VW cuts 2016 capital spending plan as cheating scandal widens

Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:29pm EST
 
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By Andreas Cremer and David Shepardson

WOLFSBURG, Germany/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) cut 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) from its 2016 investment plan on Friday, as its emissions cheating scandal expanded to include tens of thousands more U.S. vehicles.

Volkswagen has told U.S. regulators that emissions issues in larger luxury cars and SUVs extend to an additional 75,000 vehicles dating back to 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday.

The disclosure widened the scandal, which had previously focused mainly on smaller-engined, mass-market cars, and raised the possibility that engineers at both the Audi and VW brands could have been involved in separate emissions schemes.

Earlier on Friday, the supervisory board of VW, Europe's biggest auto manufacturer, said it would cap spending on property, plant and equipment at around 12 billion euros ($12.8 billion) next year, down about 8 percent on its previous plan of around 13 billion euros.

Volkswagen (VW) (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) is battling the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history after admitting in September that it cheated diesel emissions tests in 482,000 2.0-liter diesel cars sold in the United States since 2009.

In November, the EPA and the California Air Resources Board also accused VW of evading emissions in at least 10,000 Audi, Porsche and VW sport utility vehicles and cars with 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engines. VW initially denied the findings.

But during a meeting on Thursday, VW and Audi officials told the EPA that all 3.0-liter diesel engines from model years 2009 through 2016 had higher emissions than allowed.

Audi spokeswoman Jeri Ward acknowledged that the 3.0-liter software at issue "meets (EPA and CARB's) definition of a defeat device."   Continued...

 
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller makes a statement, following a meeting ahead of deadline to inform U.S. regulators on plans to comply with standards, at the VW factory in Wolfsburg, Germany November 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender