Germany has ordered a recall of all 2.4m Volkswagen cars in the country affected by the diesel emissions scandal and has rejected the company’s proposal for a voluntary programme.
Transport authorities have given the green light for a compulsory recall of all vehicles in the country fitted with a so-called defeat device and will reveal more details of the plan to repair the affected vehicles on Thursday.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority in Germany has rejected VW’s proposal for a voluntary recall of the cars, which would have meant that motorists only took their car in for repairs if they wanted to remove the defeat device. VW has told motorists their cars remain legal to drive on the basis that they passed emissions tests, even if this was only due to the defeat device.
The decision is likely to mean that all 1.2m vehicles affected by the scandal in the UK will also be formally recalled.
VW has admitted that 11m diesel cars worldwide have been fitted with a defeat device that manipulated emissions tests. The company has put aside €6.5bn (£4.8bn) to meet the costs of recalling the cars but also faces the threat of fines and legal action from shareholders and customers.
Meanwhile, US regulators say they have more questions for VW, triggered by the company’s recent disclosure of additional suspect engineering of 2016 diesel models that potentially would help exhaust systems run cleaner during official tests.
The carmaker has said that a recall of the affected vehicles should begin early in 2016 but may not be completed by the end of the year. Some of the vehicles can be repaired through software changes, but others will need new parts, such as fuel injectors, to be installed.
The German authorities need to approve VW’s recall plan before it can begin repairing vehicles across the world.
Alexander Dobrindt, the German transport minister, confirmed there would be a compulsory recall.
He said: “VW is ordered to remove the software from all vehicles and to take appropriate measures to ensure that the emissions rules are fulfilled.”
Dobrinbt claimed that co-operation between VW and the authorities had been “extraordinarily good”.
However, he also warned that the hardware changes required to fix some of the cars may not be ready until September 2016.
This article was written by Graham Ruddick, for theguardian.com on Thursday 15th October 2015 12.12 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010