Audi, Porsche and VW United States chiefs fired amid emissions scandal

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2.1 million Audis fitted with VW emission cheat software.

Volkswagen’s luxury brand, Audi, said on Monday that 2.1 million of its cars globally have been affected by the emissions scandal that has engulfed the German car manufacturer. Some 1.42 million Audi vehicles with so-called EU5 engines in Western Europe are fitted with the same software that allowed parent company Volkswagen to cheat US emissions tests, with 577,000 in Germany and almost 13,000 in the United States, a spokesman for Ingolstadt-based Audi told Reuters today. The Audi A3 was one of the original models the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said contained the software which deceived officials carrying out emissions tests.

It has also emerged that Volkswagen has suspended the R&D chiefs of its core VW brand, luxury division Audi and sports-car maker Porsche, sources familiar with the matter told reporters. Volkswagen shares, which fell almost 30 percent last week, fell a further 7 percent on Monday as investors questioned whether the car firm can get to grips with its worst crisis in its 78-year old history. “My biggest fear is that the amount of money we are talking about, the 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) that has provisioned for, is a smaller amount than Volkswagen will probably have to pay,” Juergen Pieper, head of automotive research at Bankhaus Metzler, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Monday. “My second concern is the duration of this scandal – it will probably take years before it sorts out all this and there’s the reputational damage too,” he added. The carmaker’s supervisory board last Friday agreed to put a number of employees on leave until the details of VW’s emissions cheating scandal were cleared up. These controls are reportedly then turned off when the car is driving in “normal” situations, when they pollute more heavily than reported by Volkswagen, producing more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrous oxides..

The company, which overtook Toyota in the first half of the year as the biggest car maker by sales, has been left reeling after admitting to cheating U.S. vehicles emissions tests of its diesel-powered vehicles. The scandal has wiped billions off the value of the car giant and is set to land the German auto maker with substantial penalties and recall costs as governments and regulators around the world launch investigations – some of the criminal – into the scandal. “If companies are breaking the rules and fiddling their figures, that is unacceptable,” Mr Cameron said as he flew to New York for a visit to the United Nations. “Emissions standards matter and they have to be properly policed and delivered.” Several law firms in the US and UK representing consumers say they are are preparing lawsuits against VW while the US Department of Justice has launched a probe into the affair. A further 27 US states have begun a joint investigation of Volkswagen and are reportedly going to send subpoenas to the company – these are essentially writs compelling testimony or evidence to be produced or face a penalty. Meanwhile, European environmental organisation, Transport & Environment, has said it has found some new models of Mercedes, Volkswagens, BMWs and other new cars consume much more petrol than lab tests claim, according to reports from PA. Currently, manufacturers test emissions in near-perfect lab settings, using smooth tyres unsuitable for roads, engine lubricants so expensive they’re beyond the reach of most consumers and even clip off wing mirrors to achieve required emission results.

US regulators and the European Commission have both said they will introduce rules forcing manufacturers to test car emissions under real world road conditions.

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