The ongoing Volkswagen Group dieselgate has reached a new episode as after finding out last week there are 5 million VW-branded cars with the illegal diesel engine software, now Audi is saying they have 2.1 million vehicles in the same situation while Skoda has sold 1.2 million cars with the so-called “defeat device.” We should expect to hear a similar announcement coming from the other passenger car brand SEAT to occur this week.
VAG has already disclosed there are 11 million vehicles in total with diesel engines featuring the special software and chances are Porsche is also about to get in a lot of trouble, along with the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles division.
The problematic software was developed by Bosch but company officials are saying it was created only for testing purposes and Volkswagen apparently took the software and applied it on production cars. Bosch actually cautioned VW back in 2007 about the fact that it was illegal to use this defeat device, but without any success. Moreover, one of VW’s own engineers issued a similar warning in 2011, but once again it was a futile effort as diesel cars equipped with the now controversial EA 189 engine continued to be commercialized all over Europe and in North America as well.
To fix all 11 million cars and pay the upcoming fines, officials from the Volkswagen Group have announced plans to set aside a whopping €6.5 billion. The company’s newly appointed CEO, Matthias Müller, will have the difficult task of managing this rather embarrassing situation which will certainly have a negative impact on VAG’s sales since many customers now feel betrayed after finding out they bought a car with forged emissions test results.
Chances are sales of diesel cars will take a big hit and not just for the Volkswagen Group, but for all the other automakers as many customers are now starting to wonder whether it’s still worth getting a car with an engine of this kind taking into account that authorities all over the world are investigating how damaging these motors are to the environment.