European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer has told the German media that the EU bank could recall loans it gave to VW.
The EIB will examine whether Volkswagen used any loans from the European Union to cheat on emissions tests for diesel vehicles and could demand money back.
In an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Werner Hoyer said that the EIB gave loans to the German automaker for things like the development of low emissions engines.
He said the loans could be recalled in the wake of VW’s emissions cheating scandal.
The newspaper reported that about €1.8 billion of those loans are still outstanding.
Werner Hoyer is quoted as saying that the EIB had granted loans worth around €4.6 billion to VW since 1990.
“The EIB could have taken a hit [from the emissions scandal] because we have to fulfill certain climate targets with our loans,” the Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted Werner Hoyer as saying.
The EIB president was attending the IMF meeting in Lima, Peru.
Werner Hoyer added that the EIB would conduct “very thorough investigations” into what VW used the funds for.
He told reporters that if he found that the loans were used for purposes other than intended, the EIB would have to “ask ourselves whether we have to demand loans back”.
Werner Hoyer also said he was “very disappointed” by Volkswagen, adding the EIB’s relationship with the carmaker would be damaged by the scandal.
VW admitted that about 11 million of its vehicles had been fitted with a “defeat device” – a piece of software that duped tests into showing that VW engines emitted fewer emissions than they really did.
Werner Hoyer’s comments come days after VW USA CEO Michael Horn faced a Congress panel to answer questions about the scandal, which has prompted several countries to launch their own investigations into the automaker.