If you thought the Volkswagen group were already in a world of pain following the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, things could be about to get worse for the German vehicle manufacturer. Three anonymous insiders have spoken to the Reuters news agency, claiming that Volkswagen modified its emissions defeat device to work on at least four engines over a 7-year period. If the claim ends up being true, these incremental updates made to the dodgy software could be evidence of a larger group of employees making an ongoing effort to continue their deception without regulators’ knowledge.
Investigations into the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions saga are ongoing, with the scandal so far affecting some 11 million vehicles which were fitted with VW’s EA189 and EA288 diesel engines. “VW would have had to reconfigure the software for each generation of engines,” an unnamed official close to the US investigation said to Reuters.
Volkswagen has claimed that only a few individuals had knowledge of and were involved in the defeat device, challenging a report that at least 30 managers knew about the situation. But should the anonymous claims made to Reuters be true, VW’s claims would certainly be a lot harder to believe. According to the report, the Justice Department could seek even harsher punishments if it finds out that more top execs knew more about the issue than VW is letting on.
Investigators in Europe have also been working out who was involved in the deception. Italian authorities recently searched the Lamborghini headquarters and VW’s main office in the country looking for evidence. Meanwhile, German prosecutors collected documents directly from the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, and regulators there mandated a recall in early 2016.