions around Dieselgate, including whether or not development funding was channeled into the program to ‘improve’ the devices as engines were upgraded.
Financial analysts have previously said that the number of Volkswagen personnel involved is a key factor in the carmaker’s recovery from the scandal. It will likely point to the difficulties Volkswagen may face in bringing in ‘new blood’ and will also likely affect the scale of the fines, charges and court actions expected to be borne by the beleaguered carmaker.
Stay tuned to TMR for more.
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