NEW YORK (Reuters) – Volkswagen is making major strides toward turning the Volkswagen Group into a leading automaker with an electric vehicle that will be able to compete with gasoline cars and the electric vehicles that already dominate the global market, as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it would hear the case.
The company said it plans to begin selling the electric Golf in the U, but its electric versions will be made in the United States, where VW will also make its diesel versions.
The decision is a blow to a company that has been accused of making misleading statements about the safety of its vehicles, which have become a target for U.K. regulators for being overcharged by billions of dollars.VW has denied the charges and said it will continue to build electric vehicles.
The U.N. has said VW’s diesel emissions are significantly worse than previously acknowledged.
The new car covers most of the major safety features found in the Volkswagen Passat and Golf e-Golf, including an advanced engine management system that detects whether the car is running at low speeds, and an emergency braking system.
The car also has a fully autonomous driving system, which can be used to drive the car in an emergency.VW said it has taken steps to ensure that the new car is safe, and said its engineers have been working to improve the software and engineering to make the cars safer.VW’s decision to take a leap to electric means it will now be able compete with Tesla Motors Inc’s Model S, which has a battery pack that allows the car to run for up to eight hours, without the need for a gasoline engine.
The U.F.T.C. said on Wednesday it will be hearing a case on behalf of a small group of consumers who allege that Volkswagen cheated them of millions of dollars by selling the diesel version of the Passat.
The agency also is seeking to recover some of the money VW allegedly paid to make electric versions of the two vehicles, known as Passat Plus and Passat Plug.
Volkswagen’s electric vehicles have long been a target of U.U.S.-based regulators, who have accused the company of making deceptive statements about its vehicles.
They have accused VW of not taking steps to prevent pollution from leaching into the environment.