LOS ANGELES — The CEO of Volkswagen's North American automotive business offered a public apology on press day of the Los Angeles Auto Show. He said the company is on the verge of revealing its plan to fix the nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles sold in the United States with an emissions software cheat.
During the Volkswagen press conference, Michael Horn said the company would "announce something soon," as it works to retain goodwill with its dealers and customers. Volkswagen must submit a plan to the California Air Resources Board by Friday about how it plans to fix diesel vehicles with four-cylinder engines, which were found to release as much as 40 times the permitted amount of nitrogen oxide.
"Nothing is more important to me than the satisfaction of our customers and to make things right," Horn said. "We understand that apologies are not enough."
Horn said about 120,000 retail customers have taken advantage of a goodwill package that included two $500 gift cards and 24-hour roadside assistance for three years.
The EPA has claimed its 3.0L six-cylinder engines included the software cheat. Horn said that issue needs "to be clarified" between the automaker and regulators.
Horn added that the company remains committed to the North American market and showed the redesigned 2016 Passat mid-size sedan and the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid concept. Volkswagen AG has indicated earlier that it plans to shift toward electrified powertrains to meet national fuel economy standards.