If one report is accurate, Volkswagen execs didn't just know that their cars' emission estimates were fishy -- they knew the fuel efficiency figures were off, too. German newspaper Bild claims that top brass was aware of misleading fuel economy estimates about a year ago, or months before it became public. Former CEO Martin Winterkorn reportedly went so far as to yank one model off the market, the Polo TDI BlueMotion, because its fuel consumption was simply too far off the mark (18 percent above estimates).
The automaker is declining to comment on what it knew in advance, and it maintains that it pulled the diesel-powered Polo due to "subdued demand," not dodgy fuel ratings. Treat Bild's claims with caution, then. If there's any truth to the story, though, it could be particularly damning. It suggests that VW knew about multiple problems with its cars' environmental figures, but largely sat on them until the emissions scandal broke in September.
[Image credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images]