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Business

One of Tennessee's largest companies loses billions in stock value

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BERLIN (AP) — One of Tennessee’s biggest employers has seen nearly $17 billion worth of its market value wiped off the books.

Volkswagen stock values fell sharply following revelations that the German car maker rigged U.S. emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars.

Volkswagen's market woes follow a weekend that saw the company's reputation seriously damaged by revelations from the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. that it had skirted clean air rules. All told, the EPA indicates VW faces fines that could run up to more than $18 billion.

The EPA says VW used a device programmed to detect when the cars are undergoing official emissions testing. The software device then turns off the emissions controls during normal driving situations, allowing the cars to emit more than the legal limit of pollutants.

The Passat built in Chattanooga by VW is one of the vehicles caught up in the emissions scandal.