Germany Orders Volkswagen To Recall 8.5 Million Cars In Europe

Oct 15, 2015 01:09 PM EDT | John Nassivera

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Volkswagen's emission scandal continues to grow, as the automaker has announced that it will recall 8.5 million diesel-powered vehicles in Europe affected by the situation.

The company received an order to issue the recall from the Federal Motor Transport Authority, or KBA, which previously told it to recall 2.4 million domestic vehicles, according to BBC News. The organization serves as Germany's automotive watchdog.

The move also comes after the KBA rejected VW's proposal to let car owners voluntarily bring their vehicles in to be repaired.

The recall will be one of the biggest in European automotive history, as well as Germany's biggest since its current rules were established in 1997, according to data from the Center for Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach, Bloomberg reported. It also exceeds the record 1.9 million cars that the entire auto industry brought back in under repair programs in 2014.

"The KBA's decision opens up the possibility of a common and coordinated response in all European Union states," VW CEO Matthias Mueller wrote in a letter. "Such a unified procedure would be in the European spirit as well as in the interests of customers."

U.S. regulators revealed the scandal back in September, in which VW installed special software in 500,000 diesel-powered cars to trick emission tests by emitting lower levels of harmful pollution in official tests than on the roads. The revelation led to former CEO Martin Winterkorn's resignation, as he intended to take responsibility for the scandal despite saying that he did not personally commit any misconduct.

VW has since launched an investigation into the matter, though new chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch warned that it will take "some time" to find solutions, BBC News noted.

The scandal also resulted in VW's value losing billions of euros, CNBC reported.

Italian police have also recently raided VW offices in Verona and Lamborghini offices in Bologna, with reports suggesting that they are part of an investigation involving commercial fraud.

VW has yet to provide details on the recall, only saying that contact individual customers directly and it is looking for solutions for repairing the recalled cars "at full speed."

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