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VW scandal spreads to Audi, Skoda

September 29, 2015

Two Volkswagen subsidiaries have said their cars have been implicated in the ongoing emissions tests scandal. More than 3 million Audi and Skoda vehicles are affected.

Symbolbild - VW
Image: Getty Images/S. Gallup

Volkswagen group carmakers Audi and Skoda said on Monday that millions of their vehicles were fitted with software designed to falsify emissions tests.

Eleven million diesel vehicles worldwide under VW's umbrella have engines that manipulated emissions data. Of these, 2.1 million belong to Audi, and 1.2 million to Skoda, VW's Czech subsidiary.

A Skoda spokesman, Jozef Balaz, told Czech television that VW planned to recall the affected cars and would cover the cost.

The scandal was revealed earlier this month when US authorities said VW had cheated in emissions tests using software installed in diesel vehicles. The software recognized when a vehicle was being tested and reduced the amount of nitrogen oxide emitted, although under road conditions the cars belched out up to 40 times as much of the ozone-causing substance allowed under US law.

The scandal has spread as other countries announced they would launch probes into the diesel engines involved.

Winterkorn faces criminal probe

German prosecutors on Monday announced a criminal probe against Volkswagen's now-former boss, Martin Winterkorn, who resigned last week claiming he was "not aware" of having done anything wrong.

Prosecutors say the investigation aims to determine who was responsible for selling vehicles with the manipulated data.

The carmaker has replaced Winterkorn with the head of luxury car brand Porsche, Matthias Müller.

According to German media reports, VW had ignored warnings from staff and supplier Bosch years ago that there was an illegal emissions-test-rigging software in use in a large number of vehicles.

According to reports, Volkswagen has set aside $7.3 billion (6.49 billion euros) to pay for the scandal, which has left it exposed to billions in US fines and wiped a third off its stock market value.

jr/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)