A top technology executive at Volkswagen allegedly prepared a PowerPoint presentation in 2006 showing the company how to successfully dupe U.S. fuel emission standards, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
A technology expert at VW, according to the report, offered a solution in a PowerPoint projection to problems the company had with its emission testing equipment wearing out when it calibrated to U.S. emission standards.
The 2006 presentation included a detailed schematic and graph explaining the process for testing the amount of pollution emitted from VW’s diesel-powered vehicles.
The presentation noted that regulators’ road tests were predictable. It went on to note that a so-called defeat device was embedded in the software that helped replicated the regulators’ tests. The device, according to the presentation, would be activated to reduce emissions just for testing purposes.
Court documents, acquired by The NYT, showed that the technicians giving the 2006 presentation likely believed the company’s chances of getting nabbed were slim, given that most regulators at the time were largely unaware of the road test device.
“The seemingly small danger of discovery may have been a factor in tempting the VW engineers to make the impermissible software alteration,” VW lawyers said in the court documents.
VW acknowledged in September installing a “defeat device” to manipulate emission standard testing. The company is facing fines and lawsuits topping $50 billion, which could, some believe, eventually render VW bankrupt by the scandal.
Despite the scandal and the company’s brazen willingness to make public its so-called cheat device, VW managed to take the top spot in the automotive market Tuesday.
The German-based car company announced it sold the world’s highest number of vehicles during the first quarter of the year. VW nabbed the top spot from Toyota.
VW’s ascendancy comes amid sluggish sales from General Motors in the Asian market.
The beleaguered German automaker sold 2.51 million vehicles, despite facing the specter of departing with tens of billions of dollars through litigation connected to its fossil fuel emission cheating scandal in 2015.
Toyota saw its sales dip down 2.3 percent from January to April, which resulted in the Japanese company selling only 2.46 million cars. Meanwhile, GM experienced a 2.5 percent drop in sells, selling 2.36 million vehicles. The latter blamed sluggish sales in Latin America and China for the stumble.
The company reported last Friday a record $6.2 billion loss due in part to its decision to set aside $18 billion to cover the costs of fines, legal claims and recalls. VW agreed in a settlement on April 22 to buy back or repair 500,000 of the tainted diesel vehicles.
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