The emissions-rigging scandal continues to unfold as Volkswagen of America has now admitted that hundreds of thousands of new cars from its 2016 range could contain illegal software to help them cheat pollution tests. Some 430,000 of these vehicles have “implausible” CO2 ratings, VW revealed today.
VW is already facing a recall of up to 11 million cars worldwide after regulators in the U.S. found that the German automaker’s diesel cars were fitted with “defeat devices” – pieces of software which would switch on emissions controls only when the engines were being tested. This allowed the vehicles to meet the required standards and pass the test. The vehicles would then shift into “normal” mode and emit up to 40 times the amount of nitrogen oxide (NO2) than allowed.
This is problematic since people seem to be flocking to dealerships to purchase 2016 models.
VW new car sales are booming. Many car shoppers figure there’s no way a 2016 Volkswagen Passat TDI is still loaded with any emissions cheats, so it’s a safe purchase. VW is throwing tons of incentives at consumers and dealers and many people are highly tempted to snatch up a quality vehicle at a bargain price.
On the flip side, used car lots are struggling to unload not only TDI models that are affected by the recall, but also gas-powered VWs that were made between 2009 and 2015. This situation looks like it will not improve anytime soon. Nobody really knows what will happen with all of those used VWs consumers view as a problem. Volkswagen buying them all back is a question that is still unanswered.
Volkswagen has been reevaluating everything about its activities and looking for ways to cut unnecessary costs so it can ride out the storm. That means everything from the future Porsche small sedan to the three-row Volkswagen SUV is under considerable scrutiny.
VW is doing back-flips trying to regain any trust at this point with consumers, including making it public that they are giving incentives to employees to blow the whistle on any emissions cheating schemes.
Many owners are contacting attorneys to file a VW lawsuit. It’s a big mess that isn’t getting cleaned up fast enough.