VW rebrand turns out to be April Fool's joke

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A Voltswagen ID 4Image source, Getty Images

German carmaker Volkswagen will not change its name to "Voltswagen" in the US despite earlier saying it would in a press release.

The name change was in fact an April Fool's joke that was leaked to the media several days early by mistake.

It was initially said to mark VW's shift to electric vehicles, and was backed by US boss Scott Keogh.

The carmaker will put out an official press release clearing up the matter on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the carmaker went as far as changing its name on its US website and even launched a new Voltswagen Twitter handle.

It denied speculation it was just a prank, leading to numerous media outlets picking up the story, including BBC News.

'Changing a K for a T'

In the press release, Mr Keogh said: "We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren't changing is this brand's commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere.

"This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples' car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples' electric car."

Some had remained unconvinced, though.

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The Volkswagen Group has long supported the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.

VW has also committed to sell one million electric vehicles worldwide by 2025.

But its environmental record was damaged by the diesel emissions scandal of 2015. The firm admitted to installing software that was capable of cheating emissions tests in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

As a result it has faced huge fines and compensation claims in Europe and the US, and two VW employees have received jail terms in America.