BERLIN -- As many as 370,000 Volkswagen Group diesel cars could be recalled or pulled off the road in Europe if Germany’s transport regulator concludes the company cheated when it fixed polluting vehicles, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.
The regulator accuses VW of manipulating emissions-related software on vehicles with 1.2-liter engines, the newspaper reported.
The KBA was considering forcing 30,000 affected cars off the road, although it was more likely just to order further remedial work, the newspaper said.
Prosecutors were preparing charges against unnamed Volkswagen managers for suspected fraud, The Bild am Sonntag said. It said VW had given assurances in 2016 that the 1.2-liter engines did not use illegal emissions cheating defeat devices.
The Federal Ministry of Transport said Sunday that the accusations are known and the transport watchdog is investigating the case, but proceedings haven’t been completed. Hearings will be held in the coming week, Bild am Sonntag said.
A VW spokesman said internal quality controls for diesel cars with 1.2 -liter engines, model EA189, had revealed irregularities that were now being analyzed. He said VW had informed the authorities and the company was in continuous dialogue with them.
VW has had to recall hundreds of thousands of cars around the world since it admitted in Sept. 2015 to installing illegal software in diesel engines to cheat strict U.S. anti-pollution tests.
Reuters contributed to this report