Germany’s federal transport authority, the KBA, will force Volkswagen Group to recall 2.4 million vehicles in the country affected by the automaker’s software that can cheat emissions tests.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt today said the KBA had ordered VW to start a mandatory recall of the cars under its various brands at the start of 2016.
It is thought the compulsory recall may be followed by similar action in other EU member states where the doctored Volkswagen Group cars were sold. Member states met yesterday to discuss it as Volkswagen announced 8.5 M models affected across Europe.
There is also a developing row over whether the latest 2016 models have been fitted with software to pass tests but then disengage while on the road.
The situation is expected to lead to a speed up in new testing measures, but the car makers have urged lawmakers not to rush into setting stricter standards they could not comply with in a short time and which might make diesel powered cars, which are greener, too expensive for many drivers.
Reports across Europe and in the US where the deceit device was detected suggest the value of used Volkswagens has not been affected.
A mandatory recall is more expensive for a manufacturer because it sets tighter time limits on completing work rather than phasing it into workshop schedules.
Volkswagen has said depending on precise models, some cars and vans will be remedied with a software retune on their computers but others will need different engine parts fitted.
However, the more complex repairs will take time as new parts will have to be manufactured and the whole process is then subject to random examination by the German Government’s testing body.
Owners who fail to return their cars and vans for test could have difficulty selling them without the new retune or replacements fitted.
In Italy, Volkswagen Group managers are being investigated for possible fraud and German prosecutors have visited the homes of personnel to look at private computers for information.
The illegal software is said to be in about 11 Million cars and van around the world and the repairs will take 12 months from January, the company has said.
The German giant is now planning to refocus business from 2018 with a strategy mapped out to 2025.