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Seat says 700,000 cars have ‘cheat’ emissions software

Seat has said about 700,000 of its cars are fitted with the software that allowed parent company Volkswagen to cheat US emissions tests.

A spokesman said they are currently trying to work out how many were sold in each national market.

In Spain slightly over 3,000 new cars are affected but showrooms have been told to put them aside.

VW has said a total of 11m diesel engines are involved in the emission’s scandal.

Broken down brand-by-brand they are:

VW – 5m
Audi – 2.1m
Skoda – 1.2m
Seat – 700,000
Vans – 1.8m

Seat said it planned to contact owners so their cars can undergo tests.

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

The Spanish carmaker said it had temporarily suspended the sale and delivery of all new vehicles with the EA 189 engines which contain the software.

Scandal spilling over

The scandal is continuing to hit VW’s share price. On Tuesday it fell another 1.5% during morning trade in Frankfurt. The company has lost 35% of its market value since last Monday.

A survey of 62 institutional investors by the investment banking advisory firm Evercore, showed 66% of them would not invest in VW for 6 months or until it clarified what costs, fines, and legal proceedings it faced.

The effects are also spilling over into the local economy around VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. The city is expecting a fall in business tax revenue from VW and the mayor has announced a budget freeze and hiring ban on public sector workers.

The scandal was revealed after the US Environmental Protection Agency found that some VW diesel cars were fitted with devices that could detect when the engine was being tested, and could change the car’s performance to improve results.

The German company has apologised for breaching consumers’ trust, and on Friday announced that Matthias Mueller was replacing Martin Winterkorn as chief executive. Mr Mueller promised a “relentless” investigation to uncover what went wrong.

He said the group was “facing the severest test in its history.”

German prosecutors announced on Monday that it was conducting a criminal investigation of Volkswagen’s former chief executive.

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