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Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

This Just In: List of 1.2m cars in UK affected by filthy cheating planet-killer dieselware

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Olaf Lies, a Volkswagen board member and the economy minister of Lower Saxony, has stated that some staff acted criminally in installing software which allowed cars to cheat on pollution tests.

Lies told BBC Newsnight that those at VW who oversaw the installation of the defeat device, as well as those who installed it, acted criminally and must take responsibility.

The VW board only discovered the problem during its last meeting, he said. "We only found out about the problems in the last board meeting, shortly before the media did. I want to be quite open. So we need to find out why the board wasn't informed earlier about the problems when they were known about over a year ago in the United States."

Lies did not know what the bill would be for the German company to repair the engines and meet the likely legal costs resulting from the skulduggery.

"Huge damage has been done because millions of people have lost their faith in VW," he said. "We are surely going to have a lot of people suing for damages. We have to recall lots of cars and it has to happen really fast."

According to the BBC, Lies maintained that the company was strong. Its priority was in rebuilding trust, and "ensuring the majority of the 600,000 workers at the car giant were not blamed".

Alongside the other apologies issued by VW execs, Lies said: "I'm ashamed that the people in America who bought cars with complete confidence are so disappointed."

VW has set aside $7bn to prepare for the fines and mass recalls resulting from the 11m vehicles affected by the pollution-cheating software.

German prosecutors are now investigating former CEO Martin Winterkorn. ®

UPDATE

Dieselgate has arrived in Britain, with a VW announcement that almost 1.2m of Blighty's VW-branded autos are fitted with the dirty software.

The VW statement said affected car brands included Audi, Seat and Skoda, as well as VW's commercial vehicles themselves.

In the coming days the company will give the vehicle identification numbers to retailers as well as coming up with a process for owners to check if their vehicles are affected, before contacting them directly.

The vehicles affected by brand are:

  • Volkswagen cars: 508,276
  • Audi: 393,450
  • Seat" 76,773
  • Skoda: 131,569
  • VW commercial vehicles: 79,838
  • Total: 1,189,906

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