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German transport minister meets with US counterpart on VW

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The German Transport Minister met with his US counterpart Monday in Washington to discuss Volkswagen AG's admission that it rigged its cars to pass emissions tests.

[WASHINGTON] The German Transport Minister met with his US counterpart Monday in Washington to discuss Volkswagen AG's admission that it rigged its cars to pass emissions tests.

Alexander Dobrindt, an aide to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, updated US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on the country's response to the controversy involving the world's second-largest automaker, according to a Transportation Department statement.

Mr Dobrindt is scheduled to meet with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy during his US visit, according to the department statement.

The EPA and the California Air Resources Board disclosed in September that Volkswagen rigged its cars to pass emissions tests. Sales have slowed enough that the Wolfsburg, Germany- based company lost its lead in global auto sales. Toyota Motor Corp said Monday it has sold 7.49 million vehicles worldwide through September, compared with 7.43 million for VW.

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VW agreed on Friday to an independent audit of its compliance with a law requiring timely reporting of deaths and injuries involving its vehicles. The company reported the lowest rate of any major automaker in the US in the last decade.

The company will coordinate with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, make the findings available to NHTSA and work with the agency on any recommendations, Jeannine Ginivan, a VW spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

The average reporting rate of the 11 biggest automakers during the past decade was nine times higher than Volkswagen's, according to an analysis of government data by financial advisory firm Stout Risius Ross Inc. at the request of Bloomberg News. To ensure fair comparisons among carmakers of different sizes, the rates were calculated per million vehicles on the road. The automakers' average was 306 per million, compared with 34 for Volkswagen.

Foxx and Dobrindt also discussed self-driving cars, technology that enables vehicles to talk to each other and possibly avoid crashes, and efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the Transportation Department statement. The two agencies are focused on increasing collaboration on a range of policy issues, it said.

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