Opel has been ordered to recall almost 100,000 vehicles by Germany’s transport ministry.
Authorities allege that they have discovered an illegal defeat device in diesel-powered variants of the Opel Cascada, Insignia and Zafira models across Europe.
The recall comes just hours after Opel’s headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany were raided by authorities on suspicions that some of its models were equipped with software designed to manipulate emissions. Opel has also confirmed that public prosecutors from Frankfurt also searched its factory in Kaiserslautern.
Opel has previously acknowledged that its vehicles use engine control units which are programmed to shut off at certain temperatures. However, the car manufacturer alleges that these practices are fully compliant with the law.
Germany’s KBA motor vehicle authority in 2015 had discovered four software programs from Opel that could alter vehicle emissions. The company was ordered to remove them through a software update.
“After a fifth software device was discovered in early 2018, which KBA found to be illegal, there is currently an official hearing going on with the goal of imposing a mandatory recall for the models Cascada, Insignia and Zafira,” the KBA said in a statement.
News about the raids and recalls come at a time when the automaker is enjoying its turnaround. Now under the ownership of PSA Group, a few months ago Opel recorded its first profit in nearly 20 years, logging $581 million in operating profit in the six months to June 30.
By comparison, during 2016, the last full year Opel was owned by General Motors, Opel reported losses of $297 million.