In a move that is expected to affect over 180,000 unsold and unregistered cars in the country, Switzerland has moved to ban the sale of the rigged Volkswagen diesel cars.
The move comes just days after it was revealed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US made public its findings about Volkswagen rigging the emissions tests in its diesel cars using a sophisticated piece of software. According to authorities in the country, all the models that are suspected of having the software that cheats emission tests will be banned from sale; however, cars that have already been sold and/or are on road will not be affected.
Officials at the Swiss federal office of roadways have revealed that the ban is being implemented on all cars with diesel engines in the “euro 5” emissions category including all VW models, Seat, Skodas and other cars in the VW group.
The ban doesn’t apply to cars with ‘euro 6’ engines that are currently under production as they are supposedly meeting with the latest and toughest emissions standards set by the European Union.
How the VW scandal unfolded
According to the details provided by EPA, Volkswagen started installing the sophisticated software on its cars to bypass the tougher anti-pollution standards introduced in 2008. The rule are meant to cap the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission levels.
As many as four years passed, and in 2013 researchers from the Internationa Council on Clean Transportation and West Virginia University found abnormalities between the NOx emissions of VW vehicles on road and those in lab tests.
In May 2014, the EPA took notice and began an investigation into Volkswagen. The investigation lasted for more than a year and the car manufacturer even suggested that the third-party tests of its cars were flawed.
Earlier this month, the German car manufacturer admitted using a software to trick regulators. The sophisticated piece of ‘defeat device’ monitored steering, engine use and barometric pressure to determine whether the car was being tested in a lab or was on road.
The EPA makes the car manufacturer’s deception public on September 18. Reports of a possible $18bn (£12bn) fine and lawsuits by Department of Justice, FBI and the European Union emerge.
CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns on September 23.