On Thursday, German authorities issued a mandatory recall of all Volkswagen diesel cars outfitted with emissions-cheating software.
Shortly after the German Federal Motor Transport Authority ordered the recall of 2.4 million diesel cars in Germany, Volkswagen announced it would be recalling 8.5 million cars across Europe.
According to The Associated Press, Volkswagen was obligated to extend the recall due to European Union regulations: "Under EU rules, cars that are cleared in one country are automatically approved across the bloc, so the repeal also affects Volkswagen vehicles elsewhere in the union."
Volkswagen said the fix will be free for customers who can enter their car's serial number through Volkswagen's website to determine if the vehicle has the so-called defeat device.
As the Two-Way has previously reported, the U.S. already ordered the recall of nearly 500,000 diesel cars with the illegal software.
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reported on the U.S. recall for our Newscast unit:
"The German automaker will have to recall about 482,000 Audi and Volkswagen cars with 4-cylinder turbo diesel engines. The issue affects 2009 through 2015 model years.
"The cars have devices that turn emissions controls on during tests and off during normal driving.
"The deception is a serious violation of the Clean Air Act, for which [former] CEO Martin Winterkorn says he is personally deeply sorry, and he promises the company will do whatever is necessary to reverse the damage this has caused. The company faces potentially billions in fines and other costs."
Also on Thursday, another high-level Volkswagen engineer, Falko Rudolph, was suspended, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"He was part of the team of engineers that developed the EA 189 diesel engine, which is at the center of the emissions scandal. Volkswagen has admitted to installing a so-called defeat device, software that allows it to dupe emissions tests, on around 11 million diesel-powered cars."
The suspension comes a day after the executive who was to take over Volkswagen's operation in North America quit. Winfried Vahland stepped aside less than three weeks after he was named to the position, citing disagreements about organizational restructuring.