FRANKFURT—Volkswagen shares fell sharply Nov. 3 after the company said it had understated carbon dioxide emissions for 800,000 cars, widening its scandal over cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests.
The company’s ordinary shares slid 9.7 per cent to 100.80 euros in morning trading in Europe.
The carmaker found “unexplained inconsistencies” in carbon dioxide emissions in some vehicles. The company found the additional problem as it investigated revelations that up to 11 million of its vehicles had software that allowed them to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide they emitted during tests.
The company has so far been unable halt the flow of negative surprises since the scandal first became known Sept. 18, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Volkswagen had installed software on 482,000 cars that enabled them to cheat on tests for nitrogen oxide. The software would reduce emissions when the car was placed on a test stand, and then allow higher emissions during normal driving.
The scandal initially focused on cheating on levels of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant which can cause health problems. The Volkswagen admission Tuesday expands the issue to a different pollutant, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse case believed to contribute to global warming, and subject to increasingly strict limits in the European Union.
The announcement follows U.S. allegations that the defective software was also found in some cars with larger engines, including Volkswagen’s elite Porsche brand.
CEO Matthias Mueller has promised the company will “relentlessly and completely clarify the matter.” He has said the company must re-examine its corporate culture to prevent such missteps from occurring again.
The news that Porsche vehicles also had the deceptive software was an embarrassment for Mueller, who headed Porsche before he became CEO.
Mueller has said that upper management would not have involved itself in the details of software development and has pointed to “a few” employees who altered the software code. The company has hired law firm Jones Day to investigate.