Volkswagen Set to Recall More Than 124,000 Vehicles Containing Cadmium

Volkswagen Set to Recall More Than 124,000 Vehicles Containing Cadmium

Volkswagen may need to recall more than 124,000 electric and hybrid vehicles due to the presence of cadmium, which is prohibited under the European Union (EU) Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles.

The cadmium was discovered in a batch of battery chargers that were provided by an unidentified supplier, and installed in several models of electric and hybrid car. Later, testing performed internally by Volkswagen discovered that the relays used in the charging units contained 0.008 grams of cadmium per device.

Volkswagen has stated that the unidentified supplier provided the affected parts “in contravention of the terms of delivery specified by Volkswagen and the supplier instructions stated in the material datasheet.”

Cars that make use of the chargers were produced by Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands, who installed the chargers in their cars from 2013 to 2018. These models include the e-Golf, e-Up!, Golf GTE, Passat GTE, and hybrid Audi and Porsche models.

Volkswagen has engaged Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) for guidance, but the company has assured the public that the affected cars don’t pose a threat to drivers, and are insulated against release into the atmosphere.

The company has halted the production and delivery of the affected models, and are replacing the components with cadmium-free relays produced by another supplier.

Download The REACH Handbook: Your Guide to SVHC Compliance for more information on the regulation and its implications for your business.

End-of-Life Vehicles

End-of-life vehicles generate 7–8 million tons of waste in the EU every year. As part of the EU’s Circular Economy Strategy, regulations such as the EU Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles provide a set of targets for the dismantling and recycling of these vehicles and their components in a way that is environmentally responsible.

They also serve as motivation for vehicle and component manufacturers to take greater care during the production process to ensure vehicles don’t contain hazardous substances at a threshold higher than those established by product compliance requirements, such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Hazardous Chemicals (REACH) Regulation.

How Assent Helps

Assent’s REACH Module, part of the Product Compliance Suite, helps companies survey their supply chains for SVHCs by automating supply chain data collection and validation, and collecting declarations in streamlined data formats. It also allows companies to identify risk within the supply chain and take action to satisfy compliance requirements, notifying them when restricted substance lists change.

Assent’s Full Material Disclosure Module enables customers to populate a detailed hierarchy of part compositions, so all product data is available and searchable when substances are subject to new regulations such as the EU Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles.

For more information about how Assent can enhance your compliance program with industry-leading supply chain data management services, contact our experts at