VW will no longer sell diesels in U.S., CEO says

Keith Laing
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Volkswagen is planning to withdraw its diesels from the U.S. market after it was discovered rigging thousands of cars to cheat federal emission standards.

The beleaguered German automaker’s chief executive, Herbert Diess, said the company is “working under the assumption that we will no longer offer diesel vehicles in the United States,” according to report from a German business publication known as Handelsblatt.

Diess attributed to the decision to “the legal framework,” in an apparent reference to Volkswagen’s settlements with federal regulators over the emission cheating, according to the report.

The comments about Volkswagen pulling its diesels out of the U.S. were confirmed to The Detroit News by a U.S.-based spokeswoman for the company.

Volkswagen has agreed to a settlement with U.S. regulators that calls for the company to spend about $10 billion to fix or buy back about 475,000 polluting 2.0-liter vehicles as a part of a $14.7 billion deal between regulators and the beleaguered German automakers. Under that agreement, Volkswagen will compensate owners who purchased the diesels before September 2015 with payments of $5,100 to $10,000, depending on the age of the car.

Volkswagen has also reportedly reached an agreement with federal regulators to fix or buy back about 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles that also were rigged, as part of its effort to settle lawsuits and federal investigations related to the scandal.

The German automaker has admitted to programming its diesel cars to trick emissions testers into believing the engines released far less pollution into the air than they actually do, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. Regulators have said that in normal driving those cars emitted up to 40 times more smog-causing nitrogen oxide than the legal limit.

Volkswagen was initially accused by the EPA in September 2015 of selling diesels for years with software that activated required air pollution equipment only during emissions tests.


(202) 662-8735

Twitter: @Keith_Laing