The extent of the fallout from the scandal, which erupted September 18 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said VW had cheated on tests of its diesel cars, remains unclear as do the costs to Volkswagen.
A software update on the newer diesel models equipped with SCR devices could lead to “reduced vehicle performance and fuel economy and increased urea use”, said analyst Kevin Riddell of LMC Automotive. Emissions can be up to 40 times higher under normal driving conditions, the watchdog said.
Also fitted with the suspect software were 5 million VW brand cars, 2.1 million Audis and 1.2 million Skodas.
Matthias Müller, the new chief executive of VW, yesterday said customers will be contacted “in the next few days”.
Volkswagen took a big step toward making amends for its emissions scandal.
The carmaker – which in the first six months of this year had overtaken Toyota to become the world leader in terms of sales – needed to win back the trust it has lost, he said. And once they have been approved, “we will inform customers and arrange the necessary appointments” for the cars to be refitted.
Separately, Volkswagen announced its action plan to correct the emissions of diesel vehicles.
In the United Kingdom, more than 500,000 Volkswagen-branded cars and 80,000 VW commercial vehicles in Britain contain the software. Volkswagen in Sweden said 224,746 vehicles of those brands that had been sold in the Nordic country were affected.
German prosecutors have opened an investigation against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn as a result of the scandal.
There’s now a website, vwdieselinfo.com, to keep owners of any of the affected cars, which include Audi vehicles and popular VW models like the Jetta and Passat, up to date and information about the recall is expected later this week.
VW has not confirmed what the modification will involve for the 1,189,906 vehicles with EA 189 engines.
The USA government has ordered Volkswagen to recall 482,000 VW and Audi cars produced since 2009, placing Germany’s leading auto manufacturer on hot seat. The company will also be facing lawsuits from angry customers and dealers.