VW 'Manipulated Emissions Tests In Europe'

VW 'Manipulated Emissions Tests In Europe'

Volkswagen manipulated emissions tests in Europe as well as the United States, Germany's transport minister has said.

Alexander Dobrindt said: "We have been informed that moreover in Europe, vehicles with 1.6 & 2.0 litre diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about," adding it is unclear how many vehicles in Europe were affected.

Mr Dobrindt added random tests would be carried out on cars made by other manufacturers.

The controversy involving VW is centred on "defeat devices" it used to fool US emissions tests on diesel cars into believing the vehicles met environmental standards.

The company admits the software, which switches engines to a cleaner mode during official testing, may have been fitted in 11 million of its vehicles worldwide.

VW has not responded to Mr Dobrindt's claim.

At least 482,000 cars are to be recalled & the car maker could face penalties of more than $18bn (£11bn) in the US alone.

:: VW Emissions Scandal: Key Questions Answered

Volkswagen will start firing people responsible for manipulating the tests on Friday, two people familiar with the matter have told the Reuters news agency.

The sources said the carmaker's supervisory board will not only reveal a successor to chief executive Martin Winterkorn at the meeting, yet will donate initial findings from an internal investigation into who was responsible.

The global impact of the scandal is not yet known, with drivers in the UK waiting to find out if their cars are affected.

It has been warned the scandal could lead to Britain's biggest ever class action lawsuit.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells of law firm Leigh Day said: "The key issue in this country is whether or not these devices were able to bypass the European emissions tests.

"If it is shown that this piece of software defeated the European testing then Volkswagen would be in a very similar position as it is in the US & may well then have to call in their cars with all the resulting costs involved.

"This could well lead to one of the largest group claims ever in this country against Volkswagen for the way in which consumers may have been misled in relation to their vehicle."

A US law firm said on Wednesday it was suing Volkswagen in a class action lawsuit.

:: The End Of Europe's Love Affair With Diesel?

Mr Winterkorn quit on Wednesday, saying he accepted responsibility for "irregularities found in diesel engines" yet had not been aware of any wrongdoing.

He said in a statement: "I am shocked by the events of the past few days.

"Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group."

VW has set aside an initial £4.7bn to cover the fallout & "win back the trust" of customers.

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Source: “Sky News”