VW: 98,000 petrol cars affected by CO2 emissions-cheating scam | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 04.11.2015
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VW: 98,000 petrol cars affected by CO2 emissions-cheating scam

Tens of thousands of petrol cars are among the 800,000 vehicles affected by a Volkswagen scheme designed to falsify CO2 emission tests in the laboratory. The company's widening scandal saw VW shares plummet.

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told lawmakers Wednesday that 98,000 Volkswagen petrol vehicles were affected by the company's CO2 emissions-cheating scheme.

VW had admitted an additional 800,000 of its cars were polluting the environment more than originally believed, indicating only that the bulk of them were diesels. Dobrindt said some 200,000 cars out of the 800,000 vehicles in question were thought to be on German roads.

In a separate press release, VW reported Wednesday it was recalling 91,800 cars in the US over faulty camshafts. It said among the vehicles affected were Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Golf petrol cars.

With more bad news coming in, VW shares shed more than 10 percent of their value in early Wednesday trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, closing the day down 9.5 percent.

Volkswagen waited until after trading had closed on Tuesday to reveal its findings of "irregularities" in the carbon dioxide emissions of 1.4, 1.6 and 2-liter engines of VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat vehicles.

The company also said at least one gasoline-powered engine was affected, widening an already massive emissions-cheating scandal that until late in the day on Tuesday had only centered around diesel vehicles.

"VW is leaving us all speechless," said one banking advisor with the firm Evercore ISI, Arndt Ellinghorst.

High costs

The plummeting stock value only added to the financial woes facing Volkswagen and its shareholders. Repairing the 800,000 cars' faulty CO2 emissions could cost the company around 2 billion euros.

That's on top of the 6.7 billion euros VW has already set aside to cover recalls of the 11 million vehicles around the world that have software installed that is capable of deceiving emission testers.

Volkswagen has been conducting its own investigations into the fuel economy of its vehicles ever since US environmental regulators revealed on September 18 that the German carmaker had been lying about the efficiency of its cars and vans.

The company has already lost a third of its share value since the scandal broke. Porsche Automobil Holding, which owns nearly a third of VW's capital, has also warned that the latest news of low-balled CO2 emissions from Wolfsburg, Germany, where VW is headquartered, could further weigh on its own results.

Porsche had already cut its full-year outlook as a result of VW's emissions-cheating.

'A disservice to German industry'

The luxury carmaker, a subsidiary of VW, also said its North American unit would discontinue sales of the 2014-2016 model Cayenne diesel sport utility vehicles until further notice, citing allegations by US regulators that "defeat devices" had been installed in Porsche and Audi models with 3.0 liter diesel engines.

Those allegations, which were leveled against Volkwagen on Monday, were promptly denied by German auto bosses. Porsche said it had no knowledge of any cheating software installed in its vehicles, but said it would stop selling the models in question anyway.

Audi, another unit of VW, claimed it had not installed defeat devices in its models and had scheduled meetings with regulators in the US state of California next week to give answers.

But on Wednesday, VW told US and Canadian dealers to suspend sales of new 2015-2016 models with 3.0 V6 TDI engines, including the VW Touareg and the Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7.

The scandal engulfing VW has shaken the very foundation of Germany's powerful auto industry, an important source of jobs at home and a major exporter abroad.

"Volkswagen has done a disservice to German industry," Ulrich Grillo, the head of the Federation of German Industries, told a conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

cjc,hg/ng (Reuters, AFP, dpa)