Volkswagen shares plunge after new emissions cheating revealed

  • AP, Frankfurt
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2015 18:16 IST
Traders work in front of a board displaying Germany's share index DAX on November 4, 2015 at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. Shares in Volkswagen took a renewed battering as evidence emerged that the massive pollution cheating scandal engulfing the company may also involve petrol engines, not just diesel engines. (AFP Photo)

Volkswagen shares are falling after the company said it had understated carbon dioxide emissions for 800,000 cars, widening its scandal over cheating on US diesel emissions tests.

The company’s ordinary shares slid 9.7% Wednesday to 100.80 euros in morning trading in Europe.

The carmaker said Tuesday after the European market close that it found “unexplained inconsistencies” in carbon dioxide emissions in some vehicles. The company found the additional problem as it investigated revelations that up to 11 million of its vehicles had software that allowed them to deceive emissions testers.

The company has so far been unable halt the flow of negative surprises since the scandal first became known September 18, when the US Environmental Protection Agency announced Volkswagen had installed software on 482,000 cars that enabled them to cheat on emissions tests.

A file photo Matthias Mueller, Volkswagen’s CEO. The emissions scandal engulfing the auto giant may have gotten worse, as petrol engines might also be affected. (AP Photo)

The software would reduce emissions when the car was placed on a test stand, and then allow higher emissions during normal driving.

The announcement follows US allegations that the defective software was also found in some cars with larger engines, including Volkswagen’s elite Porsche brand.

CEO Matthias Mueller has promised the company will “relentlessly and completely clarify the matter.” He has said the company must re-examine its corporate culture to prevent such missteps from occurring again.

The news that Porsche vehicles also had the deceptive software was an embarrassment for Mueller, who headed Porsche before he became CEO.

Mueller has said that upper management would not have involved itself in the details of software development and has pointed to “a few” employees who altered the software code. The company has hired law firm Jones Day to investigate.

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