EU: VW faces possible recalls after emissions lawsuit defeat
By Sourced Externally
February 22, 2023
HAMBURG — A German court ruled in favor of an environmental group’s lawsuit against the KBA federal motor authority for releasing cars with exhaust gas recirculation software it argues is illegal.
Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) is calling for VW Golf diesels to be recalled because of software manipulation to emissions mechanisms, alleging the KBA should never have allowed these vehicles to be released to the market.
DUH claimed that the authorities were allowing VW to get away with a softer form of the “defeat” device that bypassed emission regulations in the automaker’s diesel-rigging scandal.
“The case was effectively successful,” a court spokesperson said on Monday, meaning the decision by the KBA to release the vehicles must be revoked.
VW said the ruling can be appealed so there is no immediate threat of regulators revoking car licenses or ordering hardware retrofits.
The automaker said it would wait to receive the full reasoning of the court before deciding on next steps.
VW said the software is needed to reduce risks to the engine to avoid damage or even accidents and it would have been irresponsible to sell cars without it.
The DUH plans further cases against the KBA involving other VW models, as well as BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles which, if successful, could mean up to 10 million cars authorized by the KBA would need to be recalled to be retrofitted or taken off the streets, the group said in a statement.
The ruling concerns software VW installed to control the recirculation of exhaust gases, which EU courts have said is illegal in certain conditions but VW views as in line with the law.
The European Court of Justice last November backed the rights of environmental associations to take such actions against EU vehicle approvals on the basis of DUH’s lawsuit, which was initially rejected by the Schleswig administrative court in 2017.