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Volkswagen emissions scandal: Leonardo DiCaprio to produce film based on Jack Ewing book proposal

Leonardo DiCaprio is to produce a film about the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Paramount and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way have acquired the rights to a book proposal by Jack Ewing, according to Hollywood Reporter.

It is not known whether DiCaprio will star in the film.

Last month the German car manufacturer was ordered to recall almost 500,000 diesel cars by the United States government after it emerged that it had used computer software to cheat clean-air laws.

The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the German car-maker for intentionally using the sophisticated computer program to circumvent nitrogen oxide emissions rules for its diesel cars – making them appear up to 40 times cleaner in tests.

The agency slammed the use of the so-called "defeat device" as "illegal and a threat to public health".

Volkswagen AG, which has other brands including Audi, Seat and Skoda, has set aside 6.5 billion euro (£4.8bn) to cover the costs of recalls and fines. But analysts say the costs in terms of fines and lost sales will likely be considerably higher.

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The governor of Germany's Lower Saxony state - which holds a minority stake in Volkswagen, said the car maker should have admitted earlier that it manipulated emissions data in diesel vehicles.

VW acknowledged the deception to US regulators on September 3, more than a year after researchers published a study showing the real-world emissions of two VW models were far higher than allowed.

Governor Stephan Weil told Lower Saxony's state legislature that "this confession should clearly have come a great deal earlier - another serious mistake", news agency dpa reported.

Lower Saxony holds a 20% stake and Mr Weil sits on Volkswagen's board of directors.

He has said that the state's representatives were "completely surprised" by the emissions scandal and vowed to work to protect jobs.

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