Car Facts

Volkswagen Recall:

I am sure this is old news to most but, I just wanted to update any of our customers on what Volkswagen is saying:

This is an excerpt from CBC news Business dated Oct 7th, 2015. Volkswagen said it has plans to launch its worldwide recall campaign in January, but its Canadian unit said there is no timetable to recall Canadian-owned diesel cars.

Volkswagen is faced with the recall of 11 million vehicles with software that turns off emissions controls when the car is being driven. The company’s chief executive said the automaker aims to fix them all by the end of next year.

The timetable for a Canadian recall is unclear and dependent on the approval of regulators, according to a Volkswagen Canada spokesman.

“At the present time, we are working with our colleagues at Volkswagen of America and our head office in Germany to devise a solution for the current situation. Once in place and approved by the necessary regulatory authorities, we will communicate that with our customers and media,” Thomas Tetzlaff, manager of media relations for Volkswagen Canada, said in an email to CBC.

He said the ban on sale of new diesel cars in Canada would continue until “a solution has been implemented.”

Later Wednesday, Ontario’s Ministry of Environment announced it would be investigating Volkswagen and Audi over the emissions scandal, which affects 35,000 Ontario vehicles. Dozens of jurisdictions around the world are beginning probes, including Environment Canada.

Several Volkswagen brands contain the diesel engine with the software used to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. CEO Matthias Mueller told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung it may be fewer than 11 million: “It will hopefully be fewer, but in any case still far too many.”

Asked when the recall will begin, Mueller said in an interview published Wednesday that “care goes before speed.”

“If everything goes as planned, we can start the recall in January,” he said. “All the cars should be in order by the end of 2016.”

The first cars recalled are likely to be in Germany, but the company will be scrambling to find a solution acceptable to the U.S. regulators, as that is where the fault was first uncovered.

Mueller said the company will have to fix the EA 189 diesel engine “in combination with various transmissions and country-specific designs. So we don’t need three solutions, but thousands.”

A software update will suffice to fix the problem in most cases, but some vehicles could need new injectors and catalyzers, Mueller said.

He deflected suggestions that Volkswagen management made the decision to use the manipulated software, saying that “according to current information, a few developers interfered in the engine management.”

We will have to pay a fine. But bear in mind that there were no dead with us; our cars were and are safe.

– Matthias Mueller, Volkswagen CEO

But after a meeting of the board of directors later Wednesday, there was no concrete news on the investigation. Instead, the board announced that former finance chief Hans Dieter Pötsch has been named chairman. “Today’s meeting showed once again that the investigations are being pursued systematically and intensively,” Postch said in a news release.

New chair of VW board

“The law firm Jones Day commissioned by the supervisory board to conduct the external investigation is literally leaving no stone unturned.”

Potsch has been criticized as an insider who has the confidence of the Piech and Porsche families who control a majority of VW voting shares.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller is trying to move quickly to restore consumer confidence. (Roland Niepaul/Volkswagen/EPA). He said his job was to “win back the trust of customers, the public, investors” in the wake of the emissions scandal.

In the U.S., Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Michael Horn will appear before a congressional investigative committee on Thursday.

He will face questions about what the company will do for U.S. diesel car owners and how it pulled the wool over the eyes of the Environmental Protection Agency for seven years.

VW has only one U.S. plant, employing 2,200 workers and was able to line up incentives for its location in Tennessee when it was built in 2011.

In the U.S., it has nowhere near the clout of GM, which spends millions in lobbying politicians and it paid $900 million in fines in its ignition switch fault last year that led to more than 100 deaths.

Expecting fines, but how big?

Mueller made the comparison to GM’s case in his interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine on Wednesday.

“We will have to pay a fine,” he was quoted as saying. “But bear in mind that there were no dead with us; our cars were and are safe.”

Volkswagen made a “serious mistake,” he added. “We must answer for that.”

Asked if he would travel to America and apologize publicly, Mueller replied: “Of course I am prepared in principle to do that.” But, he added, “I have my hands full here in Wolfsburg at the moment.”

With files from The Associated Press