Friday 28 October 2016

Volkswagen to recall up to 110,000 cars in Ireland

Eddie Cunningham Motoring Editor

Published 01/10/2015 | 17:41

Volkswagen cars are seen at a dealership in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Volkswagen cars are seen at a dealership in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

UP to 110,000 car owners here are affected by the Volkswagen recall.

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More than 80,000 owners of Volkswagens, Audis, Skodas and SEATS will have to bring their cars – and vans - in under the emissions scandal cleanup to have work done.

And as many as 30,000 owners of used imports could be affected, bringing the total to 110,000.

Volkswagen Ireland has just released details of how many vehicles are affected here.

The brands and the numbers involved are: Volkswagen passenger cars – 34,387; Audi – 16,485; SEAT – 4,365; ŠKODA – 16,004 Volkswagen commercial vehicles – 8,107.

The company said the number of affected used imports is still ‘under clarification’ but could add 30,000 cars to the recall.

Volkswagen Ireland will soon be writing to owners to arrange for them to have the work carried out on the vehicles.

The recall will require work on the software, and possibly the hardware, in the EA 189 engines. This has been found to be capable in the US of re-calibrating the engine system to burn fuel more cleanly and reduce emissions of dangerous NOx toxins when it recognises it is being officially tested.

In its statement, Volkswagen Group Ireland said the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) details of affected vehicles will be released centrally from brands to retailers.

An international ‘online self-serve process’ for customers to check if their vehicle is affected based on the VIN numbers will be set up.

In Ireland, a website for all brands based on registration numbers is planned to cover both domestic sales and used imports.

Owners will be contacted with details of a “process” to get their vehicles “corrected” in the near future, it said.

Meantime, it emphasised that all vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy.

Technical solutions and measures to sort out the problems will be presented by the VW Group globally to the relevant authorities later this month.

Customers with these vehicles will be kept informed over the coming weeks and months.

Volkswagen Ireland managing directorv Lars Himmer will meet Environment Minister Alan Kelly to discuss the controversy. Contrary to reports Mr Himmer responded immediately to a request for an ‘urgent’ meeting though the exact date has yet to be decided.

But Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he and Mr Kelly will meet with Volkswagen bosses shortly and tell them their company’s behaviour has been “unacceptable.” Speaking in Dublin, Mr Donohoe said that he wants to hear from Volkwagen directly as to their plans to honour the commitments made to Irish people who have bought their cars. The Irish details come almost two weeks since the scandal first erupted in the US when researchers discovered a ‘cheat device’ in the software was deceiving testers into thinking the cars were much greener than they were.

It was subsequently discovered that the 482,000 US cars affected had NOx emissions up to 35 times greater than the company claimed.

While the recall of 11 million cars is massive it is still dwarfed by the number of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag saga. The number involved has gone to 53 million worldwide.

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