Photographer: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

VW Overcomes European Recall Hurdle With Approval for Passat Fix

  • Over 800,000 German Volkswagen cars now free to be repaired
  • Volkswagen initially aimed to start Passat recall in March

Volkswagen AG received approval from German regulators to recall rigged Passat sedans about three months after repairs were slated to start, clearing a hurdle in the automaker’s efforts to emerge from the emissions-cheating scandal.

The regulator, KBA, signed off on a fix for Passats, CC coupes and Eos convertibles, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement. More than 800,000 vehicles in Germany are now ready to be recalled in a process that Volkswagen is seeking to largely complete this year.

“Our dealerships and service partners are well prepared for the campaign,” Juergen Stackmann, head of sales for the VW brand, said in the statement.

Volkswagen had intended to start repairs of affected 2.0-liter diesel-powered Passats in March, but was forced to wait as authorities reviewed the impact of the fix to software that illegally detected official emissions tests. The KBA has now confirmed that disabling the technology will not impact fuel consumption, performance or noise levels. Germany’s approval is valid for countries throughout Europe.

Plans to recall Passats with 1.2-liter diesel engines are still delayed. The company is also waiting for approval on solutions for other models with affected 2.0-liter engines.

Volkswagen said customers will not incur any costs related to the repairs and will be offered alternative transport options free of charge as part of the process. While the company had waited for Passat approval, it started recalling Golf hatchbacks in late April after beginning with the low-volume Amarok pickup truck in January.

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