Germany Tells Owners of Cheating Volkswagen Diesels to Get Their Cars Neutered or Hand Over the Registration
Germany’s federal motor transport authority, die Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), told dieselgate holdouts that haven’t yet fixed their emissions-cheating cars to get them repaired or prepare to have their registration revoked. In fact, officials in Hamburg and Munich have already taken several Audi and VW vehicles off the road.
It’s no wonder there’s cold feet among the citizenry. Reports out of Germany last year revealed that engines returned from the fixes behaving like a person suffering from an incredibly traumatic experience. They just weren’t the same anymore. Some units saw up to a 10-percent decrease in performance and likely ended up with a less-beefy torque curve biased toward higher engine speeds. Fearing that the Volkswagen Group’s “emissions repair” could effectively neuter their car, those abstaining from the recall are now left with no recourse.
According to Automotive News and its German counterpart, Automobilwoche, the automaker gave VW customers a final ultimatum after repeated warnings.
“The recall [for affected VW diesel cars] is compulsory. Cars that are not fixed can eventually be taken out of service. Subject to the release date of the updates, the car owner has had about a year and a half. Plenty of time, to take part in the recall,” the KBA explained.
You’re probably thinking it’s no big deal and German citizens worried about their car can just get the buyback cash and purchase something else. Sadly, it’s not that simple. While the United States slapped Volkswagen with massive fines and forced it to compensate its customers in full, Europe did not. All the manufacturer has to do is fix the engines to bring them into compliance with emissions standards via (the removal of the contentious “defeat device”).
That basically amounts to customers having to hand over their fully functional automobile, only to get it back with less pep. The KBA claims roughly 95 percent of the 2.46 million affected vehicles in Germany underwent the fix since June of this year. Some 0.6 percent of the remaining cars earned a date with registering authorities following repeated warnings, lighting the fuse on their being taken off the road for noncompliance.
The KBA issued its final warnings at the start of summer, with most drivers heeding them. But reports of fixed European-spec VWs developing new issues persist. In the case of some 1.6-liter diesels, researchers claim the automaker reduced NOx emissions by upping CO2 emissions and lowering fuel economy. The result? More complaints of vehicles exhibiting rough idle and reduced power.
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