Imports of VWs from UK add to number of cars set for a recall
Thousands of cars that were imported from the UK will swell the numbers in the Volkswagen recall here.
More than 66,000 Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT diesels were imported to Ireland between 2009 and 2014, according to an analysis by the Irish Independent.
Among them were large numbers of VW Golfs (2,379 last year alone), Audi A4s (2,443 in 2011, for example) and A3s (639 in 2013).
These and other VW group cars, such as the Skoda Octavia and Superb, were popular with Irish buyers, who regarded them as better value than Irish-based vehicles.
While not all of them would have the controversial emissions-cheating software, the volume suggests that a good proportion may be affected.
Estimates of the number of all cars involved in Ireland range from 50,000, though some sources now say that there could be over 100,000 affected. Around 1.2 million of the VW Group's vehicles sold in the UK are fitted with the software.
They include 508,276 Volkswagens, 393,450 Audis, 76,733 Seats and 131,569 Skodas, as well as 79,838 vans.
Volkswagen will begin contacting owners over the next few weeks. It also intends to present plans to resolve the problems with the vehicles to regulators later this month.
However, it is being speculated that fixing pollution-control systems on the 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide could require changes to both software and hardware.
The company has set aside €6.5bn towards the cost. Motorists will not have to pay for any refit. The company is stressing that the vehicles are safe and roadworthy.
Volkswagen Ireland is expected to announce details for here shortly. Its managing director, Lars Himmer, is being invited to appear before the Oireachtas Transport Committee later this month.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly is also awaiting a reply from Mr Himmer after asking for an 'urgent' meeting.
In Germany, prosecutors are reported to have begun a preliminary investigation into Audi over the rigged emissions.
It is also reported that nearly one million will be recalled in France, while the VW Group distributor in Portugal said it sold 94,400 vehicles with the EA 189 engine that can cheat on emission tests.
And around 148,000 will be recalled in the Czech Republic.