Workers stand beneath the chassis of Volkswagen AG Caddy vans during assembly on the production line at the VW plant in Poznan, Poland. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Workers stand beneath the chassis of Volkswagen AG Caddy vans during assembly on the production line at the VW plant in Poznan, Poland. Picture: BLOOMBERG

FRANKFURT — Embattled German vehicle giant Volkswagen (VW) on Friday rejected calls by consumer groups to buy back cars in Germany that were affected by the massive pollution-cheating scandal, as it reportedly plans to do in the US.

VW said there was "no basis" for such repurchases in Germany, as the modalities to refit the affected vehicles had already been agreed. According to a report in the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung earlier this week, VW expects to have to buy back about 115,000 diesel vehicles in the US that have been equipped with software to skew the affects of emission tests.

The head of the German consumer associations federation, Klaus Mueller, said that a buy-back option would offer a "pragmatic and quick solution" for car owners in Germany, as well.

In Europe, VW plans to start recalling this month about 8.5-million affected vehicles in the region for a refit or adjustment. But the clean air regulations in the US are much stricter and such a solution is not acceptable there.

According to the Sueddeutsche, VW expects to have to buy back about one-fifth of the affected cars in the US, which came to about 580,000 of them.

It said the buy-back could take the form of a cash payment or the owners being offered a brand-new vehicle in exchange at a large discount. The US authorities would reach a decision on this in January, the report noted.

Earlier this week, the US government announced it was taking VW to court over the affair, dubbed "diesel-gate", which has hit the company’s sales and could cost it many billions of euros in fines and lawsuits.

AFP