FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group has begun recalling Audi and Seat models in Germany to fix rigged diesel engines and may now accelerate plans to bring VW Golfs into workshops.
VW Group has begun a recall of 90,000 Audi A4, A5, Q5 and Seat Exeo models in Germany, a company spokesman told Automotive News Europe.
The cars have 2.0-liter diesel engines that were among 11 million units from VW Group's EA 189 engine family equipped with software manipulated to cheat tests for toxic NOx emissions.
VW has completed a German recall of 8,500 VW Amarok pickup trucks with "cheat" engines but the KBA has halted the recall of 160,000 VW Passat and Skoda Superb models.
The recall was stopped because VW's fix left the cars with higher fuel consumption, German media reports said. The KBA has ruled that VW's fix must not result in a worse performance or fuel consumption.
VW did not confirm that the fix affected the cars' performance or fuel economy. The automaker "needs to finish properly optimizing the affected software," a second VW company spokesman told Automotive News Europe.
According to German reports, VW may now bring forward the recall of VW Golf, Audi A3 and Audi A6 models fitted with rigged 2.0-liter diesel engines.
VW's German recall is the template for a recall of 8.5 million VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat diesel cars in Europe with manipulated software. The rigging affects vehicles with 2.0-liter, 1.6-liter and 1.2-liter Euro 5 diesel engines.
The 2.0- and 1.2-liter engines will get a software upgrade that requires about 30 minutes of labor time. The 1.6-liter engine will require the installation of a mesh covered plastic tube to regulate air flow in addition to a software upgrade, a process that VW said will take less than an hour.
VW is still on course to complete all of the European recalls this year, VW said. The recall will consist of 13 separate waves.
VW is negotiating with authorities in the U.S., where the company's emissions cheating was uncovered, to reach a fix covering about 600,000 vehicles.
Christiaan Hetzner contributed to this report