Switzerland hits VW cars with registration ban, France opens probe
PARIS / ZURICH - Reuters
AP photoThe Swiss Federal Roads Office on Oct. 2 issued a preliminary ban on registering new Volkswagen diesel vehicles that may be outfitted with software designed to cheat emissions tests, it said in a statement.
The agency also banned registering newly imported used vehicles affected by the manipulation scandal. Friday’s announcement does not apply to used VW vehicles already on the roads in Switzerland.
Up to 129,000 Volkswagen group vehicles registered in Switzerland are affected by the rigged emissions testing scandal, VW’s Swiss distributor AMAG has said. AMAG has already halted sales of new VWs impacted by the manipulation.
The Paris Prosecutor has also opened a preliminary inquiry into suspected “aggravated deception” by Volkswagen, an official from the Prosecutor’s office told Reuters on Oct. 2.
France’s consumer protection code allows for prison sentences of five years and a fine of 600,000 euros ($669,600.00) for aggravated deception, the Prosecutor’s office said.
French consumer protection and fraud control authorities have launched a separate investigation on whether VW cheated on emissions focusing in particular on vehicles software devices.
The results of that probe, which is not a penal investigation, are expected in November or December.
Volkswagen has said there were 946,092 vehicles in France equipped with the EA 189 engines affected by the emissions data manipulation carried out by the company worldwide.