By on October 15, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI white

German transportation authority KBA on Thursday ordered the mandatory recall of 2.4 million Volkswagen cars with illegally polluting diesel engines, in part, because the German automaker’s proposed timetable wasn’t fast enough, Automotive News reported.

The forced recall will mean Volkswagen would likely spend more to fix its cars faster and German officials have told the automaker to submit a proposed fix by the end of November. Volkswagen initially planned for a voluntary recall to begin next year.

Authorities in Switzerland and Austria followed Germany and announced the forced recall would apply to those cars too, Bloomberg reported.

Last week, Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn testified that a recall in the U.S. could take longer than one year to complete. Newer, Generation 3 diesel models would only need a software fix, which could be completed as early as next year.

Older, Generation 2 models may need more significant fixes, Horn said. That fix, which could involve replacing the car’s urea injectors, could come by the middle of next year.

Generation 1 models of the cars fitted with an EA 189 engine — the overwhelming majority of the 482,000 cars in the U.S. — would get more significant fixes and those cars could take years to rectify, Horn said.

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that its 2-liter diesel engines violated the Clean Air Act in September. It’s unclear if the EPA will follow the KBA in forcing Volkswagen to fix its cars faster.

Analysts say the mandatory recall by German authorities is to better control the fixes and force the automaker’s hand in completing the repairs faster.

“It’s an unusual measure to be ordering a mandatory recall,” Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with Evercore ISI, told Bloomberg. “It shows to me that the KBA is losing patience with VW’s slow response on what to do to fix the engines so far. Customers have been left unsettled.”

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28 Comments on “Germany Orders Volkswagen to Fix Dirty Diesels Faster...”

  • avatar

    And for each calendar year the cars are out of compliance, the fine should be reassessed. See how fast they fix them then.

  • avatar

    Your little VW’s are destroying the environment faster than several HELLCATS possibly could.




    Walk the path Cersei.

  • avatar

    I’m not downplaying the diesel issue at all, but if legislators were really interested in significant cuts to pollution they’d start pushing for improvements to cargo ships: the 15 largest ships pollute the equivalent of 50 million cars.

  • avatar

    VW’s new theme song: “Dirty Diesels Done Dirt Cheap”.

  • avatar



  • avatar

    If VW is going to be required to make these fixes to ALL cars, even if without the “cheat” they still meet Euro emissions tests, I don’t see how they can afford to pull it off.

    Just yesterday I was wondering if the “cash on the hood” VW is offering current owners was enough to get me to replace my current VW. Yeah; until their corporate future is a little more solid, that’s not a good bet.

  • avatar
    Nick Engineer

    Well, CARB has already given VW a Nov 20 deadline (45 days from the NOV date) to come up with a plan, or else.

    They haven’t said what “else” really means, but they have ways of making them work faster.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    I wonder if Volkswagen will survive this.
    Their application for and receipt of Federal financial credits for green vehicles really ups the fraud ante.
    This will make a great movie (tragedy).

  • avatar

    If the governments push VW too hard to find a fast fix, without researching a proper solution we will probably get the worst case scenario… The software will be rewritten to lock in “Test” mode and to hell with performance or fuel economy. Makes everyone happy but the owners.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick Engineer

      Yes, it could end up being a “forever recall” where you have to go back several times to get full-time emissions controls first, and then a trickle of performance fixes. There is no precedent for that.

      You are correct though, the need now is to bring them back to compliance with respect to emissions first. Fuel economy will largely have to stay within advertised range, but performance losses at this point will be left to customer litigation.

      There will be some fine print there, because there are some suggestions that what they advertised for torque, HP and fuel economy was with emissions controls fully enabled. Customers have been getting higher numbers in real life, but that does not make for a very strong legal case if the fixes meet or exceed by less the advertised specs.

      If on the other hand they advertised specs with the cheat device enabled, … well, there is no price high enough for them to pay for their stupidity.

  • avatar

    So far, I’ve received an apology letter from VW USA’s president,

    One post card from an attorney in the South looking for Class Action clients, and

    A letter from a local dealership made to look like a VW USA mailing advising me that I should come by to take advantage of the $2,000 owner loyalty rebate.

    How about you send me a check for the $1200 I spent fixing a broken DPF at 83k ?

  • avatar

    So far, I’ve received an apology letter from VW USA’s president,

    One post card from an attorney in the South looking for Class Action clients, and

    A letter from a local dealership made to look like a VW USA mailing advising me that I should come by to take advantage of the $2,000 owner loyalty rebate.

    How about you send me a check for the $1200 I spent fixing a broken DPF at 83k ?

    I’m still wondering what they will do, that they couldn’t do in the last five years…it isn’t like they didn’t try. They tried, and failed.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey speedlaw:

      You had a clogged DPF at 83k and paid $1200 to repair?
      I heard the repair bill was more like $4000.

      Did you only drive your VW locally and never got on the highway much to “blow-out” the DPF?

      I hope I make it to the time they start doing recalls so I can have them give me a new DPF as a part of the service.

  • avatar

    The slow response by VW to all the governments’ outrage is because zero time is being devoted to a fix. Nobody is in charge and the exits to the lifeboats are clogged with people trampling over each other to try to get out. Who in their right mind would want to spend their professional careers sorting out this mess?

    It’s panic time. The average executive is far more concerned with their own personal well-being than having the least concern about the shoddy product that was falsely promoted and sold to customers.

    It’s hard to hold meaningful meetings on strategy and what to do, when you’re not sure who is actually able to attend, and who is going to approve anything. Utter chaos.

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