New probe considered for Volkswagen

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New probe considered for Volkswagen

German prosecutors are considering whether to open a new criminal investigation into Volkswagen after the carmaker said it found faulty emissions readings in gasoline-powered vehicles and more diesel cars as a manipulation scandal widened.

Prosecutors in Braunschweig are looking into VW’s diesel products, and will examine the newly disclosed information with a decision on a new investigation coming by next week, spokesman Klaus Ziehe said by phone Thursday. A separate case would be necessary since the accusations involve other cars and people, he said.

“We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we weren’t looking at this,” Ziehe said. “There’s talk about cheating here, that’s clearly a red flag for us.”

VW said on Nov. 3 that an internal probe showed that 800,000 cars had “unexplained inconsistencies” in their carbon-dioxide output. The company said late Tuesday that the new finding could add at least 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to the 6.7 billion euros already set aside for repairs. A VW spokesman declined to comment Thursday.

Separately, a group of institutional investors with a total of 12 trillion euros of assets under management have called for changes to be made to the European Union’s carbon emissions-testing program for road vehicles.

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has 118 members including BlackRock, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and HSBC Investments. They are urging the EU to restore confidence in testing procedures and examine vehicle performance while driving on the road rather than just in laboratories. Bloomberg

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