News / USA

    VW CEO to Hold High-Level Talks in Washington on Emissions Scandal

    FILE - Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller, shown in Sept. 25, 2015, is set to meet with EPA officials and U.S. lawmakers in Washington next week.
    FILE - Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller, shown in Sept. 25, 2015, is set to meet with EPA officials and U.S. lawmakers in Washington next week.
    Reuters

    Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller will meet with the top U.S. environmental regulator next week for the highest-level talks since the German automaker admitted to using software to evade emissions requirements for 580,000 U.S. vehicles.

    Mueller will meet with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy on Wednesday in Washington, at the request of Volkswagen, agency spokeswoman Laura Allen said.

    McCarthy told reporters at a forum in Washington that EPA has been holding extensive technical discussions with VW, but declined to predict when a fix would be ready.

    "At this point, we haven't identified a satisfactory way forward, but those discussions are going to continue," McCarthy said. "We are really anxious to find a way for that company to get into compliance — and we're not there yet."

    The meeting will take place about a week after the U.S. Justice Department filed a civil suit against VW seeking up to $48 billion in damages under the Clean Air Act.

    ‘Acceptable solution’ ahead

    VW declined to comment on the impending meeting. Mueller also plans visits to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers.

    FILE - A 2013 Volkswagen Passat with a diesel engine is evaluated at the California Air Resources Board emissions test lab in El Monte, Calif.
    FILE - A 2013 Volkswagen Passat with a diesel engine is evaluated at the California Air Resources Board emissions test lab in El Monte, Calif.

    EPA and the California Air Resources Board have been pushing VW to do more to fix vehicles and to act faster, and have also been raising more questions about things such as performance of onboard diagnostic sensors.

    On Tuesday, VW brand chief Herbert Diess said he was "confident we will find an acceptable solution."

    In an interview with Reuters, Diess said fixing older VW cars equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines would be more difficult than bringing more recent models into compliance.

    Some U.S. regulators and lawmakers have said VW may have to buy back older models. Diess did not say whether VW was considering that, but was optimistic an agreement with U.S. regulators would be reached soon.

    Talk of buybacks

    Also Thursday, a German newspaper reported that VW would have to buy back about 115,000 cars in the United States as a result of the emissions scandal.

    Without citing sources, Germany's daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said VW expected it would have to either refund the purchase price of a fifth of the diesel vehicles affected or offer a new car at a significant discount. VW declined to confirm the report.

    Two U.S. senators, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, on Thursday called on VW to offer buybacks and also "guarantee owners a speedy fix that minimizes their hassle, and full compensation for the loss of resale value and lost fuel economy."

    VW named Mueller chief executive in September, days after longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned.

    Winterkorn stepped down after the EPA disclosed that the automaker had secretly installed software that allowed some 2009-2015 cars to emit up to 40 times the legally permitted amount of pollutants in real-world driving.

    VW said the issue affected up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

    Mueller is making his first trip to the United States since taking over at VW, visiting the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

    U.S. prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation. VW has also hired Washington lawyer Ken Feinberg to create a diesel emissions claims program and faces more than 500 U.S. lawsuits.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Leaderless, Rudderless, Britain Drifts

    Experts predicted chaos would follow, if Britain decided to vote for Brexit, and chaos has

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora