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Volkswagen issued a false news release, saying it was a joke

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UPDATE: 5:00 p.m.

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen of America issued statements Monday and Tuesday saying it would change its brand name to Voltswagen, then contradicted it Tuesday and said the release was false and a joke.

Spokesman Mark Gillies confirmed Tuesday that the statement was a pre-April Fool’s Day joke, after saying Monday that the release was legitimate and the name change was accurate.

The false release was distributed again Tuesday, saying the brand name change reflected VW’s switch to more battery-electric vehicles.

The company is trying to change its image and recover from a 2015 scandal in which it cheated on government emissions tests and allowed diesel-powered vehicles to illegally pollute the air.

ORIGINAL STORY

(CNN) -- Volkswagen of America is looking at making a name change.

The automaker says it is switching from Volkswagen to "Voltswagen." The move is supposed to reflect the company's new push towards electric vehicles.

Volkswagen has already changed it's official Twitter page.

"Volts-wagen" will also appear in ads and on the chrome badges on the back of the company's electric cars. But the automaker the says the new name will not show up on it's gasoline-powered vehicles.

Some question the move since it comes just days before April first, also known as April fool's day.

Fake press releases and pranks are a staple of the unofficial holiday, but for now it appears the name change is no joke.

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