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US state attorneys say VW 'not cooperating'

US state attorneys have claimed German carmaker VW is not cooperating enough with the investigation into the diesel emissions cheating scandal. They accused the company of withholding evidence.

Just days before a planned visit to US regulators' offices by VW's new CEO, Matthias Müller, state attorneys on Friday accused the German automaker of withholding potential evidence

related to its emissions-cheating scandal.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told the "New York Times" that Volkswagen had been refusing to turn over internal emails and other communications among executives that could have shed more light on the company's illegal use of emissions-test defeat devices in hundreds of thousands of its diesel-engine cars.

A whole group of US state attorneys general investigating VW's pollution scandal echoed Schneiderman's allegation, saying Volkswagen was withholding emails they had requested in order to find out more about excess emissions in 580,000 diesel cars sold in the US.

The accusation came only days after the US Justice Department officially launched a civil lawsuit against the Wolfsburg-based lawmaker.

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Running out of patience

State attorneys from 48 US states expressed discontent with VW's gambit of citing German law as the reason for not turning over the requested emails.

"I find it frustrating that despite public statements professing cooperation and an expressed desire to resolve the various investigations, Volkswagen is in fact resisting cooperation by citing German law," Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement Friday.

VW itself declined to confirm whether or not it was withholding documents, saying only it was not commenting on ongoing investigations.

Earlier Friday, the carmaker reported that sales of vehicles bearing the VW badge slid by 5 percent in 2015, posting the first drop in sales in a decade.

Overall VW Group sales, including brands such as Audi, Porsche and Skoda, were down 2 percent last year.

hg/nz (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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