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Volkswagen suspends car sales in Spain amid emissions cheat scandal

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Volkswagen suspends car sales in Spain amid emissions cheat scandal
Workers check cars at the Seat factory in Martorell near Barcelona. Photo: Lluis Gene / AFP.
12:17 CEST+02:00
Volkswagen halts the sale in Spain of 3,320 cars that may have engines installed with software to cheat emissions tests while Seat admits 700,000 may have tampered engines.

More than 3,300 Volkswagen (VW), Audi, Skoda as well as Spanish subsidiary Seat cars with potentially manipulated diesel motors will temporarily not be sold in Spain, Spanish media reported.

A Seat spokesman also said on Tuesday that 700,000 of its cars had been fitted with pollution cheating software to dupe emissions tests and that they would be traced and recalled.

"These 700,000 vehicles were distributed by Seat's global network and we are currently working to determine how many of them were sold in each national market," the spokesman said.

Seat said it would summon the owners of vehicles equipped with the affected EA 189 motors to authorised service centres to undergo tests.

It will also set up a search engine on its website to allow customers to find out if their vehicle is affected.

Last week Spain's Industry Ministry launched an investigation into affected vehicles sold on the Spanish market as Seat admitted that some of its cars were installed with tampered engines.

The suspension will last until the cars have been determined to comply with European standards, Spanish economic newspaper Expansión reported.

Expansión said they confirmed with ministry sources that officials would expect the cars to essentially pass a "double certification" before being allowed back on the market.

Volkswagen has faced intense international scrutiny since it was revealed that it had installed software in some of its cars that could trick emissions tests so they could pass.

The emissions 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 now under investigation in Germany.

READ: Swede warned about VW scandal 17 years ago

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