Germany Orders Volkswagen to Fix Dirty Diesels Faster

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
germany orders volkswagen to fix dirty diesels faster

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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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Oct 15, 2015

    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 isn't like they didn't try. They tried, and failed.

    • Marcheld Marcheld on Oct 19, 2015

      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.

  • Wmba Wmba on Oct 15, 2015

    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.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂