VW scandal has TN officials fuming after giving millions in incentives

Governor Bill Haslam 'very concerned' by violations

Volkswagen Chattanooga tile
Volkswagen Chattanooga tile
photo Drivers line up for emissions testing in Memphis, Tenn., in this file photo.

NASHVILLE - Revelations that Volkswagen cheated on its U.S. emissions testing for some diesel vehicle models have dismayed Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other officials, who've pumped hundreds of millions of dollars of incentives into VW's Chattanooga operation.

"Obviously we're very concerned about that," Haslam told reporters this afternoon following a conference on higher education.

Haslam, who said both EPA's top administrator and VW officials gave him a "head's up" last week, also noted the German auto manufacturer "is a major partner for us ... Both in terms of investment and the jobs created."

Earlier, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, the Senate speaker, told the Times Free Press that the revelations are "Depressing, hard to believe. On and on. We've made a huge investment."

The state's latest incentives, some $168 million to assist VW's planned addition of SUV production in Chattanooga, were approved by the State Building Commission just earlier this month.

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