Photo: David Villarreal Fernández (CC BY-SA-2.0)
GERMANY—A group of auto engineers working for Volkswagen may be too smart for its own good. A device built in 2014 won them an innovation award from Ingenieur Beste Deutsche (IBD). However, U.S. and Canadian governments feel the breakthrough is more suited to legal action.
“While acknowledging that building a car with software able to outsmart emissions tests is an engineering feat,” said the head of IBD, Karl Althaus, “I suppose it’s also wrong.”
The car giant is facing billions in lost Euros as a result of plummeting stocks due to lying. Former Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned last week, but made it clear he was not personally involved. “How was I to know the prototype Trügen would eventually become the diesel cars in question?” he asked innocently.
In Canada, consumer reaction has varied. “A lot of people have come into the dealership the last couple weeks looking for the cheater diesel car,” said Abdul Ahmed, lead salesman at Humberview Volkswagen. “They’ve heard about the great mileage and don’t really seem to care about the pending government sanctions.”
The car company initially denied they had been intentionally deceptive. “In Germany, we have a tradition called Dreimel Spiel,” explained Winterkorn. “When asked a question, one answers incorrectly until asked a third time. It’s a fun game.” Winterkorn insisted this was not another lie to make the incident look like a misunderstanding. Mooseclean’s asked twice more before Winterkorn recanted.