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A senior Volvo Cars executive has admitted that the company was suspicious of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions performance as many as seven years ago, though it lacked the proof to raise any questions publicly.

Kent Falck, a 29-year Volvo veteran, said the Swedish brand was unsure at the time how Volkswagen was passing EPA restrictions to sell diesel engines in the US when its own developers could not.

Volvo at the time believed some innovative VW proprietary system must be the reason, but now we know that the German group was using a defeat device to mislead emissions tests. The fallout of ‘dieselgate’ has cost it billions of Euros and led to the dismissal of many key executives.

MORE: Read our complete history of VW ‘dieselgate’ coverage

“How many diesel cars have we sold in the US up to today? Zero. We can’t meet EPA,” Falck told a small group of Australian media including CarAdvice. “No one can.”

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Pictured: 2017 Volvo S90.

Falck added: “We have the same suppliers [as VW], we have Bosch, we have Denso, we are working with the same partners. So we know that technology doesn’t exist.”

When asked if it was an open secret in the car industry that VW might be up to no good, Falck said “yes”.

“We sat in a room and reviewed all the facts and figures with specialists, we couldn’t manage it. How were others doing it, we didn’t know.”

Later in the discussion, Falck added that Volvo’s new range of four-cylinder petrol engines from the XC90, S90 and V90, would likely be its final internal combustion units, with all its engines from 2025 to either be plug-in hybrids or pure EVs.

“If we want to take care of the environment there is no future for this,” he said, adding that the company wanted to sell one million PHEVs, like the T8 versions of the XC90, S90 and V90, inside 10 years.

MORE: All Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ stories




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