How regulators around the world have reacted to the VW emissions scandal

September 26, 2015, 6:28 PM UTC
Volkswagen Group Delivers Over 9 Million Vehicles In 2012
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 14: Visitors look at VW cars at a Volkswagen Group showroom on January 14, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Volkswagen Group, which includes the VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, SEAT, Bentley and Bugatti brands, delivered a record 9.07 million cars to customers in 2012. Rising sales in the Americas and Asia helped to offset a drop in sales in western Europe. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Photograph by Sean Gallup — Getty Images

German carmaker Volkswagen said a scandal over falsified vehicle emission tests in the United States could affect 11 million of its cars worldwide.

Volkswagen said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in its third-quarter accounts to help cover the costs of the biggest scandal in its 78-year-history, blowing a hole in analysts’ profit forecasts.

Following are responses from other national regulators.


Australia’s competition regulator said it was looking into whether Volkswagen had misled consumers over its emissions claims after the German carmaker admitted cheating on U.S. pollution tests.


The European Commission urged all member states to investigate into how many cars use illegal “defeat” devices to cheat emissions tests in light of the scandal at Volkswagen.

EU regulators said they were in contact with Volkswagen and U.S. authorities following the car-maker’s admission it had rigged emissions tests, and called on member states to rigorously enforce the relevant law.


Britain’s transport minister said the government would work with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that the use of emissions-cheating software was not being used widely in the industry.


D’Ieteren Auto, which imports VW cars in Belgium, on Saturday announced it had halted sales. No-one was immediately available for comment, but on its website it says it is still waiting for information from VW in order to identify the affected cars in Belgium.


Germany’s transport minister said that emissions manipulations by Volkswagen took place in Europe, not just in the United States.

Germany’s transport ministry said it would send a fact-finding committee to Volkswagen this week. The committee is to speak with executives at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg and request access to documents, the ministry said in a statement.


France will carry out testing to establish whether vehicles on its roads are equipped with banned software of the kind used by Volkswagen in the United States to trick emissions tests, the country’s environment minister.

Segolene Royal said that she had asked the United States Environmental Protection Agency for further information about the case.


Italy will test 1,000 cars from all the VW brands sold nationally, its transport minister said.

Italy has also said it would open its own investigation into whether Volkswagen had cheated in diesel vehicle emissions tests in Europe as it did in the United States. The Italian Transport Ministry said it had sent a letter to Volkswagen and the main emissions tester in Germany to ask “if the anomalies found could also have been conducted on vehicles sold and tested in the European Union.”


Swiss authorities on Friday said they would ban the sale of Volkswagen Group cars affected by the diesel manipulation row until the authorities have clarified whether they have been equipped with manipulated software.

The agency said it was preparing to withdraw approval of affected models — which include Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagens brand vehicles built between 2009 and 2014 equipped with 1.2 TDI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI diesel motors — until the situation was clarified. Up to 180,000 vehicles in Switzerland could be affected, the agency said in a statement. Those already on the road would be exempted.


South Korea’s environment ministry said it would investigate 4,000 to 5,000 of Volkswagen’s Jetta, Golf and Audi A3 vehicles produced in 2014 and 2015, and could expand its probe to all German diesel cars if it found problems.


Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said on Saturday he would ask VW to pay back subsidies for clean cars it was given by Spanish authorities.


Dutch regulator says the engines used in Netherlands are tested in Germany by the KBA (federal transport authority), which uses European-wide emissions standards. No separate tests planned by the Dutch.


The Swedish Transport Agency is not taking any immediate action as it had just finished annual emission controls. However a spokesman said it was considering extra rigorous checks on VW next year.


A Czech transport ministry spokesman said the country was closely following the outcome of German investigations. “The problem has so far been identified only in the United States. It will be important to find out whether such vehicles are also in Europe and what course of action Germany takes.”


Russian state standards agency Rosstandart said it had requested information from Volkswagen about the German carmaker’s diesel engines.


Mexico is checking to see if Volkswagen has complied with its emissions standards and will act if it finds anomalies, its environment minister said.