WOLFSBURG, Germany — Volkswagen said on Thursday that its emissions cheating scandal began in 2005 with a decision to heavily promote diesel engines in the United States and a realization that those engines could not meet clean air standards.
What followed was a textbook example of what happens when ambition combines with weak internal controls and ethical standards, the company acknowledged as it presented a preliminary report of its investigation into the origins of the scandal.
Some employees, the company found, chose to cheat on emissions tests rather than to curtail Volkswagen’s American campaign.
“There was a tolerance for breaking the rules,” Hans-Dieter Pötsch, the chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board, said here on Thursday, at his first lengthy news conference since the emissions cheating came to light in September. “That is the hardest thing to accept,” he added.
It's just so hard to accept. It's just a mystery! How did this happen? We must get to the bottom of this! It's also confusing and no one really gets it.