Volkswagen might have stayed clear of the diesel cheating scandal had the company not pulled out of a promising deal with Daimler more than a decade ago, Bloomberg reports.
In 2005, VW discussed a tie-up that would have given it access to Daimler's BlueTec diesel technology. Talks to advance the top-secret project were canceled by Volkswagen before a key meeting near Brunswick, Germany, that summer, sources told Bloomberg. That's several months before the first indications that VW engineers were working on the defeat device that eventually rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide to cheat on emissions tests.
Daimler's BlueTec technology uses a urea solution to clean up harmful emissions. But VW balked because it would have added about 1,000 euros per car to install, according to the sources.
VW insisted on using its own TDI diesel engines, which directly injected fuel into the cylinders and didn't use a urea solution to clean the exhaust. The technology enjoyed strong internal support from then-Chairman Ferdinand Piech, a former VW CEO who had pushed the technology in the 1980s during his time in charge of Audi.