Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Frankfurt am Main — German car maker Volkswagen (VW) said on Friday that it would recall 410,000 cars from its own brand and Spanish subsidiary Seat over faulty seat belts, warning customers not to use the middle seat in the meantime.

"There is the possibility that in rare situations ... when the rear centre seat and the rear left seat are occupied at the same time, the left seat belt lock could be unintentionally released" on some 219,000 2018 VW Polo cars, the group said in a statement.

A spokesperson told news agency DPA that some 191,000 Seat Ibiza and Arona vehicles with similar seat belt locks were also affected.

"The brand advises its customers not to use the middle seat of the new Polo until the car [is] equipped with the redesigned belt lock fixture," for which it is awaiting final regulatory approval.

VW, the world’s largest vehicle producer with its 12 brands, will begin writing to affected buyers "within the next few weeks", it said.

The recall caps a week of bad news for VW. On Tuesday, subsidiary Audi stopped deliveries of its latest A6 and A7 models over "irregularities" in emissions controls harking back to the "dieselgate" scandal, which saw VW admit in 2015 to manipulating 11-million cars worldwide to cheat regulatory emissions tests.

On the same day, German daily Bild reported VW CEO Herbert Diess was co-operating with the FBI in its investigation into his predecessor, Martin Winterkorn, who resigned after the scandal broke.

American prosecutors believe Winterkorn knew of the cheating as early as May 2014 but decided to continue with the fraud.

AFP

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