Volkswagen Group Australia said today that 54,745 cars, 17,256 commercial vehicles and 5,148 Skoda vehicles were affected in Australia.
Matthias Mueller told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published Wednesday that he hopes to have all 11 million affected vehicles adjusted within a year’s time. As far as the U.S. market is concerned, according to a company spokesperson the fix would first need to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, without detailing the timeframe.
He said VW would have to become smaller and less centralised, adding that every model and brand would be scrutinised for its contribution to the company and singling out Bugatti. It affects the core of our company and our identity, our cars, and the essence of the brand: solidity, reliability and credibility’.
He said he expects the company can “shine again” within two or three years.
“We can and we will overcome this crisis, because Volkswagen is a group with a strong foundation”, Mr Mueller said. It noted that while an internal inquiry is underway, it would be “surprising if such a blatant and widespread attempt to rig emissions tests didn’t end with more heads rolling”.
Mueller said the company will have to fix the EA 189 diesel engine “in combination with various transmissions and country-specific designs”.
The biggest business crisis in Volkswagen’s 78-year history has wiped more than a third off its share price, forced out its longtime chief executive and sent shockwaves through both the global auto industry and the German establishment.
Mr German and his associates discovered discrepancies between the emissions of VW cars on real roads as opposed to in laboratory test conditions.
“We will do everything to ensure that Volkswagen will stand for good and secure jobs in the future“, he added.
“We understand the disappointment and frustration felt by our customers, dealers and partners in Australia and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause”.
Market experts presume that about 120,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles might be subject to a recall if they turn out to be manipulated by the same software found by the US environment regulators.
Volkswagen has already set aside €6.5bn to cover the costs of the recall alone, but many believe it could rise to €20bn.
For a company like Volkswagen, which prides itself on engineering excellence, to admit to rigging emissions tests erodes trust not only among its own customers, but all vehicle owners.