ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland will demand that German automakers treat Swiss customers the same as German buyers of diesel cars being fixed to cut pollution, the head of the Swiss road transport agency said.
The comments by Juerg Roethlisberger add pressure on carmakers like Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE), Audi (NSUG.DE) and Porsche (NSUG.DE), which this week agreed to overhaul engine software on 5.3 million diesel cars and try to repair the sector’s battered reputation.
Politicians in Germany stopped short of demanding costly mechanical modifications to engine and exhaust systems.
“I can guarantee you that we will certainly demand the same for Swiss customers that German customers get,” Roethlisberger told broadcaster SRF in an interview aired on Saturday.
He said Swiss authorities would monitor the situation to see what the proposed fixes bring. If public pressure forces German carmakers to take the more costly step of replacing hardware on affected cars, then Switzerland will demand the same, he said.
Roethlisberger dismissed calls from some Swiss environmentalists and centre-left politicians to ban the import of certain diesel vehicles on the grounds that their nitrogen oxide emissions posed a health hazard.
Swiss prosecutors last year opened criminal proceedings and seized evidence from the AMAG dealership network after a court ruled Swiss investigators must conduct their own investigation of an emissions scandal at Volkswagen.
(This version of the story corrects spelling of Roethlisberger)
Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Stephen Powell