Volkswagen board gathers for crisis meeting

Senior directors of German carmaker Volkswagen are due to meet to discuss what action to take after the company was caught manipulating its diesel car emissions tests.

VW faces multiple probes in the US which could result in huge financial damage.

The company, the world’s biggest carmaker, has admitted it deceived US regulators in exhaust emissions tests.

There is speculation over the future of VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

Reports in Germany suggest Mr Winterkorn has lost the support of key investors, following the revelation that the firm installed a device to circumvent emission test requirements for diesel cars in the US.

Volkswagen has said 11 million vehicles worldwide are involved and it is setting aside €6.5bn (£4.7bn) to cover costs of the scandal.

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board are investigating the way VW cheated tests to measure the amount of pollutants coming from its diesel cars.

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

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

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

Cars and the environment – two things that Germany cares so deeply about that they form part of the national character.

So Germans are shocked to discover that for years the country’s mightiest car manufacturer Volkswagen has been rigging environmental tests for diesel emissions in the US.