TURIN -- Volkswagen Group’s Italian dealers have been asked to stop selling VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat diesel cars equipped with engine software implicated in the diesel emissions cheating scandal.
VW’s fully owned Italian subsidiary sent dealers a letter on Friday asking them to stop sales of diesel models equipped with VW Group’s Euro 5 EA 189 engine.
The ban, which also affects VW commercial vehicles, is a “precautionary measure” ahead of VW issuing more details on exactly which models are affected, according to an internal communication from VW Italy to dealers obtained by Automotive News Europe.
Between 2,500 and 3,000 VW Group vehicles in Italy are affected, press reports said.
VW Italy's letter warned dealers that the communication only for internal use. It said cars equipped with VW’s new-generation Euro 6 diesel engines can remain on sale because they are fully compliant with all applicable legal and environmental standards.
Sales stop widens
Sales of VW group models with EA 189 engines are being stopped across Europe.
Some 128,802 VW group cars registered in Switzerland are affected by a Swiss government sales ban, VW's Swiss distributor AMAG said. AMAG said in a statement on Monday that a plan to retrofit the affected cars would be presented to Swiss transport authorities in October.
In Denmark, as many as 91,000 cars on Danish roads could be affected by the diesel manipulation scandal, a spokeswoman from VW in Copenhagen said.
"We have not received chassis numbers yet, so we can neither look up the car nor contact customers yet, but we are working on this," Sos Ilum from VW Denmark told Reuters. She added that the cars would not be recalled, but that customers will be offered technical or software updates.
In VW's home market of Germany, where 2.8 million of the 11 million affected diesel cars are on the road, the government's transport agency, the KBA, has set an Oct. 7 deadline for the company to present a plan to bring diesel emissions into line with the law, Bild newspaper reported.
In Belgium, VW's distributor, D'Ieteren Auto, said it has stopped sales of vehicles potentially fitted with the non-compliant software. The decision affects 3,200 vehicles in stock for the Belgian market, D'Ieteren said.
VW said there had been no instructions from company headquarters in Germany to dealers to stop selling the affected cars, but sales units in individual countries had the right to take such decisions on their own.
VW has said that irregularities on diesel-emissions readings extend to 11 million vehicles globally with Type EA 189 engines. Most of these cars were sold in Europe though reports have said that the manipulated software may not have been activated in all the vehicles.
Reuters contributed to this report