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http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/volkswagen-emissions-rigging-1.3236548Volkswagen Canada halts some sales as emissions rigging scandal deepens
VW chief 'deeply sorry' after EPA accuses company of rigging emissions tests
Volkswagen Canada has stopped sales of many of its diesel models in this country following revelations late last week that the automaker had rigged emissions tests for almost 500,000 diesel cars in the U.S.
"Volkswagen Canada has issued a stop-sale order to our dealers for all of the affected vehicles pending resolution of this matter," company spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said in an email to CBC News on Monday.
The stop-sale order came three days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that half a million diesel-powered VWs had been programmed to bypass emission controls, except during emissions tests.
The cars include the Audi A3, VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat models made in the last seven years.
Environment Canada said on Friday it was in talks with the EPA "to further examine this issue and assess potential implications for Canada."
Environment Canada also told CBC News it collaborates on emissions verification activities with the U.S. EPA "to ensure our common environmental outcomes are achieved," and pointed out that its emissions standards are aligned with U.S. standards.
The EPA and Environment Canada both stressed that the effectiveness of a vehicle's air pollutant control devices is not a safety issue. The cars remain legal to drive.
Volkswagen CEO 'deeply sorry'
Volkswagen's CEO has apologized but investors were not in a forgiving mood as the company's stock plunged almost 20 per cent Monday.
"I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public," Martin Winterkorn said in a weekend statement.
The EPA ordered VW to fix the cars and VW said it would co-operate with regulators. But the damage to the automaker's image is nothing less than catastrophic.
VW had marketed its diesel-powered cars as being better for the environment. The Associated Press reports, citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the matter, that VW has told dealers to stop selling its 2015 diesel cars with 2.0-litre engines.
The EPA said the VW cars under investigation seemed to pass emissions tests, but in the real world, were actually emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide, which is linked to asthma and lung illnesses.
Consumer Reports announced it would remove its "recommended" rating from the Jetta and Passat diesels until it can retest the vehicles.
VW could face fines of up to $18 billion US, according to the EPA.
Volkswagen shares plunged 19.4 per cent in Monday trading in Germany, chopping $21 billion Cdn from the market value of the company.
"The company will have to recall nearly 500,000 affected cars, which will cost it millions of dollars, and that's even before the damage to its brand and potential fines," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
Diesel-powered models account for about a quarter of VW's sales.
On Monday, the EPA announced it would test other diesel vehicles to see if they are using the same kind of "defeat device" software that deceived regulators in the VW case.
A Seattle-based law firm announced Monday it has filed a nationwide class action complaint against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., alleging that the automaker "deliberately deceived" consumers and regulators by installing defeat devices in 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.