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A diesel Jetta is photographed at the Al Johnson Volkswagen Volvo dealership on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Dalton, Ga.

Germany's vice chancellor has cautioned against casting doubt on the quality of Volkswagen as a whole or the rest of the country's auto industry as he visited the company's stand at the Frankfurt auto show.

Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's economy minister, said Wednesday it is clear that it's "absolutely unacceptable" to try to manipulate engines using software during tests.

He added: "The damage that some people have unleashed for the company and its employees is huge — but I think we should take care not to make a general debate about the quality of Volkswagen or the whole German auto industry out of this."

Gabriel welcomed Volkswagen's pledges to investigate the scandal fully. He said it's important that it is cleared up quickly and "the consequences are drawn."

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