VW may have to re­call Ger­man cars

Irish Examiner - - Business -

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.

■ Reuters

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