Speaking to the media at the Tokyo motor show today, the Volkswagen brand’s CEO of passenger cars, Herbert Diess, apologised for his company’s actions before stating to journalists that diesel engines still make sense for both emissions regulations and certain types of vehicles.
“We will fix these diesel engines.” Diess said in regards to the EA189 'dieselgate' engines.
“We still believe in the future of diesel engines because they are a trade off [between performance and] the emission and CO2 and they are a very good option for many vehicles.”
Volkswagen has intensified its work on electric vehicles, with confirmation today that the next-generation Phaeton will be all-electric. Nonetheless, it will also continue its diesel program, firstly fitting the latest urea-injection system to its diesel range of vehicles.
“We decided to equip all our diesel engines now with the latest SCR technology or ad blue technology as soon as possible," Diess said.
He added that orders across the globe have not been too severely affected, with some countries appearing to show no sign of a slowdown.
Above: the Volkswagen Coupe C GTE concept could be a preview of the next Phaeton.
Nonetheless, Volkswagen – Diess says – will focus on winning back the trust and confidence of its customers before focusing on other aspects of the business.
Its regulatory fixes for Europe are in their final stages of approval, while the company's US arm is expected to have an approved plan to fix affected vehicles in the by the end of the year.
Most of the fixes, Diess says, will be entirely software-related with only a few cars expected to require hardware changes.
“We have plans that have been confirmed so far by the EU authorities. We hope to get confirmation of our plans for a fix with the American authorities in the next few weeks.
“Then we will work with full power and communication to solve the problems with our customers' [cars]. In many cases this will be a software update, in some cases there might be some minor hardware changes in the cars," Diess said.
Volkswagen showed off its new Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid range today and emphasised the company’s commitment to coming back stronger than before.