Shares fall by almost a fifth as economy minister says US claims over falsified data threaten reputation of German car industry

The German government has warned that the Volkswagen emissions fixing scandal is putting at risk the reputation of the country’s automotive industry, as shares in Europe’s largest carmaker slumped by nearly 20%.

Shares plunged as investors responded to US accusations that the German carmaker falsified emissions data, an action that could attract penalties of up to $18bn (£11.6bn). The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, expressed concern over the impact of what he called “a bad case” for the country’s vital car industry and he urged VW to clear up the allegations.

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Source: Guardian Environment