Volkswagen says emission scandal investigations to take months

Thu Oct 1, 2015 6:42pm EDT
 
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By Andreas Cremer

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen said on Thursday it would take longer than expected to investigate its rigging of vehicle emissions tests, raising the prospect of months of uncertainty for customers, shareholders and staff.

After a seven-hour meeting late on Wednesday, the German carmaker's supervisory board said it would take "at least several months" to complete investigations, including an external inquiry by U.S. law firm Jones Day.

As a result, it proposed cancelling a Nov. 9 shareholder meeting it called less than a week ago to discuss the crisis.

Europe's largest carmaker has admitted cheating in diesel emissions tests in the United States and Germany's transport minister says it also manipulated them in Europe, where Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) sells about 40 percent of its vehicles.

It is under huge pressure to make rapid progress in tackling a scandal that has wiped more than a third off its share price, forced out its long-time chief executive, and sent shockwaves through both the global car industry and German establishment.

Two sources close to the supervisory board told Reuters the company was looking for ways to cuts costs and boost cash flow to meet the bill for cheating regulators.

One source said a share sale to raise money was likely if the cost exceeded a "critical level", without elaborating.

Volkswagen declined to comment.   Continued...

 
The steering wheel of a Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel is seen in central London, Britain September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth