By on September 26, 2015

VW West Distribution Circa 2009

Volkswagen’s pain parade marches on, this time to Switzerland, which has temporarily banned sales of the automaker’s diesels.

Morningstar reports the stop-sale order, issued Friday by the nation’s Federal Roads Office per the BBC, could affect 180,000 VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda vehicles on the road with 1.2-, 1.6-, and 2.0-liter diesels in the Euro5 emissions category. New diesels affected would not be sold, used models would not be registered, and those on the road could be recalled. Diesels in the Euro6 emissions category would not be affected by the order.

This latest action in the wake of VW’s emissions-rigging scandal, which began last week when the Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation notice to the automaker upon finding software designed to help circumvent the U.S. agency’s emissions standards, comes on the same day Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller took the reins as the automaker’s new CEO, following the resignation of Martin Winterkorn.

Mueller said his first task would be “to win back trust for Volkswagen Group by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.”

Photo credit: Duhon/Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0

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43 Comments on “Swiss Officials Issue Temporary Volkswagen Diesel Sales Ban...”

  • avatar

    Dear God, where next? Nauru and Tuvalu?

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Are there really 180,000 unsold Euro 5 diesels in Switzerland?

    Going by Wikipedia (always hit-and-miss), this month is the drop-dead date for selling any Euro 5 cars in Europe. I know Switzerland isn’t part of the EU, but I would be surprised if they were the dumping ground for unsold non-compliant cars.

  • avatar

    Cant help but think that some OEM is missing an opportunity here. One would think that if Mazda had there stuff together that their diesel would take over a long percentage of the lost VW sales. Just a thought.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes but Mazdas could never match that amazing German Engineering thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty sure Mazda ran into the fact that they couldn’t make the engine cost effective for their vehicles while meeting emission guidelines.

      They seem to have had the good sense not to try VW’s “solution.”

      • 0 avatar

        That is my guess to. Mazda couldn’t get their cars to meet the emission requirements and maintain performance/reliability.

        • 0 avatar

          Mazda’s SKYACTIV diesel problems are a mechanical issue:

          • 0 avatar

            I think this happens with many recent diesels, although not necessarily to the same degree. Pretty much any diesel where you’re spraying extra fuel so it burns after it leaves the combustion chamber ends up with diesel forced past the piston rings.

            I wonder if the Skyactiv’s light construction exacerbates the problem. These are essentially engine blocks with sufficient strength for gasoline combustion pressures being used for compression ignition. Even if the static compression ratio is at the the high end of the spark ignition range, isn’t turbocharging forcing enough air in to raise the effective compression ratio into compression ignition range?

  • avatar

    Hi, Skoda?

    Yeah, Starbucks legal here… we’ll need to discuss logos if you plan to market in the US.

  • avatar

    • 0 avatar

      Linking to an opinion piece only proves that there is one other person who shares your opinion. It does not provide your position with any authority.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess this is the opportunity to try some “people who think auto emissions regs are akin to religious fanatics” hyperbole? No, it isn’t, 28, and you’re being pretty silly.

      Emissions regs are there for a reason and cars need to abide by the regs.

      • 0 avatar

        …and such regulations need to be reasonable and not the work of zealots of either stripe. Things now seem to be working reasonable well when things are in compliance I say why not let it go for another decade? Nah doesn’t fit in with the master plan.

        This Earth worship thing is a real phenomenon and its dangerous just as nutty things such as the inquisition were dangerous to the people of it’s time.

  • avatar

    180000 is the number of existing Swiss VW diesel. Not the ones waiting to be sold. Big difference.

    Does Cameron being back mean we get this half-researched articles again? TTAC quality had improved after Aarons arrived. Please keep the higher level of journalism that came with Aaron.

    • 0 avatar

      Here, let me quote The Guardian for you:

      “The move affects roughly 180,000 cars that are yet to be sold or registered, including 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines for the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands.”

      How about the BBC article from whence this post was taken:

      “It said the move could affect 180,000 cars – not yet sold or registered – in the Euro5 emission category.”

      Not yet sold OR registered. Meaning some of those vehicles have already left the lot, but have yet to hit the registrar.

      But you needn’t worry about me being back for long, Herr. I’m only here when Mark and Aaron need me to take care of business when they can’t, such as this weekend. You’ll have your precious Aaron back Monday.

    • 0 avatar

      *shakes my head*

    • 0 avatar

      That factoid came straight from the BBC and other media outlets are reporting the same thing. Note the second paragraph:

      “The temporary move comes amid a deepening scandal over VW’s rigging of diesel car emissions tests and could affect 180,000 cars not yet sold or registered in Switzerland.

      The ban does not apply to vehicles already on the road or cars with Euro6 emission category engines.”

      I doubt that the figure is correct, but that is what made it into the news media.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, and Herr, let’s add one more from the horse’s mouth to Al Jazeera:

      “Switzerland has banned sales of Volkswagen Group car models which may have been outfitted with devices designed to tricking emission tests.

      “The ban – announced on Friday – is on all cars with diesel engines in the Euro 5 emissions category, including VW, Seat, Skoda and other brands in the VW group.

      “Thomas Rohrbach, spokesman for the Swiss federal office of roadways, said the move could potentially affect 180,000 vehicles that have 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines.

      “But the ban does not include the cars that are already in circulation.”

      If you can write and research better than I, then bring it.

    • 0 avatar

      So, for starters, do you know what it’s like to write for internet viewership? I’ll give you a run down.

      – Reader expects article right away/100-percent correct with not a single syntactical or grammatical error.
      – Writer puts together post in 20 minutes hoping to meet needs of reader.
      – Reader chastises writer for “error”.
      – Writer acknowledges small error (maybe misplaced comma) in article.
      – Reader feels superior to writer.

      Except, in this case, Cameron was completely correct. She even cites different sources using the same number. Where is your source, HerrLaKeun? Because if you can’t find a source to support your “correction”, I am guessing you should find an apology instead.


      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        Just because lots of other media are misreporting a factoid doesn’t make something accurate. The entire Swiss market is about 20,000 cars per month, of which VW’s share is about 2,000 per month.

        I don’t need to know much about the industry to know VW doesn’t have 90 months of inventory sitting in Switzerland car lots, even if lots of media outlets claim they do.

      • 0 avatar

        There is something wrong here, though. It would be good to fact check it, as it doesn’t pass a sanity check.

        In this case, the WSJ seems to have gotten it right, as this makes a lot more sense:

        “The Swiss estimate that around 180,000 Volkswagen group vehicles already on its roads could contain the software which reduces pollution levels during testing. The cars have 1.2-liter, 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines and have met the EURO5 emissions standard.

        “These cars, which were built between 2009 and 2014, could be subject to a recall if they are found to contain the manipulation software, Mr. Rohrbach said.”

        I would presume that most news outlets got their information from a wire story that got it wrong, then relayed it without fact checking. I realize that everyone is a hurry, but bad information is just that, and a car blog would have more insight than the regular media to know that something doesn’t sound quite right.

        • 0 avatar

          This is why I’m happy someone else does this now. The way I wrote (and write now) these news summaries is, well, by summarizing the most detailed item I could find at that moment.

          I could dig further to confirm, but I also have three, four, perhaps more, summaries to go through, plus finding the proper images to use without worrying if TTAC or I would be sued. Thus, for me, summaries are treated as soldiers in a triage unit.

          What set me off, however, was this part of Herr’s comment:

          “Does Cameron being back mean we get this half-researched articles again? TTAC quality had improved after Aarons arrived. Please keep the higher level of journalism that came with Aaron.”

          If you wish to correct me (especially if you can provide the sources of said correct information), fine, but don’t be a fucking asshole about it, lest threads like this occur.

          Again, I am happy Aaron reports the news now, as it allows me to explore opportunities elsewhere (and not only in publications like TTAC, but businesses, too; P.S., I am available), and to redirect my energy toward feature writing — storytelling, which I believe I do best — instead.

          Anyway, Aaron will be back on Monday, and all will be well once more.

          • 0 avatar
            Kevin Jaeger

            I agree there’s no excuse for the rudeness.

            I just scanned the German media and I assume the error originated in a mistranslation of their reporting.

            But their reporting is confusing. The Swiss have banned new registrations of the older VW group Euro5 cars, of which there are 180,000 in Switzerland. The new cars are Euro6 and not affected.

            I don’t know the Swiss rules well enough to know what qualifies as a “New Registration” of cars that were only produced until 2014. The existing 180,000 cars are already registered and not affected – maybe they can be driven but not sold?

            I’ve read several articles and can’t really figure out who is actually affected by this Swiss measure. As written they appear to have suspended new registrations of the older Euro5 cars, whoever that applies to.

          • 0 avatar

            If all of the Euro 5 VAG vehicles in Switzerland are recalled, then that would involve 180k units. But for now, there is no such recall; there is only a stop-sale order on new inventory.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle


            Always good to see your byline on an article.

            I mentioned the dubious numbers first, but it was obvious to me that it came from the BBC article (and I did follow the link to confirm).

            Perhaps the people who feel like being rude should complain to the BBC?

      • 0 avatar

        No one expects 100% fact-checking and 100% correct numbers. If you report within reasonable margin of error, that is fine. But the number cited is totally incorrect and could have been found incorrect by doing some sanity-check.

        As stated below, the monthly Swiss market is 20,000 cars, so the 180,000 is not sane.

        copy/paste is fine for standard news outlets. But we hold TTAC to a higher standard. At minimum some googling could have yielded that the number other news outlets reported is wrong.

        As for sources, try
        It states clearly 180,000 cars already on Swiss streets are affected.

        This isn’t personal, but in the past before her departure I avoided her articles since my expectations just were so low. Now i was unprepared and accidentally read her article and thought “wow, who wrote this completely wrong story?”. I’ll be smarter now and will check who the author is before i click on the link. you can ban me, or censor this comment… but the quality of articles really had increased since Cameron left. This is my personal opinion, and no one needs to share it. Maybe personal preference, maybe subjective…
        In my opinion (that no one needs to share) most of her articles are not well researched. Very unlike the rest of TTAC.

        I can get copy/paste everywhere on the internet. Fine, copy/paste may have to suffice when you live int he US and report about Switzerland. But at least do some sanity check.

        And no, I couldn’t write better articles. But this is also not my profession and i don’t claim to be a journalist or writer.

        • 0 avatar

          “you can ban me, or censor this comment… ”

          I could do that. Under your comment (and everyone else’s in this post), I have the option to mark your comment as spam or trash, and the option to blacklist (ban) you.

          I could do that, but I won’t, and nor will anyone else. Why would you even make such a statement? You know better than to think such things, and you should damn well know by now what circumstances do merit the banhammer.

          Come Monday, Aaron and Mark will be back to handling the news, I can go back to what I know I can do best, and your reading pleasure shall be restored.

          Since this is likely the last time either of us will talk to each other, here it is:

          I wish you well. Goodbye.

  • avatar

    Aaawwwww, Cameron you editted your first response to Herr Arse…….should have left it…..I heard the mic drop

  • avatar

    Just read (Source: Tagesanzeiger) that Swiss authorities won’t register affected autos. Both new and used (dealers + private parties) are affected, so technically one can sell the cars but you can’t get new license and registration on them. Anyone want to bet we’ll see above average insurance claims if a practical solution isn’t worked out soon?

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