Sun, Nov 08, 2015 - Page 13 News List

VW says it will pay for customers’ additional taxes

AFP, BERLIN

German automaker Volkswagen AG (VW) is to foot the bill for any additional taxes owed by customers who bought its vehicles that pollute more than originally claimed, VW chief executive officer Matthias Mueller wrote in a letter to EU ministers on Friday.

Mueller’s letter came three days after VW revealed that internal probes found that carbon emissions levels for about 800,000 cars have been understated — an admission that carries serious financial consequences.

CORRECT LEVELS

This is because tackling carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas blamed for climate change — is becoming a rising priority in many nations — especially in Europe, where cars are often taxed according to their carbon emission levels.

“The Volkswagen Group pledges to take charge of any possible additional taxes,” Mueller wrote in the letter seen by reporters.

“Volkswagen will inform tax authorities in all countries of the correct CO2-levels as they become available,” he added, urging the authorities to send any bills for any additional levies directly to the company, and “not to our clients.”

ADDITIONAL LEVIES

German Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt said earlier this week that customers should not have to cough up additional levies because VW deliberately understated the vehicles’ carbon dioxide emissions.

The latest revelation is yet another setback for VW, which sank into the deepest scandal in the company’s history over its admission in September that 11 million of its vehicles are equipped with devices aimed at cheating official pollution tests.

Additional reporting by AP

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