Volkswagen AG’s top executives knew a year ago that some of the cars it made were markedly less fuel-efficient than had been officially stated, Sunday paper Bild am Sonntag reported, without naming its sources.
VW revealed early this month that it had understated the level of carbon dioxide emissions and fuel usage in about 800,000 cars, sold mainly in Europe.
The scandal, which will likely cost VW billions, initially centered on software on up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide that VW admitted was designed to artificially suppress nitrogen oxide emissions when the cars underwent aftermarket testing for emissions, Reuters reported.
The Bild am Sonntag report contradicts VW’s assertion, however, that it only uncovered the false CO2 emissions labeling as part of efforts to clear up the diesel emissions scandal, which became public in September.
A VW spokesman declined to comment on whether the firm had knowledge a year ago of overstated fuel efficiency.
Months after becoming aware of excessive fuel consumption, former chief executive Martin Winterkorn decided this spring to pull one model off the market where the discrepancy was particularly pronounced, the paper cited sources close to Winterkorn as saying.
Winterkorn stepped down as chief executive in September, following VW’s admission that it had deceived US regulators about diesel pollution.
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