Even as Volkswagen readies itself to name a new CEO, the fallout from its emissions test rigging scandal in the United States continues to broaden. On Friday, Norway and India joined a growing list of countries that have launched investigations over the malpractices of the world's biggest carmaker by sales.
“In light of the recent revelations, we will investigate whether there has been a criminal offense in Norway and whether the fraud has had some impact on the cars in question that have been imported to the country,” Norway’s economic crimes unit said in a statement Friday.
France has already announced sample checks on diesel cars, which might begin as soon as next week, after the European Union urged its member states to investigate whether vehicles in their countries comply with European pollution rules. Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also said Friday that it is making enquires “to determine if consumers might have been exposed to misleading claims,” Reuters reported.
In India, the government instructed the state-run Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to evaluate if Volkswagen cars sold in the country flouted any domestic laws.
“We have written to the ARAI to find out whether Volkswagen is selling the same models in India that have been found violating U.S. rules,” Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary at the ministry of heavy industries, reportedly said. “ARAI has been asked to submit its report within a week.”
Following last week’s revelations, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that Volkswagen had installed illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emission tests, the company’s shares have taken a massive beating. However, on Friday -- two days after Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down -- the shares recovered slightly.
Volkswagen’s 20-member supervisory board is also meeting Friday at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to appoint a new CEO. According to some reports, they have already picked Matthias Mueller, the chief executive of the company’s premium car manufacturer, Porsche.