Press Release

Following Recent Testimony and New Revelations, Bipartisan Committee Leaders Press VW for More Answers


Letter Follows Up VW Group of America Chief's Testimony Before #SubOversight Last Month

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today wrote to Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn requesting additional information about VW’s emissions cheating scandal. The letter follows Horn’s October testimony to the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee as well as yesterday’s revelation by the EPA of an expanded investigation into Volkswagen Group’s diesel automobiles. The bipartisan leaders are seeking additional information about the “defeat devices” designed to skirt emissions controls.

The committee is investigating Volkswagen’s installation of these devices and how their use went undetected for so long. Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), signed the letter.

Full text of the letter follows below:

Dear Mr. Horn:

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency identified additional Volkswagen models that violated prohibitions against “defeat devices,” issuing a new Notice of Violation. Given this information we write to follow up on yesterday’s allegations and on your testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on October 8, 2015, to request additional information to assist the Committee’s investigation into Volkswagen’s use of software to circumvent emissions controls in certain model year diesel passenger cars.

We appreciate your commitment to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation and understand that Volkswagen continues to collect and produce documents responsive to the Committee’s September 29, 2015 request. In the interim and in light of yesterday’s news, we ask that Volkswagen provide some basic facts and clarifications regarding the software installed in certain make and model year vehicles and how such devices affect the operation of the vehicles by November 16, 2015, as follows:

  1. A detailed description of any software that served effectively to defeat emissions controls functions, including but not limited to what components of the engine it affects and how, for each of the make and model year vehicles identified by the Environmental Protection Agency in their Notice of Violation (NOV) dated September 18, 2015.
  2. A detailed description of any difference or variation in how the software functions in individual make and model year vehicles, or generations of vehicle technology.
  3. A detailed description of any additional make and model year vehicles, including but not limited to those identified by the EPA in the most recent NOV, which VW knows or suspects also contain a previously undisclosed auxiliary emissions control device (AECD), in any form, and whether the AECD affects compliance with emissions control standards. For each make and model year vehicle, or generation of vehicle technology, please explain the status of VW’s assessment of the AECD, how it functions in the vehicle and an explanation of how it differs from the previously identified defeat device.

To view a signed copy of the letter, click HERE.

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on “Volkswagen’s Emissions Cheating Allegations: Initial Questions” in October. The leaders also requested documents from VW and information from EPA to assist the committee’s ongoing investigation.


Press Release