German automaker Volkswagen is being investigated for installing “defeat devices” to get around strict diesel emissions standards tests, leading to a massive recall in the U.S.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initially ordered the company to recall over 500,000 VW and Audi diesel cars, but as of Tuesday that number sky rocketed to 11 million world-wide.
Volkswagen will set aside 7.4 billion dollars for repairs as the problem now becomes a global one that threatens to sink the company.
The company will immediately stop sales of the 2.0-liter TDI 4-cylinder diesel engines involved in the recall and has ordered dealers to stop selling used cars who have them as well.
The cars being recalled include the VW Jetta, Beetle and Golf models (2009 -2014 model-years), the Audi A3 (2009 -2014 model-years) and the 2015 model, and the 2014-15 VW Passat.
Consumers who own any of these cars can continue to drive the cars until they are repaired according to the EPA, who insists they pose no safety risk.
However, they did say the cars pose a threat to public health, which is why VW must repair and recall them at their own expense.
Owners may face some long-term issues as a result of this recall, the biggest being the re-sale value may go down, depending to how it can be repaired.
Also, in states such as California, owners may not be able to re-sell or even re-register their TDI vehicles until they are fixed by Volkswagen because in their current condition they are “non-compliant,” or illegal to sell.
No word yet on how or when the recall will be handled.
Consumers with questions or complaints can go to the Volkswagen website or call them at 1-800-822-8987 from 8 A.M.-6 P.M. (EST).
According to the EPA, several Volkswagen and Audi cars were equipped with 4-cylinder diesel engines that were programmed detect when they were undergoing emissions tests.
The software in question deactivated some of the onboard pollution control equipment, helping to improve performance.
It also resulted in the vehicles emitting up to 40 times the allowable levels of additional particulates and smog-causing oxides of nitrogen.
This investigation has been going on for over a year, during which time VW took several steps to cover up the software.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn issued a statement over the weekend regarding the recall, saying: “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” and that, “We at Volkswagen will do everything that must be done in order to re-establish the trust.”
He also said the company will be working with authorities throughout the investigation going forward.
What do you think about Volkswagen’s deceptive practices? Do you believe they can fix this problem?
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