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German state governor says Volkswagen should have admitted diesel deception much earlier

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo, the grille of a Volkswagen car for sale is decorated with the iconic company symbol in Boulder, Colo. Volkswagen said Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, it is recalling 1,950 diesel vehicles in China while Singapore announced it is suspending sales of the company’s diesel cars in the wake of the German automaker’s emissions cheating scandal.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley,File)

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo, the grille of a Volkswagen car for sale is decorated with the iconic company symbol in Boulder, Colo. Volkswagen said Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, it is recalling 1,950 diesel vehicles in China while Singapore announced it is suspending sales of the company’s diesel cars in the wake of the German automaker’s emissions cheating scandal. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley,File)  (The Associated Press)

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

VW acknowledged the deception to U.S. regulators on Sept. 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 on Tuesday that "this confession should clearly have come a great deal earlier — another serious mistake," news agency dpa reported.

Lower Saxony holds a 20 percent stake and 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.