The boss of Volkswagen’s US business has admitted the firm was dishonest in using software to rig emissions tests.
Michael Horn said the firm was dishonest with US regulators, adding: “We have totally screwed up.”
Last Friday, the regulators said VW diesel cars had much higher emissions than tests had suggested.
The Obama administration on Friday directed Volkswagen to recall nearly a half-million cars, saying the automaker illegally installed software in its diesel-power cars to evade standards for reducing smog.
The Environmental Protection Agency accused the German automaker of using software to detect when the car is undergoing its periodic state emissions testing. Only during such tests are the cars’ full emissions control systems turned on.
During normal driving situations, the controls are turned off, allowing the cars to spew as much as 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act, the E.P.A. said.