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Business

German carmakers face mass recall over emissions

A number of Germany's top carmakers are set to recall 630,000 vehicles as a result of higher-than-allowed emissions levels. According to media reports, the cars have shown irregularities with pollution controls.

German carmakers affected by the recall were top-of-the-range manufacturers Audi, Daimler and Porsche, as well as mass-market producers Volkswagen and Opel, Reuters reported Friday.

According to sources within the German government cited by Reuters, the cars had problems with faulty emissions control systems. The German makers had decided to recall the vehicles as a voluntary measure following an investigation launched in the wake of the Volkswagen engine-rigging scandal, Reuters said.

In recent months, the German Traffic Safety Authority, KBA, has carried out probes into the emissions values of all models on the roads in Germany, and the Transport Ministry is scheduled to present the findings of those probes later on Friday.

The source said that the companies had been told to make changes to devices which switch off systems to remove harmful nitric oxide from cars' exhaust under specific temperatures. The systems for cleaning pollutants are switched off at low temperatures to protect motors or prevent a possible accident, as is allowed by EU regulations. But it was not clear whether some makers used this regulation to bend the rules.

In a lawsuit in the US, German premium carmaker Daimler, for example, is currently accused of violating US emissions standards with a device that switches off pollution controls in some of its clean diesel cars when running at cooler temperatures, making them less environmentally friendly than advertised.

The device turns off pollution controls at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), allowing the autos to violate emissions standards, according to the complaint.

uhe/pad (AFP, Reuters)