Switzerland has banned sales of Volkswagen Group cars with outdated emissions systems in the wake of the test-rigging scandal that started in the United States. The auto maker previously stated the software might be on possibly 11 million Volkswagen and Audi vehicles across the globe.
Volkswagen programmed software to make the cars appear cleaner than they were when being tested.
Diesel vehicles are more efficient than those powered by regular gas but emit higher levels of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, which can contribute to ozone buildup and respiratory illnesses.
Winterkorn, who claimed to know nothing about the cheating, apologized twice and said he was stunned by the scale of the misconduct.
The Japanese corporation’s decision to sell amid the scandal came as a new sign of distrust in VW after it lost a third of its market capitalisation – over 20 billion euros – this week.
The head of VW’s Porsche division, Matthias Mueller, was appointed Friday as his successor.
In the call, the agency also shed light on why VW’s fix might take up to a year. The 62-year-old Mueller, speaking at a news conference at company headquarters in Wolfsburg on Friday, said his first priority would be to win back trust following a plunge in VW stock and the resignation of long-time CEO Martin Winterkorn earlier this week.
VW is under pressure to act decisively, with its shares plunging since the crisis broke and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urging it to quickly restore confidence in a company held up for generations as a paragon of German engineering prowess.
But he has an enormous challenge on his hands. That’s 80 million people driving our cars worldwide.
Under German law, it is not possible to bring charges against a company – only against individuals. USA environmental regulators say Volkswagen faces fines of up to $18 billion. In Europe, where rules emphasize fuel economy, diesel vehicles are common but until recently they struggled to meet USA emissions limits on NOx.
VW and Audi drivers are furious too.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the EPA further warned automakers that the process may add more time to secure a certification to sell new cars in the U.S. Dealers could also sue the company for compensation.
The European Commission urged all member states to investigate the use of so-called defeat devices by carmakers to cheat emissions tests and said there would be “zero tolerance” of any wrongdoing.