Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn released the following statement:
If this was a priority for Volkswagen it would have never happened in the first place. They would have addressed the emissions issues and made the cars compliant instead of trying to find a software loophole.
We are guessing that it was simply a business decision in the sense of using software to manipulate things being a cheaper solution to meet the emissions standards than any actual hardware changes. This decision will end up costing them much more in the long run.
This issue will cost Volkwagen a bit of money and impact their American diesel business. Their stock price has already tumbled to the tune of losing $16.9 billion in value or 18.1% when the news broke. Ouch.