Friday 30 September 2016

Up to 80,000 cars on Irish roads expected to be part of VW recall

Published 30/09/2015 | 00:00

Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller
Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller

Volkswagen is expected to reveal within days the details of the cars and vans to be recalled in Ireland over the emissions scandal.

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The vehicles - estimated to range in number from 50,000 to 80,000 - will be part of a global recall involving around 11 million units.

It is now known they include 1.8 million commercials and 700,000 SEAT cars fitted with the diesel engine at the centre of the controversy.

Volkswagen has put aside €6.5bn to cover the cost of dealing with the crisis.

Owners will be contacted and informed that the "emissions characteristics" of their vehicles will be corrected in the near future, according to a statement issued from VW's Wolfsburg headquarters yesterday

It said it will present the technical solutions and measures to the relevant authorities next month. And it will begin advising technicians on what needs to be done. To help inform and update owners, all the brands affected are now setting up national websites.

The emissions scandal erupted earlier this month when VW was exposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency after a tip-off.

The manufacturer's diesel car engines were found to contain software that can cheat pollution tests, making them seem cleaner than they actually are.

New VW chief executive Matthias Müller is said to be working on a "comprehensive" recall and refit plan to ensure all affected diesel vehicles will be retuned to meet emissions standards. What exactly that involves remains unclear.

Volkswagen in Ireland declined to comment, but it is understood that it plans to announce details for Irish owners soon, possibly as early as today.

With SEAT declaring the number of its cars affected, the breakdown of brands and vehicles now reads: Volkswagen (5 million), Audi (2.1 million), Skoda (1.2 million), SEAT (700,000) and vans (1.8 million).

Irish owners, meanwhile, were advised to check they have all relevant sales documentation from the purchase of their cars.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said it is "engaging" with Volkswagen to determine what effect there has been, or will be, on consumers. It said it will take "appropriate action" if there has been a breach of consumer protection legislation.

Concerned

A statement to the Irish Independent said it is aware that consumers are concerned about the effect the scandal has had on their vehicles.

"We would advise consumers who suspect their vehicles might be affected to find and keep safe any sales documentation they have," it said.

"Traders must supply goods that are in conformity with the contract and, when they fail to do so, there are legal mechanisms available to protect consumers."

Meanwhile, Sweden became the latest country to consider an investigation into Volkswagen, joining a list that includes the EU, Australia, South Africa and 27 US states.

And Japan's transport ministry has ordered four manufacturers - Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi - along with importers of European brands, to report by the end of the week on whether or not their diesel cars can beat emissions tests.

Volkswagen does not export diesel cars to Japan, but 230 affected models are believed to have been privately shipped there. It also emerged yesterday that two million vehicles containing the controversial devices were made at an Audi factory in Hungary.

Hungarian economy minister Mihaly Varga said that the affected diesel cars were manufactured at a plant in the west of the country.

The VW scandal has also started to bite in its home base of Wolfsburg. Business tax paid by Volkswagen is an important source of revenue for the town, but the local government is now braced for a drop in income.

"It is still too early to talk about concrete numbers. But it seems clear to us that we can expect a sharp drop in business tax revenues this year," said mayor Klaus Mohrs.

Irish Independent

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