Volkswagen plans 'trade-in bonus' for old diesel vehicles in Germany


German carmaker Volkswagen said on Friday it wants to offer a "trade-in bonus" to the owners of older diesel vehicles in Germany.

The offer would apply to vehicles classified Euro 1 to Euro 4 under exhaust emission standards that belong to specific VW brands, including Audi, Skoda and Porsche.

Volkswagen did not provide details on the amount of the bonus.

"With the trade-in bonus, we are offering our customers a strong incentive to switch over to a modern and environmentally-friendly vehicle with an internal-combustion engine or alternative propulsion technology," Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said.

The bonus aims for "quick, measurable and sustainable impacts" in order to reduce nitric oxide emissions and appreciably improve air quality, Mueller said.

Similar incentives have already been announced by BMW, Daimler, Ford and Toyota.

The reputation of Germany's automotive industry suffered a major blow in September 2015 when VW admitted to installing software that cheated emissions tests in more than 11 million vehicles worldwide.

The crisis deepened last month following media reports that five manufacturers - VW, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler - had since the 1990s been members of a secret cartel whose operations included discussions on emission controls and standards.

The revelations prompted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to summon German carmaker representatives and political leaders for an extraordinary summit in Berlin on August 2.

German carmakers pledged at the summit to spend about 500 million euros (592 million dollars) on upgrading engine software in 5.3 million diesel cars, temporarily heading off political pressure for more expensive changes to hardware.

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