The recall is prompted by the discovery that cadmium, a carcinogenic metal, is used in part of the cars’ charging systems. This means that all electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the Volkswagen range - the e-Golf, e-Up, Golf GTE and Passat GTE - are affected, as well as hybrid Audi and Porsche models.
Wirtschaftswoche reports that Volkswagen discovered the issue on 20 July and duly informed authorities of the problem. The chargers each contain 0.008 grams of cadmium, and although the parts pose no threat to users, being well insulated, the chemical’s environmental impact once the cars reach the end of their lives is cause for concern.
The part containing cadmium has been replaced with an alternative provided by a different supplier, ending a temporary hiatus in production of the affected cars.
The Golf and Passat GTE, however, have been off sale in the UK since the start of the year, with Volkswagen maintaining that unprecedented demand has caused a backlog of orders and a build-up in lead times.