October 15, 2015 — Germany’s automobile regulator ordered Volkswagen (VW) to recall 2.4 million vehicles with diesel engines carrying illegal software that cheats emissions tests.
Of the estimated 11 million cars outfitted with the software, 2.8 million are in Germany. The crackdown by the German government triggered VW to recall 8.5 million cars in the 28-nation European Union, Reuters reports.
The German Motor Transport Authority rejected VW’s proposal for a voluntary recall, which would have allowed owners to choose whether to fix their cars. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt stated:
“VW is ordered … to remove the software from all vehicles and to take appropriate measures to ensure that the emissions rules are fulfilled.”
Dobrindt also warned that the recall may last through 2016 because vehicles with smaller 1.6-liter diesel engines may need to be physically retrofitted. The parts may not be ready until September 2016, according to the Associated Press.
It is the first government-ordered recall since VW admitted using the software to deceive consumers and regulators about toxic nitrogen oxide pollution from cars with the EA 189 TDI diesel engine.
VW has also recalled about 1,950 diesel vehicles in China to correct the software. No recalls have been issued yet in the United States, where about 482,000 cars have the software. VW is still working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other authorities to agree upon a solution.