VW may have to recall German cars
Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) is considering recalling more Volkswagen cars due to its emissions, scandal, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper has reported.
The KBA has opened an investigation into whether a software update for 1.2-litre engine cars, including the popular Polo, enabled them to cheat emissions tests, the newspaper said, without naming its sources.
The Bild am Sonntag said prosecutors were preparing charges against unnamed Volkswagen managers for suspected fraud, noting that the company had given as- surances in 2016 that the 1.2 litre engines did not use illegal emissions cheating defeat device. VW has had to recall hundreds of thousands of cars around the world since it admitted in September 2015 to installing illegal software in diesel engines to cheat strict US anti-pollution tests.
The KBA was considering forcing 30,000 affected cars in Germany off the road, although it was more likely just to order further remedial work, the newspaper said.
There are 370,000 of the models under investigation in Europe in total. Germany’s Transport Ministry, which oversees the KBA, said it was aware of the allegations, but noted that the KBA’s investigation was not yet concluded.
A Volkswagen spokesman said internal quality controls for diesel cars with 1.2 litre engines, model EA189, had revealed irregularities which were now being analysed. He said Volkswagen had informed the authorities and the company was in continuous dialogue with them. Separately, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said it was unclear if Germany’s recent economic setbacks are a one-off or a more lasting phenomenon caused by structural problems, particularly in its car industry.
Struggling to adjust to new emission testing standards, Germany’s car manufacturing contracted in the third quarter, dragging overall economic growth into negative territory and raising fears that Europe’s five-year-old growth run may be coming to a premature end.
The Bundesbank said in a monthly economic report last month that Germany’s dominant car industry may take longer than previously thought to recover from a slump.