WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has accused VW of getting around U.S. clean air rules -- rigging emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars. In response, Volkswagen has halted the sale of some vehicles in the United States. It's promising to cooperate with regulators in a probe that could see the company fined billions of dollars.
The company's CEO apologized Sunday, saying Volkswagen had "broken the trust of our customers and the public." And industry analysts say the CEO, Martin Winterkorn, could be facing pressure to step down.
An emissions-testing scandal is having a big impact on the value of Volkswagen stock. Shares in the company fell more than 17 percent in Germany Monday.
According to the EPA, Volkswagen used a device that was programmed to detect when the cars are undergoing official emissions testing. The device then turns off the emissions controls during normal driving situations, allowing the cars to emit more than the legal limit of pollutants.
The diesel cars, which were built in the past seven years, include the Audi A3, VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat models. The EPA has ordered VW to fix the cars at its own expense but said car owners do not need to take any immediate action.
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