Volkswagen in trouble as Switzerland bans car sales over emissions scandal

Switzerland has banned the sale of 180,000 Volkswagen cars when they found out that Volkswagen implanted certain ‘defeat devices’ in their cars. The defeat device is a software program that is able to alter the engine’s performance during a regulator emissions test so that it can seem to work cleaner than it normally would.

As of this moment, Switzerland has banned the sale of any Volkswagen car in the Euro5 category as this category is believed to have most of the cars that have defeat devices installed in them. Not only that, other brands in the company such as Seat and Skoda are also affected by the ban.

This ban is restricted to the vehicles that are yet to be registered in Switzerland. This means that current vehicle owners with defeat devices installed in them are immune from the ban. In addition to this, Volkswagen cars in the Euro6 category will not be affected because they have an upgraded emissions system which is believed to be satisfactory.

What is interesting about this incident is that EU officials actually knew about the existence of such defeat devices for five years now and as a result, the European Commission was told to be alert in response to the situation. These devices were already banned by the European legislation eight years ago, in 2007, meaning that all European countries have the responsibility of ensuring that none of the vehicles they test contain these devices. This argument implies that Germany has failed to uphold EU law.

2012-volkswagen-tiguan-front-grill-badge

[Image Courtesy of Creative by Hamilton]

When news came out that Volkswagen had installed defeat devices in 11 million vehicles, its CEO at the time, Martin Winterkorn, resigned. Volkswagen now has a new CEO, Matthias Mueller, who had been the CEO of Porsche before taking the position. Following the crisis in Volkswagen, Matthias Mueller promised to make Volkswagen “an even stronger company”.

At this point, it is not getting any easier for Volkswagen. Germany’s Transport Minister has made it known that Volkswagen rigged the test results of 2.8 million cars or so. The UK  and the U.S. are also investigating Volkswagen brands in order to find out the exact extent of the damage the scandal has caused.

When the Acting Chairman was asked to make a comment about the current situation, he said, “I want to be very clear, the manipulation of tests for diesel engines is a moral and political disaster,”.