Former GM Vice Chair: “I almost feel sorry” for Volkswagen

September 25, 2015, 6:04 PM UTC
VW Automobile Assembly
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 25: The VW logo shines as the hood ornament on a new Volkswagen Golf 6 car at the Volkswagen factory on February 25, 2011 in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen and other German carmakers have recovered from the financial crisis of 2008 and production levels are reaching record levels. The automobile industry is an integral part of Germany's export-driven economy. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup—Getty Images

For six years, Volkswagen has been installing software in its cars to help them cheat on EPA emissions test. As former GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz told CNBC Friday, the rest of the industry was wondering just how the company was able to get clean emissions so cheaply.

Lutz said that he consistently pressed his engineers to figure out what his competitor was doing, “”They said, ‘We can’t answer that question,” according to Lutz. “Honda asked the same question. They couldn’t figure it out either because with near identical engines and hardware from the same suppliers, they could not get themselves to pass.”

Lutz also predicted that to fix the problem will be, “incredibly expensive” after factoring in government fines and consumer lawsuits for complaints like loss of value. He even went so far to say that he “almost” feels sorry for his former competitor.