Seibert said the government still stood by Merkel’s earlier statement that the scandal would not inflict lasting damage on the reputation of Germany industry.
Merkel yesterday insisted that the affair would not tarnish Germany’s pristine engineering image, adding that “we must insist on transparency and a rapid investigation. And my assumption is that those involved will do that.”
Volkswagen, a champion of German industry, has admitted that up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide have been fitted with the so-called defeat device.
The gadget detects when the car is undergoing testing and switches the engine to a low-emissions mode, then switches off this mode when the car is on the road, allowing it to spew out far higher emissions of nitrogen oxides.
The car giant yesterday also said an internal probe had found that 800,000 more vehicles showed “inconsistencies” on carbon emissions.