Technology

At CES, Volkswagen chairman says 'I am truly sorry' about emissions scandal

After an emissions cheating scandal that rocked the world, Volkswagen wants to say it's sorry.

"We disappointed our customers and the American people, for which I am truly sorry, and for which I apologize," Herbert Diess, chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, told a crowd of hundreds of industry professionals and journalists Tuesday night at CES, the annual consumer electronics show.

"We at Volkswagen are disappointed that this could happen within the company we love," he continued. "I assure you we are doing everything we can to make things right and we are working night and day to find effective technical remedies for our customers and authorities worldwide."

The emissions scandal broke in September when the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency said they had found that VW had installed illegal software known as "defeat devices."

VW has admitted to using the devices in about 11 million vehicles worldwide to illegally cheat emissions tests. The devices detect when a vehicle is being tested and lowers engine performance to reduce pollution.

As a result of the fallout, longtime company Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned, as well as several other senior officials. This month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil complaint against Volkswagen on behalf of the EPA.

Diess said it has already worked out solutions for "the largest majority" of affected cars in Europe. In the U.S., which has different regulations, the company said it was working to find an acceptable solution and said it was in the midst of an "ongoing constructive dialogue" with the EPA.

"We are focused on ensuring that nothing like this can ever happen again at Volkswagen," Diess said.

He said the company's biggest goal this year was "to solve the current diesel issue in the United States."

Twitter: @byandreachang

MORE FROM CES 2016

Samsung shows off more devices at CES as part of its smart home concept

CES 2016: Robots, fancy wearables, toddler toys and — hair growers?

Dish offers a DVR for the stream-and-binge generation

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
Loading
66°