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Volkswagen says emissions 'discrepancies' present in engines fitted in 11 million vehicles

Out-Law News | 23 Sep 2015 | 9:44 am | 1 min. read

Car manufacturing giant Volkswagen has said that "discrepancies" relating to emissions could affect 11 million vehicles across the world.

Last week the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of breaching US laws by deploying software in some of its vehicles that allowed it to "cheat" obligations on emissions levels.

The EPA said the software would operate to turn on "full emissions controls" during official emissions testing so that the vehicles could "meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station". It said, though, that the vehicles would emit nitrogen oxides "at up to 40 times the standard" when out on the road.

The EPA had identified approximately 482,000 diesel engine vehicles to which its claims related to which had been sold in the US since 2008. However, Volkswagen has now confirmed that 11 million vehicles around the world are fitted with the type of engines to which the "discrepancies relate".

"Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures," the company said in a statement. "The company is therefore in contact with the relevant authorities and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority."

Volkswagen said it will set aside €6.5 billion to address the problem but that it may adjust that amount as the investigations into the issue continue.

It said: "Volkswagen does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever. It is and remains the top priority of the board of management to win back lost trust and to avert damage to our customers. The Group will inform the public on the further progress of the investigations constantly and transparently."

Head of Volkswagen's US business Michael Horn admitted the company had been "dishonest" and had "totally screwed up" in a talk given in New York on Monday.

"We must fix those cars, prevent this from ever happening again and we have to make this right with the government, the public, our customers, our employees and also very importantly our dealers," Horn said. "This kind of behaviour I can tell you out of my heart is completely inconsistent with our core values."