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Sun 27 Sep 2015 02:41 PM

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Volkswagen cars in the MidEast unaffected by emissions crisis

Scandal-hit automobile company, part-owned by Qatar, is facing a recall of millions of vehicles

Volkswagen cars in the MidEast unaffected by emissions crisis
(Getty Images)

Volkswagen cars in the Middle East will be unaffected by the emissions scandal that has rocked the world’s largest automaker.

No diesel engines from Volkswagen are sold in the Middle East and Levant and therefore no cars in the region will be recalled.

Volkswagen, which is backed by a subsidiary of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), faces penalties of up to $18 billion for cheating emissions tests.

Diesel cars sold by the German car manufacturer under brands such as Audi, VW and Skoda are believed to have been fitted with illegal software that allows them to falsify emissions tests.

The US Justice Department has launched criminal proceedings into the alleged fraud, which has been cited the biggest scandal in Volkswagen’s 78-year history and is expected to blow a huge hole in the company’s accounts.

Volkswagen has reportedly set aside $7.2 billion to deal with recalls, fines, litigation and other costs resulting from the deception.

In the UK alone, 1.5 million cars are set to be recalled as part of a worldwide recall of at least 11 million cars.

But the worldwide recall is understood not to affect the Middle East as no diesel engines are sold in the region.

However, Qatar Holdings – a subsidiary of QIA that is the third largest shareholder in Volkswagen with a 17 percent stake – suffered losses of more than $4.5 billion when Volkswagen’s share price plummeted 34 percent last week.

The car manufacturer saw more than $20 billion wiped off its value as a result.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen’s Middle East and Levant market said they were unable to comment while investigations are ongoing.

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