Volkswagen's UK managing director has told British lawmakers in the Transport Select Committee that the first rigged diesel vehicles were sold in 2008 in Britain. As Sonia Legg reports Paul Willis also apologised for the emissions scandal.
First South Korea, then the United States and now British lawmakers quiz Volkswagen bosses. UK Managing Director Paul Willis was equally apologetic. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) UK MANAGING DIRECTOR, PAULWILLIS, SAYING: "We recognise that we have fallen short of the standard that are expected of us and we will take all the necessary steps to regain trust." That may be easier said than done. The emissions scandal has wiped a third off the value of the German auto maker. And it's had to set aside 6.5 billion euros to cover the cost of the scandal. BGC Partner's Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS' MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "That is no way going to cover what they are actually on the hook for and we have to go back to Michael Horn's rather disastrous testimony in front of the house last week. I think the litigators in the U.S. are going to go gunning for him in a very major way." Former CEO Martin Winterkorn - who quit last month - may also be feeling beseiged. He remains Chief Executive of Porsche and Chairman of Audi. But German media say he's about to leave those posts too. Britain's Transport Secretary had no sympathy for the company's plight. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S TRANSPORT MINISTER, PATRICK MCCLOUGHLIN, SAYING: "It is fairly unbelieveable to think a company the size and reputation of VW have been doing something like this and have been finding ways around regulations. I think they are going to suffer very substanital damage as a result of it and they deserve to quite honestly." If the latest grilling wasn't enough bad news for one day Standard and Poor's added to it - cutting the rating on VW's long-term debt from A to A minus, with a warning it could cut further.