Volkswagen announces talks with German consumer group over diesel emissions scandal

In a statement, the two sides said they have agreed to talks on a settlement with the aim of “a pragmatic solution”

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Volkswagen and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations have announced they are in contact but admit the talks are at a very early stage.

It follows the opening in September of a court case in Germany in which 400,000 Volkswagen customers hope to pursue a class action against the car manufacturer.

In 2015 it emerged that Volkswagen had been using software to turn off emissions controls when cars were not being tested.

At the time, VW said that about 11 million cars were fitted with the “defeat device”, which alerted diesel engines when they were being tested. The engine would then change its performance in order to improve the result of the test.

Since the scandal broke, the carmaker has spent more than €30bn  in legal costs and fines.

The joint statement said it is uncertain whether the two sides will reach a settlement and added that both sides have agreed to proceed in confidence.