VW recalls 136,000 cars over braking flaw

VW recalls 136,000 cars over braking flaw

Volkswagen (VW) Group, America is recalling nearly 136,000 Audi and other vehicles to fix potential problems with their antilock brake systems. Widespread recall comes on the heels of the company’s global emissions cheating scandal

The recall covers 135,683 vehicles, including certain 2009-10 Jetta A5 sedans, 2009 Jetta SportWagen, Eos, GTI, Rabbit and Audi A3 vehicles and 2010 VW Golf A6 vehicles. VW will notify owners, and repairs will be made free of charge.

In them, the control unit for the antilock brake system may fail when the system or the auto’s electronic stability control are activated. The automaker traced the problem to the use of an incorrect solder compound, which may cause cracks that prevent sufficient electrical power to flow.

This is the latest recall to hit the embattled company, which has been embroiled in an emissions scandal in which the automaker admitted circumventing the emissions control systems in about 550,000 vehicles sold in the United States since 2008 with the 2.0-liter diesel engine. This has resulted in a sales suspension in South Korea, a once fast-growing market for the German automaker.

In August, South Korea’s environment ministry suspended the sales of 80 models of Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley vehicles, and fined the group’s local unit 17.8 billion won ($14.91 million)for allegedly forging documents on emissions or noise-level tests.

South Korea has taken a particularly hard line against the automaker, filing criminal complaints against executives including Johannes Thammer, managing director of Audi Volkswagen Korea, raiding their offices and fining the company an additional 37.3 billion won ($31.87 million) for false advertising.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Volkswagen executive on charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Oliver Schmidt, who headed the company’s regulatory compliance office in the US from 2014 to March 2015, was arrested on Saturday by federal investigators in Florida, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software known as “defeat devices” in 475 000 US 2.0-liter diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner in testing. In reality, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution levels. VW declined to comment on the reported arrest.

The news comes as Volkswagen was nearing a deal to resolve criminal and civil allegations over its diesel cheating, crucial steps toward moving past the scandal, which has cost it billions of dollars and its reputation.

MIKE OCHONMA

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