SHARE
COPY LINK

GERMANY

Italy opens probe over VW emissions scandal

UPDATED: The Italian transport ministry said on Tuesday it will open an inquiry over the Volkswagen emissions scandal and demand explanations from the German auto giant.

Italy opens probe over VW emissions scandal
The Italian transport ministry has opened an investigation following the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Photo: DPA

The ministry said in a statement it was “concerned” about the matter and it was “launching an inquiry into the manufacturer”.

The move followed the revelations in the United States that Volkswagen had equipped diesel cars with a device that can cheat pollution tests. Italy said it needs to know if any such cars were sold in Italy.

Volkswagen admitted on Tuesday that as many as 11 million diesel cars worldwide are equipped with the pollution cheating device.

The German government has already launched an investigation into whether Volkswagen or other carmakers are doing anything similar in Germany or Europe.

France's Finance Minister Michel Sapin called for a Europe-wide probe, telling French radio that it seemed necessary to check cars manufactured by other European carmakers in order to reassure the public.

“What we are dealing with is making sure people avoid being poisoned by pollution,” Sapin said.

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TRANSPORT

‘Symbol of youth’: Italy’s iconic Vespa scooter marks 75th birthday

Ever since Audrey Hepburn took control of her Vespa in the 1953 classic "Roman Holiday", the Italian scooter has been a symbol of joy and style and on its 75th birthday, many Italians remain fondly attached to theirs.

'Symbol of youth': Italy's iconic Vespa scooter marks 75th birthday
Vespa scooters are pictured on August 11, 2019 in Cervinia, Italian Alps. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

“I’ve had a Vespa for 12 years, I’m on my third,” said Marco Guerrieri, a Roman accountant in his 40s.

“I wanted a more original two-wheeler than the Japanese scooters, plus it’s made of metal and not plastic, it’s much more resistent,” he told AFP.

While it is mostly a practical mode of transportation for him, he laments that for many “it’s a status symbol – in my neighbourhood all the successful people have a Vespa”.

READ ALSO: The history behind Italy’s famous Vespa scooter

Hepburn and Gregory Peck’s adventures in Rome made the Vespa famous in the 1950s, but its history dates back to April 23, 1946, when the first patent for its manufacture was registered in Italy.

Legend has it that the name, which means “wasp” in Italian, came from Enrico Piaggio, founder of the eponymous motor company, who compared the noise
of its engine to the insect’s buzz.

File photo: Alberto Lingri/AFP

Seventy-five years and 19 million units later, Vespas have lost none of their charm, despite the problems of driving them in Rome, with their small wheels unsuited to potholes and slippery cobblestones.

“These are 19 million stories of guys and girls, entire generations who dreamed of and gained their freedom astride a Vespa,” enthused a statement from Piaggio marking Friday’s anniversary.

Since 1946, the Vespa has been made at Pontedera, in Tuscany, although in recent years also in a factory in India and another in Vietnam.

SHOW COMMENTS