Volkswagen said it was supporting the federal government effort to prevent possible driving bans in German cities by offering swapping incentives to customers with EU1 to EU5 diesel vehicles who want to change to a new group vehicle.

"The federal government's concept clearly emphasises that the air in German cities has become cleaner in the last years. Measures that have been taken by VW and other car manufactures so far, such as software updates and the scrappage and swapping incentives, have made an essential contribution to this. The group continues to be willing to make a major contribution to ensure unrestricted individual mobility for its customers and to prevent driving bans in particularly polluted cities," said CEO Herbert Diess.

The swapping incentives envisaged will be about EUR4,000 on average for EU1 to EU4 diesel vehicles and EUR5,000 for EU5 diesel vehicles and will depend on the customer's model. This promotion also includes compensation depending on the old vehicle's residual value and an attractive finance offer. With this, the group intends to reach almost 1m vehicle owners in the 14 cities.

"The implementation of the hardware upgrade measures suggested by the government is essentially dependent on the solutions from the upgrade providers," VW said.

"These solutions must be available and approved as well as durable in the long term and be fully accepted by customers. We would like to point out that a hardware upgrade solution causes increased consumption and a loss of comfort."