Volkswagen’s actions have spurred fears that the German car industry’s reputation may have become tarnished. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN
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Volkswagen shares plunged more than 20 percent Monday, their biggest ever one-day fall, after news that the German carmaker had rigged U.S. emissions tests, and Germany said it would investigate whether data had been falsified in Europe as well. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday said Europe's biggest carmaker used software for diesel VW and Audi branded cars that deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions and could face penalties of up to $18 billion.Analysts said it was unclear whether other automakers had also broken rules or what the ultimate cost could be for VW. German rivals Daimler and BMW said the accusations made by U.S. authorities against VW did not apply to them.Evidence of increased toxic emissions at VW first emerged in 2014, prompting the Californian Air Resources Board to start investigating VW, a letter by CARB to VW dated Sept. 18 showed.Germany's Robert Bosch supplies diesel emissions control devices to VW, an industry source said.Exane BNP analysts, however, said VW's problems could have wider implications for diesel vehicles, which have long struggled to gain a foothold in the U.S. market in particular.
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