Merkel calls for German automakers to regain consumer trust

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, front, walks past a BMW concept car as she arrives at the booth of the German car manufacturer BMW during her visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the CEO of BMW, Harald Krueger, left, arrive at the booth of the German car manufacturer BMW during Merkel's visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, VW group CEO Matthias Mueller, left, and VW Cars CEO Herbert Diess, right, stay beside a 'VW I.D. Buzz' concept car at the booth of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen during Merkel's visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, smiles together with VW group CEO Matthias Mueller, right, and VW Cars CEO Herbert Diess, 2nd left, as she arrives at the booth of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen during her visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
From left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry and VW group CEO Matthias Mueller smile as Merkel arrives at the booth of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen during her visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, smiles together with VW group CEO Matthias Mueller, right, and VW Cars CEO Herbert Diess, left, as she arrives at the booth of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen during her visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
A woman takes a picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, at the booth of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen during Merkel's visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
A police officer and a hound dog stay in front of a 'VW I.D. Buzz' concept car at the booth of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 prior to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit at Volkswagen. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, front, walks past an electric powered scooter and cars as she arrives at the booth of the German car manufacturer BMW during her visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says "a lot of trust has been destroyed" in the country's automakers by the diesel emissions cheating scandal and they need to regain it quickly.

Merkel opened the Frankfurt auto show Thursday, telling car manufacturers that theirs was a key industry of "huge importance" for Germany's economy.

She said that the cars on display in Frankfurt were a "window into the future" of new technologies, including cleaner combustion engines, hybrids and full-electric cars.

To succeed, she says, automakers must "regain their credibility and trust as quickly as possible."

Volkswagen in 2015 admitted to rigging diesel cars to evade U.S. emission testing. Other carmakers in Europe were also discovered to have been using legal loopholes to turn off emissions controls much of the time.

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