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VW set to cooperate with Swedish authorities

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VW set to cooperate with Swedish authorities
A VW exhaust in 2014. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
08:00 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Sweden's environment minister said she had held a "good meeting" with Volkswagen bosses on Wednesday after the firm's shock decision to recall 225,000 Swedish cars in the latest stage of the worldwide emissions scandal.

Volkswagen's Swedish branch announced late on Tuesday that it suspected 224,746 vehicles in the Nordic country had been affected by manipulated emissions tests of its cars in Europe.

It said owners of cars with a diesel engine of the type EA 189 would receive a letter asking them to present their vehicles at the closest Volkswagen garage to have their emissions software updated.

“We are working to get more information,” Marcus Thomasfolk, spokesperson for Volkswagen Group Sweden, told the TT newswire on Wednesday morning.

The cars include 104,227 Volkswagen, 57,367 of the Audi brand, 28,430 Skoda, 2,162 Seat and 32,560 VW Transport.

The German car maker's chief executive in Sweden, Claes Jerveland, met with Environment Minister Åsa Romson, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Green Party, before lunch on Wednesday.

“As early as last week I said that it is incredibly important that Volkswagen Sweden responds to whether this software is also in Swedish cars. It's important information for individual car buyers, but also from the perspective of society,” said Romson ahead of their discussions.

She added afterwards: "It was a good meeting. They have informed us well and were able to provide an explanation. They also agreed that they would cooperate with Swedish authorities".

Jaerveland did not immediately comment following the talks.


Sweden's Environment Minister Åsa Romson. Photo: Stig Hammarstedt/TT

The discussions came after it emerged that a Swedish scientist and environmental campaigner, Per Kågeson, had warned about car makers rigging emissions tests almost two decades ago.

“Tests carried out by the Swedish exhaust emission laboratory Rototest AB reveal that some manufacturers do not take responsibility for the exhaust performance of all or some of their models in situations when the car is driven under conditions not covered by the official European test cycle,” he wrote in a major EU report in 1998.

READ MORE: Swede warned of VW errors 17 years ago

Hundreds of thousands of Swedish cars have been recalled by Volkswagen. Photo: AP Photo/Michael Probst

The latest scandal broke when US officials publicly accused Volkswagen of cheating and launched a probe which has also seen a growing list of other countries launch investigations.

The German carmaker has since admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected by software that covertly turns on pollution controls when the car is being tested, and off when it is being driven.

Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned amid the emerging scandal, and he is under investigation in Germany.

Last week, the biggest bank in the Nordic region, Nordea, said it was barring its traders from buying Volkswagen shares and bonds for six months over the manufacturer's emissions record.

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