It’s likely going to go down as one of the biggest scandals to hit any automaker. Volkswagen intentionally installed cheat software in many of its diesel models to thwart emissions standards and that revelation has everyone angry.
Governments are ticked off that their laws weren’t followed. Consumers are ticked off because they bought cars they thought were good for the environment, but turned out to be exceptionally bad. They’re also angry because they’re now stuck with cars worth far less than they expected. Everyone is angry.
Executive heads are rolling as VW tries to clean house and prove to the public that they are taking the issue seriously. Firing people is serious business and it’s a very visible way to show that they are doing something about the cheat.
They also acknowledged the issue rather than claiming that it wasn’t true. They could have tried to deny the cheat, but once they were outed, the company immediately took ownership of the problem and said they were sorry. Sorry doesn’t mean much to the millions of people who bought the diesels in question. It also doesn’t mean much to government officials.
The company has lost the trust of the public and it’s going to take time and decisive action to regain that trust. Unfortunately, VW has just announced even more diesel issues, further eroding the shaky ground on which it stands.
According to AutomotiveNews, VW announced “inconsistencies” in carbon dioxide emission levels involving 800,000 cars. The cost of this latest issue could run around $2.2 billion in compensation claims from those who bought their cars under false pretenses.
The cars affected are VW, Seat, and Skoda models with a 1.4, 1.6, and 2.0-liter diesel engine built from 2012 forward. This includes the Golf, Polo, Passat, Audi A1 and A3, Seat Ibiza, and Skoda Octavia. There’s even a gas engine in there, with the 1.4-liter ACT in the Polo with cylinder on demand technology included.
Right now, the problem is only being identified in European models, but they haven’t ruled out problems in U.S. models, too. This comes on top of U.S. regulator allegations that 3.0-liter diesels used mainly in Porsche and Audi SUVs are also installed with cheat software, which VW denies.
The number of cars involved in VW’s diesel woes is staggering. It started with 11 million vehicles globally. Now there’s an extra 800,000 on top of that number and the potential for even more. Just when you think it’s over, there’s another piece of the puzzle revealed, sinking VW’s reputation further and further into the gutter.