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VW asks US court for more time to fix emissions problem

German auto giant Volkswagen has said it cannot meet a court-mandated deadline to reach a deal with the EPA. The firm has struggled to come up with a plan to fix an emissions cheating scandal affecting 11 million cars.

Volkswagen has asked for an extension

as a deadline loomed in a US court

for the auto firm to reach an agreement with regulators on how to reduce its emissions, German media reported late Wednesday. The company was given until March 24 to come up with a deal to bring its diesel engines to within legal limits after it was revealed that software allowing it to cheat emissions tests had been installed in some 580,000 vehicles in the US alone.

Failure to comply could see the company continue to suffer under a US ban on selling its 2016 diesel models.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been in conflict with the automaker ever since the judge overseeing the case, Charles Breyer, set the deadline. At least five US states are suing Volkswagen over the scandal, now known as Dieselgate, which is thought to have affected some 11 million diesel cars worldwide.

The cheating software was discovered in part by West Virginia University researchers who realized that the cars were pumping in some cases around 40 times the legal threshold of nitrogen oxide into the air. Volkswagen has since pledged 7.3 billion dollars (6.8 billion euros) to rectify the scandal, in part via recalls and buybacks, as the once stellar reputation of the German carmaker risks being permanently tarnished.

es/jil (dpa, Reuters)

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