Economy, Auto

Lower Saxony Has No Plans to Sue VW

Lower Saxony Has No Plans to Sue VWLower Saxony Has No Plans to Sue VW

The German state of Lower Saxony, Volkswagen’s second-largest shareholder, has no plans to sue the carmaker for damages caused by its emissions-test cheating scandal, its prime minister, Stephan Weil, told a German weekly.

Earlier this week, the state of Bavaria said it would sue Volkswagen, the first regional government in VW’s home country to take legal action against the company, Reuters reported.

Lower Saxony, which has a veto power on VW’s supervisory board and holds a fifth of VW’s voting rights, currently sees no legal basis to claim damages, Weil told Welt am Sonntag.

“As a result, there are no plans for a lawsuit,” he was quoted as saying.

Europe’s largest automaker is also caught up in legal action in the United States, South Korea and elsewhere, and is facing billions of dollars in costs related to its emissions-test manipulations, making it the biggest scandal in VW’s history.

  VW Audi Engines

US authorities have found three unapproved software programs in 3.0 liter diesel engines made by Volkswagen’s Audi unit, German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported, without saying where it had obtained the information.

The software allowed the turbocharged direct injection engines used in Audi’s Q7, Porsche’s Cayenne and VW’s Touareg models to shut down emissions control systems after about 22 minutes, the paper said. Official methods to measure emissions usually last about 20 minutes, it added.

Volkswagen has admitted it cheated on US diesel emissions tests for years and said in June it would spend as much as $15.3 billion buying back vehicles from consumers and providing funding that could benefit makers of cleaner technologies.

That settlement, however, would not address about 85,000 larger 3.0 liter Audi, Porsche and VW vehicles that emitted less pollution than 2.0 liter vehicles but were also fitted with illegal emissions-control equipment.

Audi and Volkswagen notified US authorities about these vehicles last year. A deal covering the 3.0 liter vehicles may still be months away.

Audi managers are scheduled to appear at a hearing by US environmental authorities on Aug. 10, Bild am Sonntag said, adding that the carmaker was bracing for a substantial penalty payment.

A spokesman for Audi declined to comment, only saying that talks with US authorities continued and were aimed at a technical solution for the problem.

A spokeswoman for the US Environmental Protection Agency declined to comment.