Volkswagen, the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer through the first six months of 2015, has rigged U. S. emissions tests and could face a fine of $18 billion. Also, the German company shares plunged more than 20 percent, leaving the investors grappled.
Europe’s biggest car maker, Volkswagen,is involved in a huge scandal that resulted in dropping 20 percent, at 129.35 euros, on stock market on Monday, their biggest ever one-day fall. After some Volkswagen emissions tests in the U.S., American Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday that the German manufacturer used software for diesel VW and Audi branded cars that deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions.
Following this statement, Germany said it would investigate Volkswagen emissions data and see whether irregularities also happened in Europe. “You will understand that we are worried that the justifiably excellent reputation of the German car industry and in particular that of Volkswagen suffers,” said Germany’s Economy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, according to Reuters.
Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s CEO, expressed the company’s sincerest apologies in a statement on Sunday: “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly and completely establish all of the facts of this case.”, said Winterkorn, quoted by USA Today.
The Volkswagen emissions issues will halt sales of new and used 4-cylinder diesel cars in the U.S. until it can remove software that fooled regulators into believing that 482,000 vehicles were compliant with emissions standards. Diesels represent about 20% of the automaker’s sales in the U.S., according to AutoPacific.
Finally, the Wolkswagen emissions scandal also puts a tombstone on their try to revive its North American business, hardly challenged over the past years. If they manage to pull this off, it remains to be seen.