MUNICH -- Volkswagen Group's supervisory board was meeting today to discuss the automaker's emissions crisis, which has now widened after the company said it had understated the CO2 emissions of 800,000 cars sold in Europe.
VW has said the CO2 disclosure will add about 2 billion euros ($2.15 billion) in financial risk to the 6.7 billion euros it already set aside to cover the fallout of an earlier admission that up to 11 million cars sold globally had software that could cheat tests for pollutants such as NOx.
CEO Matthias Mueller told EU finance ministers on Friday that VW rather than motorists will pay any extra taxes incurred in countries where vehicle taxes are related to fuel usage or CO2 emissions, Reuters reported.
Several VW engineers have admitted manipulating CO2 emissions data because goals set by former CEO Martin Winterkorn were difficult to achieve, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday. Winterkorn said at the 2012 Geneva auto show that VW wanted to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2015 and the engineers did not dare to tell him that this would be difficult to achieve, the paper said.
Technicians failed to report the practice earlier for fear of retribution, the newspaper said. VW declined to comment on details of the report.
VW also has declined to comment on whether the company's culture or the management style of Winterkorn, who resigned in September, had been a factor in the cheating. Lawyers for Winterkorn have not responded to a request for comment.
Spending cuts challenged
Also today, VW's board was discussing cutbacks needed to stem the financial fallout of the crisis.
A proposed 1 billion euro program of spending cuts has been challenged by the automaker's labor representatives, who hold half the board seats, signalling that an internal battle is looming at a company.
Mueller, who replaced Winterkorn as CEO in the wake of the scandal, is seeking to change VW’s corporate culture and encourage more openness in an effort to repair the company’s battered reputation.
Mueller has yet to visit regulators in the U.S. where the initial diesel-emissions cheating was uncovered. He is unlikely to travel to the U.S. in the second half of November as planned after investigators there confiscated the passport of an employee, the Suddeutsche Zeitung said in a report on Saturday. The person had been in the U.S. for several weeks and was involved in dealing with the emissions scandal, the Financial Times said in a separate report.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report