Volkswagen has said the number of cars with irregular carbon dioxide levels is far lower than originally feared, providing some much-needed respite for the beleaguered German carmarker.
The company warned last month that CO2 emissions levels and fuel consumption figures may have been rigged in 800,000 cars. However, VW now believes that only about 36,000 vehicles are affected.
Shares in VW, which have fallen by 30% since the emissions scandal emerged in September, rose by almost 5% in Germany on Wednesday following the news.
The dramatic admission that VW may have rigged CO2 emissions as well as diesel emissions threatened to significantly escalate the crisis at the company.
It is already facing the prospect of having to pay tens of billions of euros in fines and compensation after admitting rigging diesel emissions levels in 11m vehicles worldwide.
The news about CO2 emissions damaged consumer confidence in the brand further and raised the possibility that VW could have to repay tax credits customers had benefited from by driving cars that emitted more CO2 than it claimed.
VW estimated the “economic risks” of the CO2 discovery at €2bn (£1.45bn), but said on Wednesday that it was too early to lower this estimate until more was known about the scale of the emissions rigging.
In a statement, the carmaker said: “Only a small number of the model variants of new cars will have the catalogue (CO2) figure slightly adjusted.
“Against this background, the negative impact on earnings of €2bn that was originally expected has not been confirmed. Whether we will have a minor economic impact depends on the results of the remeasurement exercise.”
The company is scheduled to provide a thorough update on the investigation into the scandal at its Wolfsburg headquarters on Thursday, when VW will also outline plans to cut costs to offset the fines and compensation claims it faces.
This article was written by Graham Ruddick, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 9th December 2015 12.25 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010