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volkswagen dieselgate

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VW will cut investment by €1 billion ($1.1 billion) a year as a result of the growing scandal over cheating on emissions tests.

Volkswagen said efficiency and technology would be the company’s watchwords as it “repositioned itself for the future”.

The automaker added that all new diesel cars would be fitted with the “best environmental technology”.

There will also be greater focus on hybrid and electric cars.VW to cut investment

“We are becoming more efficient, we are giving our product range and our core technologies a new focus, and we are creating room for forward-looking technologies by speeding up the efficiency program,” said Chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Dr. Herbert Diess.

The automaker said it would now be fitting the kinds of clean diesel technologies needed to meet stricter US standards across all its cars in both the US and Europe.

VW also revealed that its flagship Phaeton model would in the future be purely electric, capable of driving long distances on a single charge.

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According to new reports, world’s biggest automaker Volkswagen is facing multiple investigations in the US, including a criminal probe from the Department of Justice.

They follow an admission by the German carmaker that it deceived US regulators in exhaust emissions tests.

A DoJ criminal investigation would be serious, as federal authorities can bring charges with severe penalties against a company and individuals.

Late on Tuesday, September 22, New York state’s top lawyer announced an investigation.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would collaborate with other states to enforce consumer and environmental law.

“No company should be allowed to evade our environmental laws or promise consumers a fake bill of goods,” Eric Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the probe.Volkswagen Diesel emissions scandal

Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board are investigating the way VW cheated tests to measure the amount of pollutants coming from its diesel cars.

VW said 11 million vehicles worldwide were involved and it was setting aside €6.5 billion to cover costs of the scandal.

According to news agencies Bloomberg and AFP, the DoJ is looking into the issue, which raises the possibility of the company and individual executives facing criminal charges.

However, the DoJ often extracts hefty payments from companies to settle criminal charges.

VW is due to hold a supervisory board meeting on September 25.

Reports say VW CEO Martin Winterkorn will appear before a select group of board members before then, possibly on September 23.

On September 22, Martin Winterkorn issued a fresh apology for the test-rigging, saying he was “endlessly sorry” for the “manipulation”.

The boss of Volkswagen’s US business, Michael Horn, has also admitted the company “totally screwed up”.

VW shares were down almost 17% on September 22 in Frankfurt, after losing 19% on September 21.