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VW chief heads to EU for crisis talks

2015-09-29 09:26

NEW MAN IN CHARGE: Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller will take the reigns at the VW Group. Image: AFP / Thomas Kienzle

Brussels, Belgium - A top executive for embattled Volkswagen will hold talks in Brussels with a senior EU official on Tuesday, a spokesman said, in an effort to soothe tensions before European ministers discuss the car testing scandal later in the week.

The EU's Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska will meet Herbert Diess, the head of the auto group's Volkswagen brand who had been on the shortlist to replace Martin Winterkorn as CEO, before Porsche chief Matthias Mueller was named to the post.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said: "Commissioner Bienkowska will meet the (chairman of VW brand) tomorrow."

Under fire

The European Commission is the top regulator for pollution emissions in the European Union and is under fire for dragging its feet against automakers despite evidence of suspicious pollution testing.

The commission blames the EU's national authorities that are in charge of policing car pollution for not following through on the evidence.

The EU's 28 trade or industry ministers will broach the scandal during talks in Luxembourg on Thursday, the first high-level meeting in Europe on the VW crisis since it blew open earlier this month.

VW sparked global outrage when it admitted that 11 million of its diesel cars worldwide are fitted with so-called defeat devices that activate pollution controls during lab tests but covertly turn them off when the car is on the road.

On October 6, a team of EU experts will meet to hammer out the implementation of so-called "real driving" tests that should prevent automakers from having the ability of faking results.

The goal is for a meeting of the EU's national regulators later in October to fast track the changes, a European source told AFP.


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