In his first public appearance since the TDI scandal broke in September 2015, Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of the Volkswagen Group, maintained that he had no knowledge of emissions cheating before the company admitted to it.

According VW, the top brass were informed of diesel emissions manipulation in August of 2015, and told the world in September. Winterkorn’s reputation for attention to detail, though, has raised questions about how in the dark he was.

When asked by the German parliament’s inquiry committee whether he knew about the cheating before August 2015, he responded by saying, “That is not the case.”

According to Winterkorn, who stepped down a day after publicly admitting to the manipulation, a “rogue group” of software engineers were responsible for the emissions cheating. He went on to say that “software applications represent a very specific area of work in engine development,” an area about which he had little knowledge.

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“It’s incomprehensible why I wasn’t informed early and clearly,” Winterkorn continued. “I would have prevented any type of deception or misleading of authorities.”

Winterkorn was allegedly twice made aware of discrepancies in US emissions testing, but maintains his ignorance of a conspiracy to deceive testers.

What happened makes people furious—me too,” says Winterkorn. “I am deeply upset that we disappointed millions of our customers. For that I apologize.”

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This article originally appeared at VW Vortex