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Luxembourg opens criminal case over VW emissions scandal

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(Reuters) — Luxembourg has started criminal proceedings in response to the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, saying on Monday that regulators had been cheated by car manufacturers.

Following an investigation into the scandal, the European Union country's infrastructure minister said it was lodging a complaint with prosecutors without naming any of the parties under suspicion.

"We have decided that, as there is a large probability that a defeat device was used, to launch a lawsuit against unknown persons," minister François Bausch told journalists.

In documents handed out to reporters at a news conference, Luxembourg's infrastructure ministry described itself as "a victim of criminal action that led it to certify cars," saying it would not have done so had the tests not been falsified.

Luxembourg is among seven nations under scrutiny by Brussels regulators for failing to impose the kind of penalties Volkswagen has faced in the United States over its use of illegal "defeat device" software to mask toxic diesel emissions.

Volkswagen has already announced €18.2 billion ($19.6 billion) of provisions to cover the costs of "Dieselgate" as the scandal has become known.

However, its legal problems are not over yet.

Fish distributor Deutsche See has said it is suing the company for misrepresenting a fleet of vehicles it leased as environmentally friendly, becoming the first major German customer to sue Europe's biggest carmaker over its diesel-test cheating.