Germany orders mass recall of Volkswagen diesel cars


German authorities are ordering a recall of all Volkswagen diesel cars fitted with software designed to manipulate emission tests, the Transport Ministry in Berlin said Thursday.

Volkswagen had proposed to voluntarily recall the cars and vans, but the national vehicle-safety agency, Kraftfahrtbundesamt, will make the recall mandatory, a ministry spokesman said.

The disclosure followed German news reports of the recall that were attributed to sources. No more details were available. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt was set to make a late-morning statement in Berlin.

The manufacturer is reeling from the disclosure a month ago that 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide are fitted with software to cheat official exhaust emissions tests.

Volkswagen’s new chief executive Matthias Mueller was to set out at a meeting in Leipzig of the group’s 400 top managers the steps the embattled carmaker is taking to deal with the emissions scandal.

Mueller is expected to provide the managers with details of VW’s plans to recall its diesel vehicles that have been fitted with software aimed at cheating on exhaust emissions tests.

Last week, Dobrindt said Volkswagen offered to replace parts of 3.6 million diesel engines of cars and vans in Europe using the 1.6-litre version of its EA 189 engine, as well as to update software in the 1.2- and 2.0-litre versions.