Volkswagen AG’s stock price fell 19% on Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company recently stated that as many as 11 million vehicles world-wide could be affected by software allegedly used to cheat emissions tests.
CBS News states that shares of the German car manufacturer closed at a more than three-year low on Monday. They state that the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe of Volkswagen’s conduct.
The company announced plans to take a €6.5 billion ($7.27 billion) provision that will force the company to downgrade its earnings outlook.
Volkswagen owns Porsche, Audi, and Skoda, among other brands.
Volkswagen is halting American sales of popular diesel-powered cars and issued an apology for violating consumers’ trust.
The company said the discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines and that “a noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine.”
“Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures,” it added.
On Friday, U.S. environmental authorities alleged Volkswagen had installed software in nearly 500,000 cars that made them appear to run cleaner in emissions tests than they actually do on the road.
The company hasn’t contested the accusation, and Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has since issued a personal apology, writes The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated that VW could be held responsible for “up to $18 billion” in fines, writes jalopnik.com.
One attorney now involved in litigation against Volkswagen likens the case to Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America. In late 2013, those companies agreed to pay $400 million for inflating the fuel economy claims for their vehicles, according to CBS News.