VW ‘manipulated’ 100k petrol cars: minister

Around 98,000 Volkswagen-produced cars with petrol engines had the results of emissions tests 'manipulated', Transport Minister Alexander Dobrint told the Bundestag (German parliament) on Wednesday.

VW 'manipulated' 100k petrol cars: minister
Porsche cars awaiting delivery outside the factory in Leipzig. Photo: DPA
Auto giant Volkswagen had said on Tuesday that an internal probe in the wake of its pollution cheating revelations had found 800,000 more vehicles with “inconsistencies” related to carbon emissions.
“During the course of internal investigations, unexplained inconsistencies were found when determining Type Approval CO2 [carbon dioxide] levels,” the company said in a statement.

“Based on present knowledge around 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group are affected.

“An initial estimate puts the economic risks at approximately two billion euros,” it added.

The latest revelation affects mostly diesel-powered vehicles, but also some petrol cars.

VW said that it noticed in an internal investigation that some models of vehicle had carbon CO2 and fuel emissions set too low during CO2 certification testing.

CEO Matthias Müller promised an “unsparing” investigation.

“We won't stop for anything or anyone. This is a painful process, but for us there is no alternative,” he said.

But Müller's words did little to stem panic among VW investors, with shares tumbling around 10 percent as markets opened on Wednesday.

Image: Reuters

Volkswagen sank into the biggest crisis in its history over its admission that 11 million of its vehicles had been fitted with devices designed to cheat official pollution tests.

The so-called defeat devices turn on pollution controls when cars are undergoing tests and off when they are back on the road, allowing them to spew out harmful levels of nitrogen oxide.

The revelations sparked global outrage and investigations in several countries including its home turf Germany.

The group has already set aside billions of euros to cover the costs of refitting the cars to disable the defeat devices and for possible litigation costs related to the scandal, pushing it deep into the red for 2015's third quarter.

Volkswagen itself has also promised to investigate how such a scam could have been perpetuated at a global level and whether there were other irregularities surrounding its vehicles.

Tuesday's admission of irregularities surrounding carbon emissions is yet another setback for the company, and comes a day after US authorities accused it of fitting the defeat devices also on its larger 3.0 litre diesel vehicles.

SEE ALSO: VW shares suffer as scandal reaches Porsche


Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium

At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium
The activist lands on the turf of the Allianz Arena. credit: dpa | Christian Charisius

The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.

However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.

The activist was arrested soon after landing.

A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are”.

The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges. Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk”.

UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

The parachutist above the stadium. Photo: dpa | Matthias Balk

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.

“UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,” said UEFA.

Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.

“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.

“We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent.”

“Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.”

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