VW owners in Germany risk de-registration of cheat diesels

August 16, 2018 06:01 CET

FRANKFURT — Germany’s federal motor vehicle authority, the KBA, has said that owners of some Volkswagen Group cars who fail to have manipulated diesel-emissions software fixed risk having their vehicles taken off the road.

German authorities in Hamburg and Munich have already de-registered several Audi and VW cars fitted with affected Euro 5 diesel engines after owners ignored successive reminders to heed a recall, Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche reported.

Further vehicles are at risk of being taken off the road in German state of Bavaria but have been given a grace period to make the repair, Automobilwoche said.

“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 told Automotive News Europe in an emailed statement.

The move comes after the KBA approved in early 2016 software tweaks from VW intended to fix manipulated engine control software in 1.2-, 1.6- and 2.0-liter EA 189 engines.

In September 2015, VW Group admitted installing cheat devices in 11 million vehicles worldwide, including 5 million in Europe.

By the beginning of June, 95 percent of the 2.46 million affected vehicles in Germany had undergone the fix, according to the KBA. Only in 0.6 percent of cases did the KBA refer vehicles to their local registering authority following repeated warnings, beginning a process that can ultimately lead to the car being de-registered.

In the U.S., VW Group was forced to compensate affected car owners and pay fines amounting to about $30 billion, while in the rest of the world, it was only required to correct software and in the case of the 1.6-liter engine, to install a small piece of hardware.

You can reach David Jolley at djolley@crain.com.

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