On Friday evening, Switzerland became the first country to prohibit the sale of new vehicles from the Volkswagen Group, following the revelation that “defeat” devices have been masking true emissions levels.
The Swiss Federal Roads Officeexternal link (French/German), which has established a special task force on the issue, estimates that up to 180,000 new, still-unsold diesel vehicles manufactured by the German company could be affected in Switzerland.
The ban applies to vehicles in the Euro5 emissions category. Diesel engine vehicles bearing the Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen brands, manufactured between 2009 and 2014, are affected.
Cars that are already in circulation are not affected by the ban.
Andreas Burgener, director of the car importers’ association Auto-Suisseexternal link (French/German), told Swiss Public Television (SRF) on Saturday that he felt the reaction of the Federal Roads Office was "exaggerated", arguing that the rigged engines are present in only a small proportion of Volkswagen vehicles. Burgener further noted that importer amagexternal link (French/German) no longer has any vehicles matching the Euro5 emissions criterion in stock.
swissinfo.ch and agencies