By John Sudworth
BBC News, Beijing
By John Sudworth
BBC News, Beijing
By Theo Leggett
Business correspondent, BBC News
By Sooraj Shah
By Tom Espiner
Business reporter, BBC News
BBC International Business Correspondent
The chief executive of the Volkswagen Group has confirmed that the company plans to shut down production temporarily at a number of its European plants before the end of the week.
Herbert Diess said the move had been prompted by problems obtaining parts and a fall in sales due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Among those closing are several SEAT facilities in Spain, a factory in Portugal, and a major facility near the Slovak capital Bratislava.
The company will also begin preparations to shut down other factories in Germany and elsewhere in Europe over the next two weeks.
Mr Diess did not say whether this would include the group's flagship plant in its home town of Wolfsburg.
However, he added, production in China had resumed with the exception of two factories.
On Monday, two other major car groups, PSA and Fiat Chrysler, also announced extensive short-term factory closures.
Car maker Volkswagen and a major German consumer group have reached an agreement in a class action lawsuit over the emissions scandal.
VW has agreed to pay an €830m (£709m) settlement to the Federal Association of Consumers (VZBV), a court in the northern city of Brunswick said on Friday.
The case was among the first of its kind in Germany. Because of a new draft law in 2018, consumer rights groups became able to represent customers taking companies to court - and to bear their costs.
VZBV said that families had been badly affected by the emissions scandal as they were stuck paying for the financing on existing diesel cars even after returning them, and if they wanted to get a new car, they'd have to pay a second lot of financing as well.
VW disclosed in 2015 that it had used illegal software to manipulate the results of diesel emissions tests.
Canadian prosecutors want to fine Volkswagen millions of Canadian dollars over its emissions scandal.
Volkswagen was charged in December with importing nearly 128,000 vehicles into Canada that violated emissions standards.
The company then pleaded guilty to dozens of counts of diesel emissions violations.
Globally the scandal has already cost the company more than €30bn in fines, penalties and buyback costs.
German prosecutors have filed charges against six Volkswagen employees for their role in helping the carmaker put heavily-polluting diesel cars on German roads.
The employees worked at the firm between 2006 and 2015 but were below management board level, prosecutor Klaus Ziehe said, adding it was unclear whether they are still employed at the company.
Prosecutors have accused the unnamed employees of fraud and false advertising as well as tax evasion, since VW cars equipped with illegal emissions cheating software should not have received road worthiness certification and tax breaks.
Volkswagen has declined to comment.
The UK's first major mass litigation has begun, with about 100,000 motorists seeking redress from Volkswagen over the "dieselgate" emissions scandal.
Lawyers representing owners of VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars told the High Court the German firm misled consumers.
In 2015, VW admitted 11 million cars worldwide - including 1.2 million in the UK - were fitted with software that cut emissions readings in tests.
But it denies deceiving regulators, despite rulings against it elsewhere.
And it says that, whatever the merits of the case, the UK drivers seeking compensation faced no losses.