Volkswagen to halt U.S. sales of some 2015 diesel cars

Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:53pm EDT
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By Christoph Steitz and Jan Schwartz

FRANKFURT/HAMBURG (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) told U.S. dealers to halt sales of some 2015 diesel cars after regulators found software it designed for the affected vehicles gave false emissions data, the company said Sunday, announcing it had launched an investigation.

In a statement published by the carmaker on Sunday, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said, "I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers.

"Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter," he said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday the software deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions, adding that Volkswagen could face fines of up to $18 billion as a result.

The Detroit News reported late Friday that VW dealers still had some 2015 diesel Jetta, Passat and Beetle cars for sale.

A VW representative on Sunday confirmed the partial halt of sales of the affected vehicles but did not give any numbers.

Winterkorn said, "We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law," adding that the company was fully cooperating with the relevant agencies.

He gave no details on who would carry out the external investigation.   Continued...

The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen at a VW dealership in Hamburg, Germany, in this file photo taken October 28, 2013.  U.S. and California environmental regulators said on Friday they are investigating whether Volkswagen AG deliberately circumvented clean air rules on diesel cars.  REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/Files