Volkswagen boss 'endlessly sorry' for emissions scandal

(AGI) Frankfurt, Sept 22 - German carmaker Volkswagen findsitself in the centre of a storm after admitting that 11 millionvehicles are involved in the diesel engine emissions scandal.The company has set aside 6.5 billion euros to meet the costs.Chief executive, Martin Winterkorn formally apologised "forthis misconduct," but stressed that it would be wrong if the"huge mistakes of a few people were seen as a reason to placethe honest work of 600,000 people under blanket suspicion".Group shares, after crashing on Monday, lost more than 20percent on Tuesday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked

(AGI) Frankfurt, Sept 22 - German carmaker Volkswagen findsitself in the centre of a storm after admitting that 11 millionvehicles are involved in the diesel engine emissions scandal.The company has set aside 6.5 billion euros to meet the costs.Chief executive, Martin Winterkorn formally apologised "forthis misconduct," but stressed that it would be wrong if the"huge mistakes of a few people were seen as a reason to placethe honest work of 600,000 people under blanket suspicion".Group shares, after crashing on Monday, lost more than 20percent on Tuesday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked forlight to be "shed" on the case. The U.S. has opened a criminalinvestigation and the EU said it would get to the bottom of it.In a video, Martin Winterkorn added that Volkswagen wascommitted to do "what must be done and to begin to restore yourtrust". Meanwhile, pressure is growing in Germany for the CEO'sdismissal. The supervisory board is to meet on Friday toevaluate the extension of Mr Winterkorn's contract until theend of 2018. "I am sure that there will be personnelconsequences in the end, there is no question about it,"supervisory board member Olaf Lies said on Tuesday. MrWinterkorn has led Volkswagen since 2007 and oversees thegroup's research and development. Meanwhile, Italy isconsidering halting sales. The resources allocated byVolkswagen will fund the necessary measures to recover customerconfidence. In addition, the group will review the profittarget for the current year by the same amount. The car groupassured in a statement that it "is working hard to eliminate"the issue of discrepancies between the results of testsconducted at the factory and actual on the road measurements ofvehicles with type EA 189 engines. Brussels said it was intouch with Volkswagen and with the U.S. authorities. Inparticular, the EU Commission has called on governments to be"particularly vigilant over national companies. Investigationsare underway but "it is premature to comment on whether anyspecific immediate surveillance measures are also necessary inEurope and whether vehicles sold by Volkswagen in Europe arealso affected," said Lucia Caudet, European Commission InternalMarket spokesman. "But let me be clear," she added, "we need toget to the bottom of this. For the safety of our consumers andthe environment we must be certain that companies scrupulouslyrespect the emission limits.".