The Latest: Dutch VW Dealers Halt Sale of Diesel Cars

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

China steers clear of Volkswagen scandal.

As the Volkswagen scandal of cheating on diesel-emissions tests moves beyond the US, where it was discovered, to European and Asian countries, China so far appears unscathed.BERLIN – German prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn to establish what his role was in the emissions-rigging scandal that has shaken the world’s largest automaker. The investigation will concentrate on the suspicion of fraud committed through the sale of vehicles with manipulated emissions data, and aims to determine who was responsible, prosecutors in Braunschweig said in a statement. In the German system, anyone can file a criminal complaint with prosecutors, who are then obliged to examine it and decide whether there is enough evidence to open a formal investigation.

But total Chinese production of diesel cars came in at 9,046, or 0.4% of sales. “Diesel is crucial to the Chinese economy, widely used in sectors ranging from manufacturing, agriculture, power generation to industrial transport,” said Wall Street Journal blog China Realtime. She said it was too early to say if and when prosecutors may try and interview Winterkorn himself, and that she did not know whether he already had an attorney to represent him. Still, the Ministry of Environmental Protection reported in 2013 that China’s diesel-powered vehicles accounted for nearly 70% of all nitrogen oxide and more than 90% of all particulate matter emissions from China’s motor-vehicle sources. Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s CEO since 2007, resigned Wednesday — days after the world’s top-selling carmaker admitted that it had rigged diesel emissions to pass U.S. tests during his tenure.

He said that he was going “in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.” Under German law, it is not possible to bring charges against a company, only against individuals. It will have to fix programming it has said is in some 11 million cars worldwide, far more than the 482,000 originally identified by U.S. authorities.

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