Volkswagen (VW) will not be selling diesel vehicles in the U.S. in 2016, according to the company's U.S. CEO Michael Horn.
Horn will be presenting a written testimonial to a congressional oversight panel today. In the testimony, he offers "a sincere apology for Volkswagen's use of a program that served to defeat" emissions tests,” and says, "We have withdrawn the application for certification of our model year 2016 vehicles."
An anonymous VW source says the Touareg diesel, which uses a 3.0-liter engine, would be part of the 2016 line-up.
Horn, taking "complete responsibility" for the scandal, says "these events are deeply troubling. I did not think that something like this was possible at the Volkswagen Group. We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships and employees, as well as the public and regulators."
Volkswagen has admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide which enabled them to cheat emission tests. Among the 2009 to 2015 models are Golfs, Beetles, Passats, Jettas, and some Audi A3s. Automobile sales experts say 482,000 of those models were sold and registered in the U.S.
Horn says Volkswagen is in discussions with the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to find an acceptable "emissions control strategy.", although not making clear what that strategy is for VW vehicles already in use that cannot now pass emission tests.
"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," says Horn.
Although what VW intends to do may become more clear after Horn’s testimony today, at the moment it appears as if there is no easy fix for current VW vehicle owners.
Karl Brauer. a Kelley Blue Book analyst, says VW has "abandoned the entire 2016 model year diesels, and that's not good news for owners. It suggests that the fix is probably not going to be easy. It suggests that the fix involves so much challenge that they’re not even going try to make the 2016s work."