Volkswagen manipulated diesel emissions tests in Europe

Berlin, Sep 24 (IANS) German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt on Thursday said car manufacturing giant Volkswagen has admitted using the same fake emissions test in Europe as it used to falsify results in the US.

Dobrindt said it was not known how many of the 11 million vehicles affected were in Europe, adding that other manufacturers’ vehicles would be checked, BBC reported.

“It is clear that the Federal Office for Motor Traffic will not exclusively concentrate on the VW models in question but that it will also carry out random tests on vehicles made by other carmakers,” the minister said.

The scandal began unfolding last week when the car giant said it had used software in the US to provide false emission test results.

Dobrindt said he had been told vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines are “affected by the manipulations that are being talked about”.

The company’s Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Audi A3 models in the US from 2009 to 2015, and the Passat from 2014-15, were fitted with the devices which produced doctored results. However, diesel cars are far more popular in Europe than in the US.

The value of Volkswagen scrip has shrunk by around 30 percent since the scandal was revealed.

Volkswagen has set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the costs of the scandal.

The company’s chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday following the revelation.

Winterkorn said he was “shocked” by recent events and was “not aware of any wrongdoing on my part”.

The supervisory board said it would announce Winterkorn’s successor at a board meeting on Friday.

German public prosecutors have considered an investigation, with US authorities also said to be planning criminal investigations.

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