Volkswagen scandal returns: New “irregularities” found in CO2 emissions

Emissions controversy now threatens company’s petrol vehicles

Volkswagen shares took a 10% nosedive when trading opened in Frankfurt this morning after the company warned that it has found new “irregularities” in the carbon dioxide levels of up to 800,000 vehicles.

These “irregularities” mean the car maker has overstated the fuel efficiency of cars, and Volkswagen has announced that it will set aside €2bn (£1.42bn) to deal with the financial implications.

This comes on top of the €6.5bn (£4.7bn) the company had already said it would need to spend to deal with the costs of the software cheat scandal that broke in September.

The picture that now emerges is bleak for VW, with analysts at Credit Suisse saying the implications could grow to become worse for the company than the software scandal.

Bloomberg has reported which vehicles are affected in the latest crisis.

“Volkswagen’s Polo, Golf and Passat models are affected as well as the subcompact A1 and the A3 hatchback at the Audi premium brand, a Volkswagen spokesman said by phone.

“The affected models at other brands include the Skoda Octavia, the Seat Ibiza and the Seat Leon.”

Elsewhere, questions are already being asked about whether the inaccurate carbon dioxide readings will mean governments which collect tax based on fuel emissions could sue Volkswagen for lost tax receipts.

The news is further unwelcome news for Britain, which is already struggling to cope with a growing air pollution problem.

Almost 30,000 deaths a year in the UK are accelerated by polluted air. Of these, at least 23,000 are blamed on the toxic nitrogen dioxide emitted by diesel engines.

VW vehicles contributed an estimated one million tonnes of additional pollution to the world every year since 2009, the Guardian calculated last month. This would be a greater level of pollution than all of the UK’s power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture combined.  

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