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Merkel "annoyed" about German auto industry deception

Europe
20.08.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed disappointment with the country‘s car makers in an interview on Sunday.

"I‘m annoyed," she told broadcaster RTL.

"I have experienced it all, how the auto industry in part also says what it can‘t do, and that in a way there was real betrayal from behind," Merkel said.

The German car industry - a pillar of the nation‘s strong economy and an emblem of the dependable "Made in Germany" brand - has been hit by scandal over Volkswagen‘s installation of emissions-cheating software and the existence of a secret cartel since the 1990s that discussed emission controls and standards.

The scandals have become a major campaign issue in the run-up to Germany‘s national election on September 24, in which Merkel is vying for a fourth term.

At a so-called "diesel summit" in Berlin earlier this month, carmakers agreed to upgrade the software of more than 5 million diesel cars in Germany to reduce their harmful emissions. Several also agreed to offer trade-in cash bonuses for people with older diesel cars.

Environmental groups have pressed for more expensive hardware upgrades, saying plans announced at the summit would not reduce harmful nitrogen oxide emissions at all in the winter, and by less than 5 per cent in the summer.

Merkel said the industry risked incurring damage that could not be neglected, damage that they themselves would have to atone for.

The current issues at hand are protecting drivers from potential diesel vehicle bans with measures that include the planned software updates for newer diesel cars, the chancellor said.

 

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