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VW Emissions Scandal: 540,000 Cars need hardware update

Approximately 540,000 VW customers will need new parts built in their cars rather than a mere software update, it has emerged. US customers will be appeased with vouchers. Meanwhile, more details about the extent of the cheating are coming to light, with the German KBA now insisting on repeated tests for CO2 emissions.

Thanks to the emissions scandal with their diesel engines, VW will have to make hardware changes to 540,000 vehicles fitted with the 1.6 TDI engine, according to the German Federal Motor Transport Agency (KBA). VW Boss Müller announced back in October that new parts were coming for these models. The extent to which hardware will have to be replaced in each vehicle is yet to be announced by VW.

Vouchers for US Customers

In order to restore confidence amongst its US customers, VW plans to provide them with vouchers. The owners of affected diesel models will be issued with prepaid credit cards with a value of 1,000 dollars (930€) in addition to free breakdown cover for three years, the dpa reported.

Customers receiving the voucher are furthermore not required to waive their right to compensation. Audi plans to introduce a similar programme for its US customers in the coming days too. In reaction to the voucher initiative in the USA, customer rights watchdogs have also called for similar campaigns in Germany.

KBA orders retests

Testaments by VW Engineers have brought more light to the scandal surrounding manipulated CO2 test results, Bild reports. The doctored CO2 emission and fuel efficiency data for cars manufactured by VW Group companies can also be attributed to manipulated tests.

For example, tyre pressure was increased to more than 3.5 bar in order to reduce rolling resistance. Additionally, diesel was supposedly mixed into motor oil in order to make the car run more gently and reduce fuel consumption. According to the newspaper article, the sugar-coated fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data affects hundreds of thousands of VW cars built between 2013 and Spring 2015. There was no other way to achieve the requirements set by ex-VW-Boss Winterkorn, according to those that have testified.

Meanwhile the KBA has ordered that all models affected (1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines and the 1.4 litre petrol engine model EA288 EU6) will be retested on fuel economy and CO2 and pollutant emissions. Before this happens, the KBA wishes to inspect the current test processes used by VW and its contractors. Cars not currently known to be affected by the scandal will also undergo retesting.

Trouble for US VW Employees

Trouble threatens VW employees in the USA. According to a report by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, one VW manager has had his passport confiscated by US authorities due to the diesel scandal. They evidently wish to minimise the possibility that the manager denies them the opportunity to interrogate them or place said manager in custody by fleeing. Furthermore, other VW employees are apparently hesitant about travelling to the US, fearing that they too may lose their passports. A trip to the US for VW Boss Matthias Müller for the L.A. Motorshow is therefore increasingly unlikely.

The financial impact of the emissions scandal also continues to grow. Profits of the VW holding company Porsche SE dropped to 1.19bn Euros for the January - September period from 2.5bn Euros the year before. Profits have chiefly been affected by expenditures incurred by Volkswagen in connection with the diesel issue, one German commerce newspaper, Handelsblatt, reported.





9 November 2015
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