The fallout continues for German auto giant Volkswagen, after it admitted to rigging its vehicles in order to trick emissions tests.
The company announced Thursday that it would recall 8.5 million vehicles across the European Union, under orders from Germany’s KBA automotive watchdog, Reuters reported. In the United States the number is closer to 500,000 vehicles. Globally, the company could be forced to recall 11 million vehicles, a move that some analysts say could end up costing the venerable firm $40 billion (35 billion euros).
Volkswagen had initially hoped to recall 2.4 million vehicles in the EU, until German regulators demanded they cast a wider net. The company has until the end of November to explain how it plans to make the fix. In some vehicles, Volkswagen expects to need to make a only software fix, which it hopes to start implementing in January. Other vehicles, which will require a hardware fix as well, may have to wait until September.
And that’s just in Europe. The company expects to have a more difficult time implementing the changes in the United States, owing to stricter emissions standards here, the The New York Times reported. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue a recall once it is satisfied that VW’s proposed fix will be effective.
The troubles started Sept. 18, when Volkswagen voluntarily disclosed it had developed software to trick emissions tests. The software could detect when the vehicle was being tested, and then alter the amount of pollution the engine produced in order to pass the test. When it was not being tested, the cars and trucks would go back to spewing more pollution.
Since the disclosure, the company has seen its stock price plummet and the resignation of its CEO. They have been slow to turn over the people responsible for the trick, though there may now be some movement on that front.
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