VOLKSWAGEN has admitted that around 800,000 cars in Europe could be affected by “irregularities” in carbon dioxide emissions levels and shares in VW have dropped on Wednesday morning as a result.
The automaker said the discovery was made when investigating diesel emissions and could affect brands including VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda.
VW estimated it could lead to a cost of €2 billion and have already led to a reported 5.6 per cent drop in shares. Since September, when the original diesel emissions revelations made headlines, the carmaker´s shares have lost a third of their value.
VW’s chief executive, Matthias Mueller, said: “From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth.”
He didn´t say if the irregularities were caused by deliberate action.
A company statement emphasised that “the safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised” and confirmed that the board will talk to regulators about its finding.
Arndt Ellinghorst, formerly with VW and now head of automotive research at investment firm Evercore said, “We estimate the whole recall will cost VW around €28 billion over time. Even that is manageable but if this goes further then VW might have to start selling parts of their business.”
“The question is how painful will it be to change the culture (at Volkswagen) and how long will it take the new management.”