The Paris prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation into Volkswagen’s “production of a risky substance to human health” following the scandal into rigged car-emission tests.
VW, which faces a fine to the tune of $18 billion, admitted that 11 million cars were fitted with the software that aided manipulation of emission tests.
Volkswagen, the world’s biggest carmaker by sales, has admitted that up to 11 million diesel cars worldwide are fitted with devices that can switch on pollution controls when they detect the vehicle is undergoing testing.
The German prosecutors have made what essentially could be called a U-turn after announcing former Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn was the focus of an investigation and now releasing a statement that kind of clears him.
However, VW’s luxury subsidiary, Audi, which has also been implicated in the carmaker’s emissions cheat scheme, saw its sales rise by 16 percent due to strong U.S. consumer demand for sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
However, we still do not know how this affects the power or MPG numbers on the affected vehicles. In a sign of the complexity, Belgian vehicle importer D’Ieteren told Reuters it had not heard any technical details about the refit yet, and that Volkswagen had committed only to having a plan set by the end of this month.
He added that around 4,000 vehicles were affected across the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands.
Lawsuits, including class-action litigation, are also being filed in the United States and South Korean VW vehicle owners are also suing the company.
Volkswagen’s German supervisory board said on Thursday it would take longer than expected to investigate its rigging of vehicle emissions tests, raising the prospect of months of uncertainty for customers, shareholders and staff.
The plant builds cars for regional markets, including the U.S. “They must take personal responsibility”.
Meanwhile several manufacturers have hit back at a study by German-based motoring organisation, Adac, which found that high levels of pollution are being emitted by new diesel vehicles built by a range of auto makers other than VW. Now we get to find out more about what that actually means and it seems it’s more than just a software update as industry experts and USA regulators are saying hardware changes will be required as well for a few of the engines. They estimate the cost of this action at $6.5 Billion.