December 17, 2018 / 10:01 AM / 5 months ago

German regional state to sue VW over diesel scandal: FAZ

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg plans to sue Volkswagen over the carmaker’s cheating of emissions tests, newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logos during the media day of the Salao do Automovel International Auto Show in Sao Paulo, Brazil November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

The federal state’s bodies, including police forces, purchased Volkswagen vehicles that were equipped with a device to rig diesel emissions tests and the paper quoted a state finance ministry spokeswoman as saying it was its “budgetary duty” to sue for damages.

Baden-Wuerttemberg had sought to settle with VW but a deadline lapsed before a deal could be struck, the paper said. The state finance ministry, which is run by the German Greens, plans to lodge its claim before year-end, the paper added.

“We have no knowledge of claims and therefore cannot comment on the content,” a VW spokesman told Reuters.

He added VW did not see any merit in claims for damages because the cars in question were safe and roadworthy.

Following an engine software update to address the emissions issues, the vehicles were compliant with German road traffic regulator KBA’s rules, he said.

Daily Rheinische Post said another regional state, North Rhine-Westphalia - also an owner of a fleet of VW cars - was considering suing VW for damages, citing the state’s justice minister.

VW said about 11 million diesel cars worldwide were fitted with a device that could cheat emissions tests designed to limit noxious car fumes.

It has agreed to pay billions of dollars in the United States to settle claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers. It offered to buy back 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

The company has not reached a similar deal in Europe, where it faces billions of euros in claims from investors and customers in the worst business crisis in its history.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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