Germany orders recall of 8.5 million emissions-cheating Volkwagens

The outcome for consumers affected by the diesel emissions cheating scandal that has enveloped Volkswagen over the past month is becoming clearer, at least in Europe. According to the AP, Germany is ordering the company to recall all cars that include the emissions-cheating software across the European Union. That comes out to 8.5 million cars out of the total 11 million affected vehicles that were sold worldwide. Naturally, the fix will be free for owners -- and it's still possible that Volkswagen could compensate those who own cars affected by the scandal, as resale values are sure to drop significantly.

About 2.4 million of those cars are located in Germany itself, with another 363,000 found in Austria. In the United States, about 482,000 cars are believed to be affected. Next week, the company is expected to give the US Environmental Protection Agency details on a proposed fix for 90,000 of those vehicles; the fix will be tested before the EPA can go forward with its push for a recall. But it's unclear as to when the nearly 400,000 remaining cars will be fixed.

In Europe, most of the cars can be fixed via a replacement software update, though a number of them will need to be physically altered -- VW says that hardware change may not be ready until the fall of 2016. Indeed, new Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said that the recall would "stretch through the 2016 calendar year."

[Image credit: AP/Luca Bruno]