France launches probe into Volkswagen fraud

Paris, Sep 23 (IANS) France has launched an investigation into whether Volkswagen had used defeat device software in its diesel vehicles in France, the country’s environment minister has said.

“I asked the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain all relevant information to assess the nature of fraud and the means used to detect it,” Xinhua news agency quoted Environment Minister Segolene Royal as saying on Tuesday.

“I also asked domestic manufacturers to ensure that such similar practices have not taken place in France,” she said.

On Friday, the EPA revealed that Volkswagen (VW) had installed illegal software to falsify emission tests, allowing its diesel cars to produce up to 40 times more pollution than allowed.

The US government has ordered VW to recall 482,000 VW and Audi cars produced since 2009, placing Germany’s leading auto manufacturer on hot seat.

On Monday, Volkswagen reported a heavy loss of 15 billion euros ($16.68 billion) of its market value.

The company’s stocks tumbled 20 percent on Tuesday trading session.

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