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Volkswagen is going to pay out billions over dirty diesel vehicles

Around €6.5 billion, to be precise.

Image: Apexchange

THE CRISIS ENVELOPING Volkswagen, the world’s top-selling carmaker, escalated today as the company issued a profit warning following a stunning admission that some 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with software at the centre of a US emissions scandal.

In a statement, the German company said it was setting aside around €6.5 billion to cover the fallout from the scandal that is tarnishing VW’s reputation for probity and seriously undermining its share price. There was no mention of any fines or penalties.

In the wake of its statement, VW’s share price was down another 17.6%, near a four-year low.

The trigger to the company’s market woes was last Friday’s revelation from the US’s Environmental Protection Agency that VW rigged nearly half a million cars to defeat US smog tests.

The company then admitted that it intentionally installed software programmed to switch engines to a cleaner mode during official emissions testing. The software then switches off again, enabling cars to drive more powerfully on the road while emitting as much as 40 times the legal pollution limit.

Germany Volkswagen Source: Apexchange

In its statement, Volkswagen gave more details, admitting that “discrepancies” related to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines and involved some 11 million vehicles worldwide.

“A noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine,” it said. “Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures.”

To cover the necessary service measures and what it says are “other efforts to win back the trust of our customers,” VW said is setting aside some 6.5 billion euros in the current quarter.

That figure, it conceded, may be subject to revaluation in the light of ongoing investigations. As a result, it said 2015 earnings targets will be adjusted but it didn’t specify by how much.

It added that the software is also installed in other vehicles with diesel engines but that that for the “majority of these engines the software does not have any effect.”

Read: Gardaí clock driver doing 123km per hour in 80km zone

Read: Ireland must be doing well – we’ve been buying a shedload of new cars

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