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VW chief on emissions scandal: 'We screwed up'

2015-09-22 12:20

VW UNDER FIRE: 'In my German words, we totally screwed up,' says VW USA chief Michael Horn in response to the automaker's emissions scandal. Image: AP / Kevin Hagen

New York - The head of Volkswagen's US division apologised late on Monday for the  automaker's use of software designed to help its cars cheat US emissions standards.

VW has been "dishonest" with environmental regulators, Michael Horn, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, told an audience in New York at a launch event for the company's new Passat model.

He said: "In my German words, we totally screwed up."

Criminal probe

The US Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe of the emissions case, the Bloomberg news agency reported late Monday, citing US officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

Read - Emissions scandal: How VW's 'defeat device' works

The investigation comes in the wake of the US Environmental Protection Agency late last week ordering VW to recall nearly a half million diesel engine cars.

Volkswagen admitted it equipped about 482 000 cars in the US with sophisticated software that covertly turns off pollution controls when the car is being driven, and turns them on only when it detects that the car is undergoing an emissions test.

VW emissions scandal: What does it mean for SA?

The company, which faces high fines and civil claims, is to hold a crisis board meeting on Wednesday.

VW shares fell a further 5% in early Tuesday trading in Frankfurt, after crashing by around 19% on Monday amid concerns about the impact of the revelations on the group's corporate image.

The scandal spread Tuesday to Australia and South Korea, where reports say governments are demanding their own investigations into whether the emissions-cheating software was installed in vehicles sold in their countries.

More on VW emissions scandal:

Seoul summons VW over emissions scandal
VW emissions scandal: What does it mean for SA?

Huge VW, Audi recall: Diesel car sales stopped

UPDATE: Huge VW, Audi recall: Billions in fines
Berlin: New emission checks from German automakers


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Read more on:    volkswagen  |  usa  |  environment  |  emissions scandal  |  passat  |  green

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