Swiss soften ban on ‘doctored’ Volkswagen cars

A 2013 Volkswagen Passat with a diesel engine is evaluated at an emissions test lab. Keystone

From February 1, Switzerland will allow Volkswagen cars imported into the country before the October 2015 ban to be registered and driven on Swiss roads. Those imported later will have to comply with regulations approved by the German roads authority KBA.

This content was published on January 29, 2016 - 17:58 and agencies

The new regulations concern car models of the Volkswagen group’s brands Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen built between 2009 and 2014 (Euro 5 engine only) and with 1.2, 1.6 and 2 litre TDI diesel engines. Around 600 such vehicles are expected to benefit from the easing of Swiss regulations.

In January, the German roads authority KBA approved in principle the measures proposed by Volkswagen for the recall of vehicles that benefited from modifications masking actual emission levels. But before the recall can begin, measures specific to each vehicle will have to be approved separately.

This process is expected to be completed by autumn 2016. All owners of “offending” cars have to register their vehicles with the Swiss importer AMAG or their local dealer so that they can be informed in advance of the recall campaign.

On October 2, 2015, the Swiss Federal Roads Office imposed a ban on registering “potentially manipulated” Volkswagen cars. However, vehicles of the same brands and types already circulating on Swiss roads were exempted from the ban and could be registered when sold to a new owner.

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