• Germany's news in English

Govt 'knew VW was cheating emissions data'

AFP/The Local · 23 Sep 2015, 08:30

Published: 23 Sep 2015 08:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The government told us in July that it knew about this software that has been used in the USA, and they clearly knew that the software was widely in use," Oliver Krischer, Green Party deputy leader told N24.

"The government worked together with the auto industry, not to ensure that the emissions levels were reduced, but so that the measuring system was set up in such a way that on paper the cars met the necessary standards,“ Krischer continued.

The government had already admitted in July that there were "deficiencies" in the measuring systems for car emissions, the Green Party politician went on. 

Krischer lay the charge principally at the door of Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, who he accused of being "over pious" in his calls for an investigation into Volkswagen's activities.

"It is surprising to see how Mr. Dobrindt acts shocked at the news in recent days, when in July he was very well informed about the situation," said Krischer.

But Dobrindt denied that the government had failed to meet its responsibilities on the issue.

"Again and again we conduct testing. If there are irregularities, we discuss them immediately with the auto manufacturer according to the rules," Dobrindt told reporters on Tuesday.

South Korea questions VW representatives

South Korean environmental officials questioned Volkswagen representatives Wednesday after the German auto giant
was found to have cheated on US emissions tests.

The meeting at the environment ministry focused on the timing and methods for tests to be conducted in South Korea.
"We will complete our work by the end of November," a ministry official told AFP.

The scandal escalated dramatically Tuesday when the automaker revealed 11 million of its cars worldwide could be affected, a disclosure which wiped a third off its market value and threatened to topple the chief executive.

Story continues below…

Of the five models equipped with test-cheating software in the United States, four have been imported to South Korea - the Golf, Audi A3, Jetta and Beetle - and about 59,000 of them are on the road.

The US Environmental Protection Agency said VW had been fitting diesel vehicles in the US with software that turns on full pollution controls only when the car is undergoing official emissions testing.

As a result, the agency said the diesel cars at other times emit greater than allowed quantities of pollution linked to smog and various health problems.

As the United States opened a criminal investigation, the automaker's chief executive Martin Winterkorn offered his "deepest apologies" for the scandal.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd