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Exhaust scandal Licences frozen for some Porsches and Mercedes

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The Volkswagen emissions scandal has weighed heavily on the German car group since autumn 2015

(Keystone)

The Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) has imposed a provisional halt on the registration of some Porsche and Mercedes models with manipulated diesel engines. The freeze is set to apply to vehicles imported from Friday. 

Affected models include the Mercedes Vito with a 1.6-litre diesel engine and emission class of Euro 6, a model that the German Federal Motor Transport Authority already requested be recalled in May. At that time, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler stopped the delivery and licensing of these models across Europe, including in Switzerland. 

For Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche, the vehicles concerned are Macans with a 3.0-litre diesel engine and Cayennes with a 4.2-litre diesel engine, both also emission class Euro 6. 

FEDROexternal link said on Wednesday that it had been proven that these models had been equipped with an illegal off-switch for emission controls. It said the vehicles affected by the tampering could only be re-registered as new vehicles in Switzerland if they were proven to comply with the regulations. 

The freeze does not affect vehicles already registered in Switzerland. FEDRO said these may continue to operate or be traded as used cars, but they would have to be retrofitted. 

Consequences 

The Roads Office has already been active in clamping down on another Volkswagen subsidiaryexternal link: since last week, the A6 and A7 models of the C7 generation (with a 3.0-litre diesel engine of emission level Euro 6) may not be registered in Switzerland. 

Generation 8 Audi A6 and A7 models built in 2018/2019 are unaffected. 

Swiss car dealer AMAG, which imports Volkswagens, had already stopped deliveries of the A6 and A7 Audis in May after the German carmaker had been criticised for suspected exhaust trickery. At the centre of suspicions was the six-cylinder diesel engine installed in around 60,000 A6 and A7 vehicles since 2014. 

The Volkswagen emissions scandal has weighed heavily on the German car group since autumn 2015, when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of using manipulation software to falsify emissions tests in around 11 million diesel vehicles.

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